Apr 012012
 

Every year, I right about this. Most of my thoughts from it are summed up in my piece about National Sexual Assault Awareness Month from last year. However, some things to always keep in mind.

*Sexual assault does not always involve penetration

*Sexual assault is not limited to females or women identified people

*Sexual assault is not limited to straight people

*Sexual assault does not discriminate by age, ability, race, sex, gender, socio-economic status, size, education, etc.

*Someone YOU know has been sexually assaulted. It’s never funny to joke about it, to tell someone they are lying or deserved it, or anything like that. It is immature, small and rude. And it kind of makes you an asshat.

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, there are many resources. College campuses tend to have hotlines and/or sexual assault response coordinators. You can contact RAINN (the Rape, Assault and Incest National Network). If you need LGBTQ resources, here are some to get you started. Many states have anti violence programs (in Colorado, it is CAVP). Many doctors and social workers have awesome resources as well. If you cannot find any near you/the person you’re helping, please contact me and I will help you.

Together, we can work together to both support survivors, and to change our culture to make it a safer place for EVERYONE.

Jun 212011
 

Do you like pancakes? Do you like building and supporting local community? Do you like working together to work against violence, particularly within and against the LGBTQ community?

GOOD NEWS!

July 9th, from 9:30-11:30 am, at East High School in Denver, is the 4th Annual Pancake Breakfast, put on by the Colorado Anti-Violence Program. CAVP is the ONLY organization in Colorado dedicated solely to work on stopping violence inside and against the LGBTQ community. How awesome is that cause?

You get ALL YOU CAN EAT vegan pancakes (which, even if you’re not vegan, and freaking delicious!), plus the opportunity to hang out with local celebrity servers (like my sweet self), meet new like-minded folks, reach out and be a part of the activist community and much much more! Tickets are on a sliding scale of $5-$25 (pay what you can afford), and kids under 8 are free! I really hope to see you there, supporting such a fabulous organization and important cause.

-Shanna

Apr 122011
 

This month is a lot of months and one of those happens to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

You know a sexual assault survivor, even if you don’t think you don’t. You probably know many. I am a sexual assault survivor.

Here are some facts that you may or may not know:

*Most (although not sexual assaults) happen by people known to the survivor. Stranger assault and acquaintance assault are BOTH sexual assault. Neither is better/worse than the other; let’s not create a hierarchy of non-consent.

*EVERYONE can be a victim/survivor of sexual assault. This includes people under 18, people over 30, people between 18 and 30 men, women, gender queer folk, trans folk, straight folk, queer folk, single people, people in relationships, kinky people, vanilla people, poly people, monogamous people, sex workers, college graduates, doctors, high school drop outs, attorneys, judges, police, servers, sex educators, etc. NO one is protected from sexual assault because of their identity.

*The majority of sexual assaults go unreported.

*15 out of 16 perps will never see a single day of jail or prison.

*Some identify as survivors, others as victims. Both are 100% valid.

*Not everyone wants to talk about their stories.

*Some absolutely do and need a listening ear.

*Sexual Assault can affect the survivors for the rest of their lives.

*Sexual Assault survivors can absolutely have happy, healthy relationships.

*Therapy can be incredibly important and helpful for survivors.

*No means no. Lack of no does not mean yes. Yes means yes — active consent is important!

*When there is a power play (like parent/child, professor/current student), that takes away the ability for most to consent. This is often called sexual coercion (and incest in the first case).

*When people react angrily to hearing of a friend/partner/loved one’s sexual assault, it can often trigger the survivor. Listen, ask them what THEY would like to do/would like YOU to do, don’t be angry and don’t tell them what they “have” to do. Give them back the power.

*People in relationships can be sexually assaulted by their current/former partners.

*People can be sexually assault by people they have had sex with before.

If you or someone you know has been assaulted, there are many resources. College campuses tend to have hotlines and/or sexual assault response coordinators. You can contact RAINN (the Rape, Assault and Incest National Network). If you need LGBTQ resources, here are some to get you started. Many states have anti violence programs (in Colorado, it is CAVP). Many doctors and social workers have awesome resources as well. If you cannot find any near you/the person you’re helping, please contact me and I will help you.

Together, we can work together to both support survivors, and to change our culture to make it a safer place for EVERYONE.

Shanna