Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Centering the Margin: Individual and Systemic Barriers (Week 4) Round-Up

In the absence of physical space to learn, create, and come together, the Women’s Center is taking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2020 online. Each week during April, we will focus on a specific topic/theme as it relates to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see image below). Together, via out social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, we can watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building.

SAAM 2020 Online

UMBC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month online calendar includes weekly themes to help explore important concepts related to sexual violence awareness and prevention.

But, we get it… Maybe you’re not on Facebook. Maybe you needed to take a break from social media for the day because you’re practicing self-care. Or maybe, you’re still following us on all the things and still missed a pretty cool post. That’s okay! In addition to posting on social media throughout the month, at the end of each week, we’ll provide a round-up of all the content we shared along with some action items to consider doing.

We just wrapped up Week 4 of SAAM with lots of posts and content centered around the theme of “Centering the Margin: Individual and Systemic Barriers.” This meant the posts we shared took a deeper dive into how sexual assault prevention and response often pushes underrepresented and marginalized survivors to the margins. Through resource sharing and consciousness-raising, we hope that as individuals and communities we center these survivors and ensure prevention and response work that takes their specific needs into consideration.

So what did we explore? 

  1. What is cultural betrayal trauma theory? This theory by Dr. Jennifer Gomez is the result of her research focused on the effects of interpersonal trauma (e.g., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) in diverse populations. Cultural betrayal trauma theory is the idea that some minorities develop what Gomez calls “(intra)cultural trust” – love, loyalty, attachment, connection, responsibility and solidarity with each other to protect themselves from a hostile society. Within-group violence, such as a black perpetrator harming a black victim, is a violation of this (intra)cultural trust. This violation is called a cultural betrayal and it can lead to diverse outcomes, including PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and internalized prejudice. You can learn more here.

    culturalbetrayal

    A visual representation of cultural betrayal trauma theory.

  2. Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence: “For every Black woman who reports her rape, at least fifteen do not. Many cite a fear that they will not be believed by authorities, or, worse yet, subjected to further violence and criminalization” (Ritchie, Andrea 2017). Read more on Andrea Ritchie’s research and policy brief for “Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence”

    expanding

    Image of the cover page for the “Deepening Our Demands For Safety and Healing For Black Survivors of Sexual Violence.”

  3. Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw: #MeToo and Black Women: From Hip Hop to Hollywood: Listen to this powerful conversation addressing the historical violence of Black women and what movement building looks like that center’s Black women’s experiences
  4. Transgender Sexual Violence Survivors: A Self Help Guide to Healing and Understanding : “50% or more of all transgender and gender non-conforming people have experienced some form of sexual abuse, sometimes from many different people over many years.” This helpful guide explores techniques and exercises for healing, descriptions for LGBT services and how to develop a safety plan.

To see everything posted on our accounts last week, check out the hashtag #UMBCsaam over at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

Important Take-Aways:

Advocate for policies that combat inequality in education, health care, law enforcement and the judicial system that center the needs of underrepresented communities who experience trauma (to learn more, check out Nadia BenAissa’s URCAD Presentation)

→ Believe Survivors. No matter what identities they hold.

→ Challenge toxic and harmful cultural norms that impact survivors’ mental health. Learn how to support harm doers in being accountable by checking out this video on How to Support Harm Doers in Being Accountable.

Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC,  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April. You can also stay up-to-date by following #UMBCsaam 

 


 

Throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.

On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support: 

 

To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form

Virtual Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Affirmative Consent (Week 1) Round-Up

In the absence of physical space to learn, create, and come together, the Women’s Center is taking Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2020 online. Each week during April, we will focus on a specific topic/theme as it relates to sexual violence awareness and prevention (see image below). Together, via out social media platforms like Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram, we can watch videos, read articles, and engage in other content for learning and skill-building.

SAAM 2020 Online

UMBC’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month online calendar includes weekly themes to help explore important concepts related to sexual violence awareness and prevention. 

But, we get it… Maybe you’re not on Facebook. Maybe you needed to take a break from social media for the day because you’re practicing self-care. Or maybe, you’re still following us on all the things and still missed a pretty cool post. That’s okay! In addition to posting on social media throughout the month, at the end of each week, we’ll provide a round-up of all the content we shared along with some action items to consider doing.

We just wrapped up week one of SAAM and spent the last several days exploring affirmative consent through the following content:

  1. “What is affirmative consent?”” brought to you by Retriever Courage and UMBC’s Policy on Prohibited Sexual Misconduct, Interpersonal Violence, and Other Related Misconduct.

    RetrieverCourage_Consent-01

    Image is part of the Retriever Courage poster campaign. This poster focuses on what consent is and includes a list of what consent is and isn’t. 

  2. Affirmative consent is all about saying or confirming an enthusiastic yes because YOU WANT TO… not because you feel like you have to say yes. And, being able to say yes means learning how to say no. We can learn how to create boundaries and say “no” way before we are even thinking about consent in terms of sex and it starts with educating little kids. Everyday Feminism has a great graphic to illustrate this point.

    kidsconsent

    Image Reads: Children are told that adults are owed their attention and affection. When that idea is internalized it can be difficult to accept that no one is owed physical contact or emotional safety.

  3. Knowing what you want and don’t want is a key part of being able to participate in affirmative consent. Reviewing and completing a sexual inventory can be a great way for you to identify what you want and don’t want as a first step in being able to communicate your needs. Check out this  Yes, No, Maybe list from Scarleteen.
  4. In this time of distance learning, Zoom meetings, and FaceTime as some of our only means of socially connecting with classmates, co-workers, family and friends, it’s even more important to be thinking about digital consent and practicing clear communication. Learn more here. 

Important Take-Away:

Affirmative consent is not just about the presence of a no… it is the presence of an enthusiastic yes!

Remember FRIES.… consent is: Freely given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic and Specific.

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Now that you’ve got some good readings in your tool kit, what will you do with them? Here’s some Action Items:

  • Incorporate at least one way you can ask or give consent into your daily life, whether that’s asking to hug someone if you haven’t asked in the past, talking to your friends about tagging you on social media only after they’ve asked you, or offering an alternative way for a young person in your life to show gratitude that isn’t connected to physical touch or affection.
  • Share one of the articles above on your social media platforms. Ask your friends or family member if they’d be willing to engage in a conversation with you about one of the takeaways that stood out to you.
  • Like tea? Then here’s one more video on consent you can watch and share!

 

Follow the Women’s Center on myUMBC,  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for SAAM updates and information throughout the month of April. You can also stay up-to-date by following #UMBCsaam 

 


 

Throughout this time of distance learning, campus staff are still here and available for support. Do not hesitate to reach out for questions, concerns, or care.

On-Campus Resources Available for Virtual Support: 

 

To report a complaint of sexual misconduct or discrimination, please submit this online form

Women’s Center Staff Video Contest Submission

For the kick-off of UMBC’s Relationship Violence Awareness Month: Creating Healthy Intimacy, the Women’s Center and University Health Services are hosting a video contest. From October 1st through 9th, students are invited to create videos that answer the question “What does a healthy relationship look like to you?” Videos can then be posted to social media with hashtag #umbcaware for a chance to win prizes.

Here is the video that the Women’s Center student staff members created to emphasize the importance of communication and consent.