It's Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week
It's time to talk.
So this week is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, and we need to talk about it.
Because sexual abuse and sexual violence are uncomfortable and often taboo topics that fly under the radar a lot of the time. We all need to be more aware that sexual abuse and sexual violence happens more than we think, and it isn’t always recognised and condemned as it should be.
In other words, a lot of perpetrators of sexual abuse get away with it.
What is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week?
It is a week where the general public is encouraged to join the conversation about sexual abuse and sexual violence, topics that aren’t always brought to the forefront of our daily lives.
The theme of conversation this year is “it’s not okay” and people are being encouraged to Tweet and post using the hashtag #itsnotok to discuss sexual abuse and sexual violence. The theme “it’s not okay” was chosen because ignoring or excusing acts of sexual abuse and sexual violence has unfortunately often been a trend in society, and many abusers get away with horrible things because of it.
For example, a lot of people believe that factors like what a female victim was wearing, what her sexual history is, and whether she had been drinking can excuse a male perpetrator for sexually abusing her.
Which is SO messed up. No human being deserves to be violated, and a woman should be able to wear and behave however she wants. If a man took his shirt off on a night out, you wouldn’t say he deserved or should have expected to be raped, and it’s the same the other way round. The blame is often shifted from abusers to their innocent, and traumatised, victims. It's totally unnecessary and wrong - we should be protecting and supporting victims, not accusing them.
This is only one example of sexual abuse, but there are many men and tragically even children who undergo sexual violence and assault too and don’t get the support they need and deserve.
That’s why we’re encouraging people to speak up and raise awareness this week – so that everyone can get to know the facts and read up on a topic that is so important yet is still often not given enough weight and recognition.
If you’ve been affected by sexual abuse or sexual violence, think you know someone who might have or just want to learn more, head to the sexual abuse and sexual violence awareness week website for more info and resources.
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