30 Days of Demanding the Change
April brings an annual opportunity to focus awareness on sexual violence, the culture that perpetuates this violence, and its prevention. Our goal is to not only change the institutional policies and practices that support the behaviors we encounter every day, but also to change our cultural norms so that this type of behavior is not expected, accepted, or tolerated. Sexual Assault Awareness Month helps bring us together to make a loud and unified statement throughout Minnesota that the current status of women and children in our society is no longer acceptable. In order to prevent sexual violence, we must identify, challenge, and change the attitudes and behaviors that foster an environment that allows such violence to occur. 30 Days of Demanding the Change is about taking the time during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to unpack the environment that fosters sexual violence and start focusing on solutions. By promoting safe, healthy, and equitable relationships, we can prevent sexual violence in Minnesota. Let's spend the first week of Sexual Assault Awareness Month by critically thinking about how the 5 Root Causes of Sexual Violence contribute to the normalization of sexual harm. Let's get started! Spend the day focusing on how and why violence has become normal in our culture and the ripple effect this has on sexual violence. Violence is all around us. It is portrayed in the music we listen to, the movies we watch, and even used as a marketing strategy to sell products. Violence has become so normal that it is a form of entertainment for our enjoyment. When violence is viewed as part of our everyday life, we become desensitized--we start allowing it to be tolerated and accepted as normal. The ripple effect is that it interferes with our ability to express empathy toward the individuals who are experiencing violence. Instead of focusing the attention on the person who chose to inflict harm, we start focusing our attention on the person who experienced the harm. For example, the last time you heard about a sexual assault case, did you wonder what the victim did to be in that situation? Or did you wonder what made that person think it was acceptable to sexually violate the victim? Spend the day thinking about how you view violence. When you see violence, how do you react? Has the normalization of violence interfered with your ability to express empathy at times? You can join us in April and demand the change. Go to Demand the Change for Children website to sign up and learn more about the action that has been happening throughout Minnesota. You can also become more connected to what is happening locally by going to Someplace Safe's Facebook site. There will be numerous opportunities you can demand the change by supporting the events near you and across the state. Last but not least, we will be celebrating on April 28th! Whether you choose to leap with us online with posts, Twitter, following our blog or connecting with us locally; all action will take us one step closer to ending sexual violence in Minnesota.
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