ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: sexual assault

A Triple Threat: My Thoughts on Three California Bills That Champion for Reproductive Justice

On October 8th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 453, AB 367, and AB 1171 into law. What does this mean for the fight against sexual violence and the battle for increased access to reproductive healthcare? California is currently at the forefront of protecting reproductive rights for all of its citizens. With the passing of three major bills — AB 453, AB 367, and AB 1171 — comes a major promise of ensuring that voices of victims of sexual assault and period poverty are being heard and listened to. By making stealthing illegal, ending the “spousal rape exception”, and requiring period products to be put in public school bathrooms across California, these radical new laws will close many gaps in ensuring equity that existed previously. These bills could easily be the… Read more »

Friend or Foe: Believe Survivors

The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as, “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” What that definition fails to encompass is what comes with sexual assault and the complexities of survivor stories. No, sexual assault is not a new topic and though it has been receiving much more attention due to sexual assult accusations coming up in the presidential election, it is still a highly stigmatized and taboo topic of discussion. I was reminded of this after hanging out with a friend and having her reveal that her assaulter attended a party in her own home. When she told me who he was and what happened I found myself feeling cold and confused. Anger washed over me and I felt… Read more »

5 Responses to Rape that Feed, not Fight, Rape Culture

*Trigger warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. In 2016, we’ve seen unprecedented progress when it comes to recognizing the prevalence of rape culture, and coming up with legal and social ways to fight it. From bipartisan support for the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights and the success of the #ItsOnUs campaign, we’re closer than ever to protecting survivors of sexual violence and making sure victims feel safe and heard at every level. However, we’ve also seen some pretty shitty attempts to explain away rape culture, make excuses for convicted rapists, and blow off incendiary comments made by a certain Presidential candidate… There have been (too many) opportunities for our nation’s elected to not only speak out against rape and sexual violence, but to also take a stand against the pervasiveness of… Read more »

Turner Test: How Long is Long Enough?

Earlier this month articles started circulating about the devil himself – Brock Turner (but don’t worry this article isn’t about him). News had broken that Turner, who raped an unconscious woman, was released from jail after serving just three months of his ridiculously short six-month jail sentence. After Turner’s release, a familiar series of Facebook posts and tweets found themselves populating just about everyone’s news feed. Posts with captions like: “Brock Turner served 3 months, this black man is serving 15 years for the same crime,” hinted at the social media and cultural storm that would soon follow Brock Turner and his post-conviction life. People were, and still are, rightfully upset with the blatant racial inequality and discrimination in the criminal justice system. But this article isn’t about that either, though it is an… Read more »

College Football, Masculinity, and Sexual Assault

It’s college football season! From now until the Super Bowl, millions of Americans will dedicate their Saturays to college football and their Sundays to the NFL. They will prepare feasts composed of pizza, wings, burgers, and beer. They will watch the game at local sports bars, homes, and stadiums. They will be adorned in sports memorabilia. And many of them will fiercely defend their teams from negativity even at the expense of survivors of sexual assault who have been assaulted by a player on the team. On September 13, 2016, Allen Artis, a football player at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was suspended from the team and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but the arrest warrant was only issued when the survivor went public even though the attack… Read more »

When it Comes to Consent, There is No Gray Area

I intended to write this post and have it up last week so it would be more timely, but due to a death in the family, I was unable to and had to save it for this week. This past weekend, Auburn University’s chapter of Alpha Psi hosted their annual Rodeo, an outdoor country concert held each spring. It is not university-sponsored, but it still remains something of an Auburn tradition. In the week leading up, the campus Walmart is rearranged so the essentials are up by the cash register: cowboy hats, denim, and cheap beer. People come from all over the southeast to experience the atmosphere and excitement. As luck has it, it typically rains the days preceding Rodeo, which means that everyone who attends is standing in the… Read more »

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Provides Chance to Stand with Survivors

****Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault**** Today is the first day of April, which means it is the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness month. Awareness about sexual assault, and most issues in our society, is crucial to the creating action. There is a lot about sexual assault that our society needs to made aware of, and there is no way I can capture it all in one blog post. But, I’ll try to do my best to discuss certain issues that I think really matter. We have to stop with the victim blaming Sexual assault is NEVER a survivor’s fault. They weren’t too drunk or dressed too provocatively; they were taken advantage of and hurt. They were violated, and it is not their fault. If you look at a sexual assault survivor and ask… Read more »

Know Your IX Boot Camp: A Recap

  Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Know Your IX Activist Bootcamp, an intensive two day long training dedicated to educating student activists about anti-sexual violence campaigns across universities on the West Coast. Know Your IX, a grassroots, youth and survivor led organization dedicated to providing students with the legal knowledge and organizing skills to end sexual violence on campuses, hosted the event. I came away from the training in awe of the incredible work students and survivors are already doing on their campuses. Badass student activists are not only holding their universities accountable, but creating a culture of consent and safety for communities affected by gender-based violence on their campuses. If you’re not well-versed in the intricacies of federal and state laws that protect students… Read more »

It’s Long Past Time to Stop Favoring Athletics Over Justice

[Trigger warning: rape, sexual assault] Bodda getta, bodda getta, bodda getta, bah! Rah, rah, rah! Sis-boom-bah! Weagle, weagle, war damn eagle! Kick ‘em in the butt, big blue! If you don’t understand what any of that meant, don’t worry. It’s an Auburn University thing. I go to a school that loves football and tradition just as much as—okay, probably a little more than—the education of its students. This doesn’t bother me, because I love sports and I love the traditions that go with them (throwing my hat onto the ice at a hockey game is on my bucket list). What does bother me is when college athletics are valued over the safety of other students. It seems that every few months, another university is coming under fire for sweeping sexual… Read more »

Kesha and Rape Culture in the Music Industry

Trigger Warning: Rape Today the New York Supreme Court will release the decision on the case filed by Kesha Sebert against her producer, Dr. Luke, who has filed his own lawsuit, with Sony’s support, claiming that the artist is just trying to defame him. The decision will ultimately determine whether or not Kesha will be able to publish any more music. Currently, she does not want to work with her assailant and is, under contract, not allowed to produce with another label or on her own. According to Kesha’s lawyer, she is suing Dr. Luke on assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Kesha says that these charges date back to 2005 when she was approached and convinced… Read more »