This April I am participating in the Red My Lips campaign! Those involved intend to wear red lipstick either consistently, frequently, or however often they can, throughout the month of April, in order to demonstrate their support of the organisation- which aims to raise awareness of sexual violence and prevent victim-blaming.
The topic of sexual violence is a serious one and I think it is safe to say that we all have our personal reasons for joining and supporting campaigns such as these, either for ourselves or for other people. In honour of Red My Lips I thought I would just say a few words.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and, although awareness should be spread and people ought to be educated all year round, I’m glad this has been organised. Sexual violence is an issue that occurs all over the world, from more serious and frequent cases such as the rapes and violence in non-western countries, to people closer to us, at home. In the UK, last year alone, 22, 116 cases of sexual violence were reported and the harsh reality is that many cases go unreported due to the nature of which they are dealt with- scaring victims from speaking out.
Red My Lips aims to emphasise that victim-blaming is wrong and that sexual violence cannot be excused away by blaming the victim’s outfit, alcohol consumption or appearance. Instead of teaching people to dress less provocatively, cover up, drink less and be more aware, we should be teaching people not to rape, the devastating consequences of such an ordeal and that taking away somebody’s consent is wrong.
Every person has a right to their own body. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of others making unwanted sexual advances on them, no one should have to feel forced into doing anything that makes them uncomfortable and, most importantly, people need to learn that consent is everything. Sexual violence, rapes and non-consensual sex happens every single day and although it can be very easily prevented with education and conversation, it happens way too regularly and has truly devastating consequences.
Support victims, raise awareness and contribute to the prevention of sexual violence everywhere.
We need not be silenced or scared.