Ever since sexual assault activist Brie Larson so classily handled the awkward, maddening moment between her and Casey Affleck at the Oscars, we’ve been thinking about how we can back her up. Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the timing is right to stop turning a blind eye to sexual assault victims, take a page from Breast Cancer awareness, and show our support for the cause in our wardrobes, online, and in person.
1. Wear teal all April long. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, teal is the official color of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All month long, choose to integrate this gorgeous hue into your wardrobe as a subtle yet strong act of solidarity for survivors. A more obvious statement like a ribbon or pin can even start conversations, especially if it includes “Believe Survivors” phrasing.
2. And denim to work, class, or out and about on 4/26. Inspired by a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court that blamed a woman for getting sexually assaulted because of the tightness of her jeans, Denim Day aims to provide a “visible means of protests against misconceptions that surround sexual assault,” according to the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition. Denim Day is Wednesday, April 26 this year.
3. Learn more. Sexual assault awareness has been a social justice platform since the 1970s. Take the time to learn about the way this movement has shaped urban environments, college campuses, and even our political culture today.
4. Take the “It’s on Us” pledge. It’s on Us is a national campaign that was spearheaded by ex-VP Joe Biden to combat sexual assault on college campuses. This April, join the thousands of people who have taken the simple, powerful It’s on Us pledge to poignantly solidify your stand against sexual violence.
5. Use your voice on social media. On the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website, you’ll find tons of gorgeous graphics to post to all kinds of social media. By changing your Facebook cover photo or simply posting a tweet, you’ll send a message to friends and colleagues that you stand with survivors.
6. Practice bystander intervention. While visible symbols of support are a great opportunity to launch your involvement, the best way to combat sexual assault is by actually doing something about it. Next time you see or hear something that doesn’t look right — whether with friends or out in public — check in to mitigate the situation, make sure everyone is okay, and get the affected person somewhere safe if necessary.
How do you plan to support survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty, National Sexual Violence Resource Center)