Red My Lips

Every April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) Warriors from around the globe wear red lipstick to show support for survivors, combat rape myths and victim blaming, and raise awareness and funds.

It is so easy nowadays to blame "those girls" who "weren't careful," "gave mixed signals" or put themselves in the way of danger. To believe that men and boys are rarely ever victims of this abuse. Putting blame and shame on these men and women who come forward only convinces others that they are better off keeping quiet, letting those who committed the offence free to go on and do it again.
Red My Lips is an international non-profit organization that helps to raise visibility and awareness of sexual violence, while combating rape myths and victim-blaming. They run an annual global awareness and action campaign where their supporters wear red lipstick all throughout the month of April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) to show solidarity and support for survivors.
Red my lips promotes the idea that sexual violence is not caused by tight or revealing clothes, makeup or letting your guard down. But by one person's decision to overpower and violate the body and spirit of another. Until this is recognized as being wrong, sexual violence will continue to happen. 

Wearing red lipstick in April allows supporters to speak out against these damaging myths and victim-blaming attitudes. It allows us all to stand in solidarity with survivors and refuse to be invisible...refuse to be silent. 

What is sexual violence?

Sexual Violence is a term that describes a wide range of behaviours including:

  • invasion of space & leering
  • sexual harassment in person or online
  • taking and/or distributing sexual photos/videos without consent
  • unwanted sexual touching, kissing, groping
  • vaginal, anal, or oral penetration without consent
  • sexual contact with someone who is incapacitated or unable to give consent
  • child sexual abuse
  • human trafficking

What is ‘victim-blaming’?

Victim-blaming includes any statement or question that focuses on what a victim of sexual violence did or didn’t do, implying that their behaviour makes them fully or partly responsible for being assaulted or for failing to prevent their assault. One of the most common examples of victim-blaming is saying someone was “asking for it.” 
Some examples include:
  • "What were you thinking going there/wearing that/drinking so much?"
  • "What did you expect would happen?"
  • "You should have been more careful."
  • "Did you even fight back?"
The vast majority of people who commit sexual assault and rape know their victims. They are family members, romantic partners, babysitters, and trusted friends. The most common location for a rape to occur is in the home of the victim. Often the only ‘weapon’ used is the rapist’s body.
Trauma can cause victims to behave differently than we might expect. Experiencing shock or denial is very common. Just because someone acts like nothings wrong, or doesn't go to the police right away or at all does not mean it didn't happen. 
Anyone can experience sexual violence at any age. This including men and boys. This myth adds to the intense shame and isolation that many male survivors experience.
To find out more about sexual violence, red my lips and all the ways you can get involved visit their website. XO

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