Have you noticed? Rape culture is all around us. It’s pervasive and rooted in patriarchal beliefs, power and control. It normalizes and justifies sexual violence. Yet much of this violence is hidden and not reported due to impunity, shame and gender inequality.

Here’s the grim reality in numbers:

  • 15 million adolescent girls have experienced forced sex at some point in her life (UNICEF, 2017).
  • Only 1% of adolescent girls who experienced forced sex reached out for professional help (UNICEF, 2017).
  • In 12 countries, rapists go free if they marry their victim (UN Women, 2019).
  • Only 1% of adolescent girls who experienced forced sex or rape reached out for professional help (UNICEF, 2017)
  • In 12 countries, rapists go free if they marry their rape victim (UN Women, 2019)
  • 15 million adolescent girls have experienced forced sex or rape at some point in her life (UNICEF, 2017)

According to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres “Sexual violence against women and girls is rooted in centuries of male domination”. The UN Chief reminded the world that stigma, misconceptions, under-reporting and poor enforcement of laws perpetuate impunity in rape cases, adding “All of this must change…now!”

STAND AGAINST RAPE

To kick off the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, from 25 November to 10 December, under the theme, “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape”.

We’re calling on you to join us in galvanizing actions around the world to take a stand against sexual violence, and to spark a global conversation about what it will take to prevent and end rape.

1. Break the Silence.
Gif of a mouth opening with the words "Break the Silence"
The fact is this: For millions of girls around the world, rape is not surprising or uncommon. But why didn’t she report it? Because rape is not just an act committed by one person, but also a pervasive culture that feeds on silence. Breaking the silence is the first step to transforming the culture of gender-based violence. Time to speak up.

2. Respect Consent.


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There are no blurred lines when it comes to consent. No ifs or buts. The definition is clear. Let’s stand united against all who attempt to blur the lines around sexual consent, place blame on victims, and excuse perpetrators. Once and for all – Let’s say it Loud and Clear: NO MEANS NO!

3. Don’t Victim Blame.
Don't-rape
🛑 Stop using language that blames victims, objectifies women and normalizes sexual harassment and rape. Media has a fundamental role to play to stop rape culture. 📰 Let’s flip the narrative that places blame on victims and use the power of language in service of survivors, not perpetrators. 🛑 There is no excuse for rape. Nada zilch zero!

4. Believe Survivors.
Gif of a two persons coming together to offer support to a woman who is a rape victim.
Every time a woman speaks up about her experience of sexual violence and she’s not believed, rape culture flourishes. Every time you hear a survivor’s story: 1-Listen. 2-Believe. 3-Support.
Never ever excuse perpetrators of rape. Never ever joke about gender-based violence. Instead when a survivor speaks up, say “We hear you. We see you. We believe you.” And if you cannot say something positive in support of a survivor, best not to say anything at all.

We must all – girls and boys, women and men – demand for laws that protect girls, boys and women from sexual violence including coerced sex and rape. It’s on all of us to create an environment where survivors feel safe to speak up and to report perpetrators of sexual violence.

Listen to survivors.
Share their stories.
Talk about consent.
Small actions can have a big impact to end rape culture.

Do your part during #16Days of Activism by joining #GenerationEquality and standing with girls and women, boys and men across the world against rape! #orangetheworld

(Source: UN Women)

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