Red My Lips – No To Violence
Red My Lips is a non-profit organisation that uses red lipstick – and social media – to raise awareness about sexual violence, demonstrate support for survivors and combat victim-blaming around the world.
The Red My Lips campaign takes place annually during the month of April. It invites women and men to stand up against sexual violence and the social norms, assumptions and expectations that enable it to fester. Supporters of the campaign tweet and post facebook messages to let the world know that they won’t be silent, they won’t be complicit and they won’t be shamed; they will wear what they like, walk in solidarity with survivors and demand justice and gender equality.
You can share your opinions, photos and your red lips here: https://twitter.com/redmylipsorg
Among the many sites of struggle against sexual violence are university and college campuses. Sexual harassment, assault and rape are reported at tertiary institutions all over the world. There are common factors – such as poor security, the closed nature of universities, peer pressure and obstacles to prosecution. In many countries, those in southern Africa among them, entrenched patriarchy, gender inequality and failures of the criminal justice system exacerbate the threat to girls and women.
There are several initiatives to tackle the scourge of sexual violence on campus. See for example, this article in The Conversation and this report on a ‘girl-led’ initiative to address sexual violence on campus and this working paper from the African Leadership Centre.
The consequences of sexual violence can be catastrophic for anyone. For a student they may be not only physically and emotionally devastating but also jeopardise her studies and her career prospects. What more can be done to prevent sexual violence on campus, to support survivors, and to hold perpetrators – and those who shield them – to account?
Share your stories and suggestions here – anonymously if you wish. Let’s make sure that the movement to end sexual violence gathers strength.