• Mafer Apo

New Year’s Resolutions: To continue the fight against sexual violence

Updated: Feb 3

1. To believe survivors

First and foremost, is to believe survivors and to applaud their strength and courage. The best thing one can do is to reassure them that you trust their story, that you acknowledge someone wronged them. Victims of sexual assault and/or domestic violence often struggle to face the reality and severetiy of what happened, questioning themselves and fighting against the tendency to victim blame. Saying you believe them serves to validate their feelings and experience. Believing survivors also means cutting ties with their aggressors if you know them, or boycotting their products if they’re artists, movie makers, etc. To believe survivors fully entails actively supporting them in any way possible.

3. To speak up against any aggression

Refuse to be passive in the face of aggression against women. Microaggressions like catcalling are indicative of the wider problem and confronting them as they occur can slowly help reform harassing behavior. Put an end to ‘locker talk’, confront your male friends if you hear them disrespecting women or engaging in reproachable behavior. Speak up but also educate those who surround you. If you witness a case of harassment or assault, take strategic action, but be wary of the context. If your friend shares something concerning her relationship or you start to notice red flags or suspicious behavior, be tactful but say something. We have to protect and help each other and never be silent in the face of violence in any of its forms.

4. To never stop fighting

Whether this means supporting feminist collectives, attending protests, continuing to educate yourself, making art to expose the problem, donating to safehouses for victims of domestic violence, etc. The possibilities are endless, as is our power. Use the resources and abilities that you have at your disposition to make a positive change, no contribution is too small. Actively be part of the fight and take it everywhere you go and to everyone you meet.

5. To heal

If you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence, this means working on your trauma and continuing the struggle towards healing, overcoming the pain and taking back power. Confronting the reality of what you lived and finding things and strategies to c

Written by : Mafer Apo

Photo Credit : Dannielle MacInnes

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