If you didn’t have a chance to check out all of the great articles we published during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, here they are below, all neatly rounded up for your viewing pleasure.

Street Harassment: An Inconvenient Truth?

by Shanna Wells, follow her on twitter

“Hey baby, shake that thing.” “Mmmm, I like ‘em that size.” “Ugh, you’re a dog!” “Nice ass!”

For women, the simple act of walking down the street can become an exercise in navigating a minefield of unwanted comments. According to Author Deborah Tuerkheimer, “street harassment occurs when a woman in a public place is intruded on by a man’s words, noises, or gestures. In so doing, he asserts his right to comment on her body or other feature of her person, defining her as object and himself as subject with power over her” (1).

I Hide Inside

by Shanna Wells, follow her on twitter 

It’s summer in Philadelphia. The sky scraper in which I work is just three blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Behind the Hall is a shaded green space, an enviable place to be on my lunch hour. But to get there I must pass a construction site. As a large woman, I’m not sure which comments are worse from the all-male crew: being told I’m a hideous excuse of a woman, or being told how my body will be used for the man’s pleasure. I dissociate, seeing myself through their eyes. Just steps from where the Declaration of Independence was signed, I am a prisoner – in my office, in my body, in my gender.

Comprehensive Sex Education Can Prevent Sexual Assault

by Laurel Reed, follow her on twitter

As we enter into Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is painfully clear that the youth of America are more unaware than ever. And we adults can directly blame ourselves for their ignorance. Sex education classes in the United States (where they’re available) are woefully inadequate. Only 18 states require sex education to be medically accurate. And, thanks to the overbearing presence of religion, most sex educators’ hands are tied when it comes to updating or presenting new material. We all remember the “Don’t Say Gay” bills that circulated through various mid-western state legislatures. If students and teachers can’t even say the word “gay”, how are they supposed to educate themselves and other people about different sexual identities?

Incest, A Family Curse

by Claire Bardelux

From around five years old until I was thirteen, I endured repeated nighttime attacks at the hands of my three brothers—sometimes they acted as a group, but, as we got older, my primary attacker was my older brother acting on his own. Or, at least, that’s what woke me up. I struggled with the sleep paralysis that held me captive and powerless even as I was being violated, and I never really knew what happened when I was asleep. Some mornings, I would wake with the tell-tale missing panties and feel sick with the not knowing, with the lack of control over my body.

My Body the temple, my body the toilet

by Jennifer Forester

When I was five, I decided that I wanted to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and I went through all of the motions: I asked him into my heart, assumed he accepted, and was baptized before the congregation. I remember vividly how afraid I was to be baptized; the thought of the water closing in over my head filled me with panic, but somehow I went through it, understanding that I had been washed in metaphorical blood and was now sin-free in the eyes of God. What was not possible for me to process in my gloriously naïve five-year-old brain was that, in return for the unconscionably horrifying experience of vicarious redemption, I had agreed to surrender my will to a being who could not express his will to me excepting through the men who controlled what ostensibly came from him.

Monsters

by Elsa Roberts, follow her on twitter

Rapists are monsters, evil. Child rapists are the king of that monster pack.

They never tell you that those monsters are good friends, a nice neighbor, someone with a good sense of humor, a person who will help a stranger fix a flat. Nobody tells you that.

They don’t tell you that they’re the person you fell in love with, your uncle, your brother, your father. Nobody tells you that.

The Steubenville Case, a microcosm for a culture wide problem

By Renée Neary, of NiftyIdeas

In a down-on-its-luck eastern Ohio town, the local high school’s star football players were powerful people. As the town’s pride and joy – its hope for the future – the young men in Steubenville enjoyed all the privileges of small town princelings, just like millions of young men in millions of small towns all over the world. One of the privileges of that power was that the football players had their “pick” of the town’s unattached girls. For star athletes, the privilege of first pick of the most desirable girls is like selecting ripe melons at Kroger. The athlete gets to choose or discard, never the girl.

Rape – a Secular View

by Elsa Roberts, follow her on twitter

What do you think of when you think about rape? Be honest. Dark alleys, knives, blood, strangers – those are the things I usually hear when I ask that question. Ask the average person where women are most at risk and from whom, and the answer is usually 1. after dark walking anywhere, and 2. a stranger.

That is the picture people have of rape; that is what most people see as “real” rape, “legitimate” rape. But, that’s not how most rape happens.

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