At The Blue Bench, our mission is to eliminate sexual assault and diminish the impact it has on individuals, their loved ones and our community through comprehensive issue advocacy, prevention and care.
To truly change rape culture requires a paradigm shift and a complete restructuring in how we think and talk about the issue of sexual assault.
We use a community-based approach to prevention, ensuring schools, businesses, law enforcement and beyond are committed to survivor-centered responses and sexual violence education.
Changing attitudes means changing behaviors, both of which contribute to a healthier, more aware community of active bystanders.
It’s not too late to make your voices heard on the recent policy changes proposed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The new rules, released by the Department of Education at the end of November, will significantly alter the way colleges, universities and K-12 schools handle sexual assault and harassment allegations.
The past few months have been a groundbreaking time for survivor voices. Sexual assault is being recognized and addressed in places that it never has before, and we are starting to see change happen. However, while most of us aren’t closely involved with Hollywood, politics or media, there are common, public spheres where sexual assault is rampant and needs to be addressed: concerts and music festivals.
Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos addressed a crowd at George Mason University about Title IX. While no particular policy changes were announced during her speech, DeVos did announce that “the era of rule by letter is over”, referring to the Dear Colleague letter of 2011, a document released by the Office for Civil Rights that has since been used as a survivor-centered guideline of initial reform for universities dealing with sexual assault cases. The letter is a reminder to those involved in sexual assault investigations that Title IX law must be adhered to. Under this, the message was clear: take sexual violence on campus seriously. Now, according to DeVos’ speech, that message has become murky at best.
We analyzed her speech and pulled out the instances where rape culture is front and center. Some of them were frighteningly easy to miss – a testament to how embedded rape culture and victim blaming are in our daily lives. (read more)
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