As a Prevention Coordinator, I get asked a lot of questions about how we can keep violence from happening in our communities. This week, we’re sharing lots of ways YOU can contribute to sexual violence prevention! Sexual violence thrives in shame, secrecy, and denial. Sharing your thoughts & feelings about this issue can help other folks feel inspired to speak up as well. When we all make choices to do small things that push back against the forces of rape culture & oppression, they add up to make a BIG difference. We are stronger together, unified in the fight for freedom from sexual violence for all. You have the power to keep your communities safe.
Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a minute and say, “you good boo?”
Checking in on each other is so important, especially in these times of distance & isolation. The MOST common bystander intervention you’ll probably do is this! Whether you’re in person or online, it just takes a second to check-in. This lets your friends know they can talk to you if there’s something wrong. If nothing is wrong, great! Your job as a bystander is done! Doing this regularly can keep the people in your life safe.
Share a story about being a bystander on insta
Tired of scrolling through all the negativity on your social media? Share something positive! There are bystanders intervening and keeping communities safe alllll the time. Sharing or reposting a story about bystander intervention to your followers communicates your stance on violence, and may inspire someone to intervene the next time they have the opportunity. Tag us at @ampersandky and use the hashtag #RIPrapeculture!
Sidewalk chalk your driveway
Spread some joy in your neighborhood! Grab some chalk and decorate your driveway or sidewalk with anti-violence phrases, like “believe survivors!” “End Sexual Violence!” and “No one can do everything, but everyone can do SOMEthing!”
Hang up a poster at your work or school
A big part of changing the culture around sexual violence is setting new social norms. Make sure there’s something that communicates your school or work’s commitment to anti-violence!
Change your facebook photo frame
Show all of your friends and family on facebook that you stand with survivors! Change your photo frame so others can see where you stand!
Invite Ampersand to speak with your group!
At Ampersand, we loooove sharing our expertise and educating our communities about sexual violence. Ask us to talk to your sports team, office, club…anywhere you want your people to be educated about this issue! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected to the right person!
Write a blog post about why you don’t stand for violence
What connects you the issue of sexual violence? Share your thoughts with your friends & followers! Send it to us and we might feature it in our enewsletter!
Change your zoom background
Set the stage for your zoom meetings with this awesome virtual Background!
Add a note “you can talk to me” in your social media bio
For survivors or anyone who may be impacted by sexual violence, it can be hard to find support in our friend groups. Put this message in your socials bio to let your followers know you’re here for them.
Send a coworker you haven’t seen irl in a while an email asking how they are holding up
A lot of us are feeling disconnected from our usual social circles right now. Check in n your coworkers too! Just letting someone know you’re thinking about them can make a difference!
Post a facebook update about how you feel about rape culture
Wish more folks knew more about Rape Culture? We do! Make a post about the harmful norms you’ve seen to educate your followers! Learn more about rape culture by following Ampersand’s newsletter, Talk Back here.
Follow Ampersand on social media for a chance to win a *free* poster or bumper sticker from Ampersand
Liven up your home or workspace with a FREE (and beautiful!) Ampersand poster designed by local artist, Ciara LeRoy!
Ask Ampersand to mail you an end rape culture bumper sticker
Let your community know that you’re with us in the fight against rape culture with an End Rape Culture bumper sticker!
Get a tattoo in support of survivors
Take it a step further and mark up your car with anti-violence messages! Head over to Berea tattoo shop, 1st Amendment Tattoo & Body Piercing on Halloween and get a in exchange for a donation to Ampersand! Learn more here!
Take 5 minutes and free write what has kept you from stepping in in the past when someone needed you as a bystander.
Have you ever witnessed a situation where a bystander needed to step in and intervene, but you didn’t? What kept you from stepping in? Are there other ways to intervene as a bystander that would work for you?
Take a moment to think about what a realistic way to intervene when you see a situation
Bystander Intervention will only help reduce & prevent sexual violence if bystanders actually intervene in situations where it’s needed. Are you shy? Maybe directly confronting the situation isn’t comfortable for you. That’s okay! What would be something you COULD do to help keep someone safe?
Share Ampersand’s stories and posts!
Remind your followers about Ampersand & your commitment to ending sexual violence by helping to share Ampersand resources and news!
Have a conversation with your friends about alternatives to calling the police
Sometimes, involving law enforcement in bystander Intervention is not the best way to keep folks safe. What could you do instead? Talk with your friends about realistic options, like distracting from the situation, or directly intervening yourself. You can always directly intervene by calling out the person doing the harm, or offering support and help to the person being harmed.