It’s Giving Tuesday!

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#GivingTuesdayNow that we’re past Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, it’s time for… Giving Tuesday!

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back.  On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company, or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.

Here’s a few ways you can support the Center this holiday season:

  • Donate to our Year-End Campaign! From now until the end of 2013, your gift of $100 or more will be matched (up to $2,100).
  • Join us for our 26th Annual Holiday Auction on Sunday, December 8! We’ll have keynote speaker Frank Stasio from WUNC’s The State of Things, live music from Morning Brigade, awesome items in our silent and live auctions, delicious sweets in our signature dessert auction, and more!
  • Enter our drawing to win A Night on the Town: drinks at The Crunkleton, dinner at Lantern, and a night at The Carolina Inn. Tickets are only $5 each, and 100% of proceeds benefit the Center.
  • Visit Twig through December 5th. Mention the Orange County Rape Crisis Center at checkout to donate 20% of your purchase.
  • Donate your used cell phones and other items on our wishlist.

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Thank you so much for your generosity! Your gift makes a safer community for us all.


One Line: Consent

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Despite what Robin Thicke has to say, we know that there’s only one line: consent.

Consent is the voluntary, informed, mutual, honest, and verbal agreement exchanged amongst individuals. The only way to know if another individual has given consent is if they explicitly say so. Consent cannot be given if coercion, manipulation, threats, intimidation, pressure, or alcohol or drugs have been involved. Asking for and obtaining consent shows that you have respect for both yourself and your partner.

Speaking of consent, come out to Local 506 on Saturday, November 22, for ONE LINE: Consent Dance Party. We’ll celebrate consent at a fun dance party with Lady DJs Fifi Hi-Hi, Playplay, and Queen Plz.

And in other consent-themed news, check out this awesome campaign from UNC students, Sex Equality Consent. They asked students what consent means and why it matters. Here are a few answers! Check out their Facebook page for more.

Consent, Liz

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Transgender Awareness Week

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Transgender Awareness Week 2013For many, November marks the time of the year to be thankful for everyone and everything we hold near and dear to us. In the trans*gender community and its allies, the end of November signifies more than that. This November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that memorializes those who have been killed because of anti-trans violence.

Anti-trans violence is very real and its numbers are extremely disturbing. In 2012, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported 25 hate-related homicides against the LGBTQ community in the United States. Of that 25, more than half of the victims were trans women of color, which is a shocking 40% increase of violence against trans women since 2011.  The transgender community faces particularly high rates of public discrimination as well, including unemployment; extreme poverty; harassment in schools, jobs, and on streets; and higher rates of physical and sexual assault.

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Enter to Win a Night on the Town!

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Win a Night on the Town

Enter to win…

A Night on the Town

– Drinks at The Crunkleton
– Dinner for Two at Lantern
– A night at The Carolina Inn

Use all 3 certificates for one awesome night, or use them separately to make the fun last. You could even give someone you love an awesome holiday gift!

How to Enter:

Purchase tickets here. Increase your chances: Buy 5, get 1 free! Buy 10, get 4 free!

Earn TWO Free Entries!

The Center has joined Pinterest! One of the web’s fastest-growing social media platforms, we’re excited to share and connect with you in a new way.

Until November 30, follow us on Pinterest and get a chance to win a Night on the Town! Share our Night on the Town pin (the picture on this post) and earn an additional entry!

How does it work?

  1. Follow us on Pinterest. (+1)
  2. Share our Night on the Town pin. (+1)
  3. Complete this Google form.

That’s it! You get one free entry for following us on Pinterest and one additional entry if you share our pin. The Google form must be completed and submitted by November 30. Good luck!

Join Us at Our 26th Annual Holiday Auction!

We will announce the winner of the Night on the Town drawing prize at our Holiday Auction on Sunday, December 8, at 5pm, at the Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel. Though you don’t have to be present to win, we would love for you to join us! We’ll have keynote speaker Frank Stasio from WUNC’s The State of Things, live music from Morning Brigade, awesome items in our silent and live auctions, delicious sweets in our signature dessert auction, and more! Find out more and purchase tickets at ocrcc.org/auction. We’ll see you there!


LSC Maria Morales Levy Receives Community Pride Award

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Photo by Univision Television Group

The Center is proud to share that Latino Services Coordinator Maria Morales Levy was presented with the Community Pride Award from Univision North Carolina on October 30, 2013. Maria was bestowed this honor for her dedication to improving the well-being of the North Carolina Hispanic community. The award, given annually to a select few individuals, recognizes Maria for her hard work and commitment to serving Latino/a survivors of sexual violence in her provision of crisis intervention services, support groups, parent education programs, and child sexual abuse prevention programs.

Maria said, “Today, I received the highest honor conferred to me because it comes from the people, by the people – from the community.” Maria also noted that she “…receives this honor moved and with much love and humility.”

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Happy Consensual Halloween!

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Costumes Are Not ConsentCarved pumpkins line walkways, candy corn is everywhere, and fake cobwebs are hanging from my neighbor’s porch: it’s almost Halloween. We’ve already posted about the difficulty of finding a women’s costume that isn’t restricted to a “Sexy [Noun].” Hopefully you’ve settled on a costume that makes you feel great, whether that means channeling Diana Ross or Darth Vader. Halloween is a holiday when you can try out a different identity, play around with your appearance, and have fun being someone else. However, it’s important to remember that all the rules on consent and sexual harassment don’t change just because it’s October 31.

Slut-shaming and victim-blaming are two tactics often used to excuse people who commit sexual assaults, especially when alcohol is involved. Myths about rape perpetuate the idea that sexual assault survivors are responsible for their own assaults because they were dressed in a “sexy” way, because they drank alcohol, or because they didn’t fight back. This victim-blaming can be exacerbated on a night where women are not only encouraged but expected to be scantily clad. In a society in which one in four college women are raped, a “Sexy Nurse” costume should not be used as an excuse for sexual assault.

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October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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DVAMAs the leaves begin to change, sweaters come out, and warm beverages become the norm, make sure to remember National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Whether your discussion is over a pumpkin spice latte or while raking leaves, it is up to our network of allies, survivors, and advocates to raise awareness of interpersonal violence. It’s important that we talk about the wider implications of violence, prevention mechanisms, and how to be effective allies.

Initially created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1981, DVAM is an opportunity to unite survivors, advocates, and community members. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines intimate partner abuse as “physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy.” Moreover, the Department of Justice notes that domestic violence, the pattern of abusive behavior “used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner,” extends to physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological abuse.

The Facts

From the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:

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(How) Can We Talk About Rape?

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The fabric holding this nation together wears away with each passing second. What used to be the thread of principle is now replaced by consumption and consumerism.

Such claims are not foreign to Dr. Kumi Silva, Assistant Professor of Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. These statements were the topics of UNC’s roundtable discussion, (How) Can We Talk About Rape?. Silva argued that consumerism and consumption allow society to thrive on a relative culture. Relativity hinders our ability to recognize the current state of rape discourse – which says that strides have been made, but fails to recognize that there are more to be made. Women and their sexual autonomy have progressed; yet, language and actions continue to reinstall their marginality in today’s media. Silva presented several advertisements from the last decade to illustrate her point. Each of these advertisements serves as a reminder that sexual violence is as prevalent in today’s media as it has been in the past and that these depictions are casually accepted as much today as they were back then.

So, how is this possible? Dr. Barbara Friedman, Associate Professor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, suggests the news plays a large role in sustaining the relative culture.

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“Mommy, What’s Rape?”

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"What's Rape?" How to Answer This Tough QuestionWhether your child hears the word rape in the news, reads it on the internet, or sees it on one of our materials, there are age-appropriate ways to talk to your child when he or she asks about it.

However, even before this comes up in conversation, there are a few things parents can put into practice with children and teens that will help set the stage for this discussion.

1. We want kids to know that their private parts are for them and off limits to others, but we also want them to know what they are and be comfortable talking about them. Using the anatomically correct terms of vagina, vulva, and penis can promote positive body image, self-confidence, and parent-child communication. Conversely, using euphemisms to describe private parts can promote the ideas of shame, discomfort, and embarrassment about bodies. And in the event of inappropriate touch, being able to use anatomically correct words helps the child be specific when reporting to parents or police.
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There Is Only One Line: Consent

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After spending some time abroad, I returned home to find that Robin Thicke’s summer hit Blurred Lines was a widespread phenomenon, gracing the radio waves of top 40 stations across the nation. With a catchy tune, nice beat, and memorable lines, more than once I caught myself singing along without quite considering the words I was saying – until law students from Auckland University remade the song into a feminist anthem (warning: adult content).

Adelaide Dunn, Olivia Lubbock, and Zoe Ellwood tag-team to unveil the damage inflicted by the overtly misogynistic lines normalizing sexual advances despite “blurred lines” of consent, with self-assured men chanting, “I know you want it, but you’re a good girl.”

You Know You Want It

As reported in the New Zealand Herald article “Law Students Blur the Lines in Online Hit,” Thicke has responded to allegations of misogyny by noting “the song was about breaking taboos.” Yet Dunn, Lubbock, and Ellwood retorted that the “attitude of the whole thing came across as being quite arrogant, especially with the issue of consent.”

Project Unbreakable (from whom we’ve re-printed pictures in this blog post) is an organization founded to help sexual assault survivors in their healing process by photographing themselves with quotes taken from their abusers in order to break the silence and shame surrounding their victimization. Some of these photographs were recently published in conjunction with the University of Minnesota’s The Society Pages in an article titled “From the Mouths of Rapists: The Lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.” The parallels to Thicke’s lyrics are unmistakable. Echoing the lyrics, survivors were pictured with phrases such as, “I know you want it,” “Good Girl,” “We both know you don’t really mean it when you say no,” and “Thank you for making me feel like a Man.”

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