SAAM Online Activism: Use Your Hashtag for Good

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activistforchangeThis year, you can spread awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month without ever having to leave your keyboard. Ever since the word “hashtag” made its way into Merriam-Webster dictionary, it seems we can no longer ignore the power behind the little symbol, once known as the “pound sign.” Online activism is trending now and what better way to spread awareness about sexual violence than through the power of the internet. In a world where social media is so pervasive, we invite you to participate in SAAM and use your hashtags to advocate for the end of sexual violence.

Ujpeg (2)sing the #SAAM or #SAAM2015 hashtags not only increases awareness to those who follow you, but also connects you with other activists in the movement. Take to Twitter to share the news and inspirational tweets of fellow advocates. See below for details on an Anti-Street Harassment Tweetathon on April 14, where you can be a part of a global event, 140 characters at a time.

InstagramOf course, Twitter isn’t the only outlet to paint the town teal. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is challenging Instagram users to a #30DaysOfSAAM Instagram contest. Follow them on Instagram @nsvrc to see each week’s challenge posted. Below is an image of the challenge for week one of SAAM. Good luck!

#30DAYSOFSAAM Instagram Contest

jpeg (1) Another way to stay involved is through our Facebook page. There you can find links to events, related articles, photos, and news from the Center during #SAAM2015. Invite your friends to like our page. Be sure to RSVP to the different events we’re hosting this month and invite your friends to those events as well.

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Lessons from the #EndRapeNC Tweet Up

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If you missed our #EndRapeNC Twitter discussion, here are five points that came up during our discussion! Be sure to follow us on Twitter @OCRCC to stay in the loop for future conversations!

1. People of color face very different circumstances when it comes to reporting and getting services, especially when they are undocumented.

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Paint the Town Teal for SAAM!

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April is SAAMWelcome to SAAM 2014! We’re excited for another month of awesome awareness-raising events and projects. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate ourselves on how to prevent it. By working together, we can make a difference in our mission to stop sexual violence and its impact. Join us in our advocacy efforts, and don’t forget to wear your teal!

Aside from the many awesome events we have planned — cupcakes, anyone? — there are also a few projects you can join in on from the comfort of your couch or while on the go. So whether you’re in your jammies with a laptop or out-and-about with your smartphone, check out how you can get involved…

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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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(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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Another Man Standing Against Sexual Violence

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Reuben picDespite supporting survivors, working against rape culture, and participating in the local feminist community for years, I had never really thought of myself as an activist or even as someone really worthy of speaking out. I felt unsure of myself, and didn’t want to be a know-it-all white guy speaking up just to feel important. But this sense of myself has recently begun to change.

I was moved last November after reading about Jen Kirkman, a comedian profiled on Jezebel who went on a Twitter strike until there was more public support from men about online harassment of women. She created the site MA’AM: Men Aligned Against Misogyny to give men a space to speak out and voice their dislike for sexist behavior. Jen described her frustration with her male friends’ reluctance to publicly challenge other men’s hateful, belittling comments (such as: “shut up, jen, you’re a bummer, go back to being hot or maybe funny for once in your life”), instead sending her private messages to voice their discontent. However, as the article’s author asserts, “Private assurances of support don’t cut it anymore. It’s time for the dudes to step up, speak out, and call out the creepers and the critics who’ve made the web such a uniquely hostile environment for women who dare to be smart, to be political, to be funny.”

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