On Tuesday, April 16, The Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society invites all bloggers and social media users to "change the conversation" around sexual assault. Pittsburgh is near Steubenville, OH and this is our response, our support, for the young woman attacked and all the survivors of sexual assault.
I recently co-wrote a piece with queer blogger Ian Awesome titled "Sexual Assault and Rape Culture are LGBTQ Issues" and the response has been humbling.
I invite you to join our "Day of Blogging" to ensure that queer voices are part of a changing conversation. You can find out how to get involved after the break.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Bloggers in Pittsburgh invite you to participate in a "Day of Blogging" to help change the conversation - from victim blaming to preventing rape, from "scary stranger in the dark" to the prevalence of intimate partner sexual violence, from assuming women are the only victims to a broader understanding of the impact of sexual assault in the queer community.
To participate, we ask you to create one blog post or one social media post (G+, Facebook, Instagram, etc) on this topic - from your own perspective, using your own words. We will also be using this opportunity to encourage readers to support an important community organization, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape through this CrowdRise campaign - every $5 we raise will help to change the conversation through education, counseling and training. ** This event is not sponsored by or officially connected with PAAR - this is a private fundraiser, but through Crowdrise all funds collecte will go directly to PAAR.
The data is disheartening but - hopefully - inspires you to start your own conversation.
The CDC recently released the first set of national data on the prevalence of intimate partner violence, sexual violence and stalking victimization by sexual orientation, based on 2010 data:
- Approximately one in eight lesbians (13.1 percent), nearly half of bisexual women (46.1 percent) and one in six heterosexual women (17.4 percent) have been raped in their lifetime. This translates to an estimated 214,000 lesbians, 1.5 million bisexual women and 19 million heterosexual women.
- Almost half of bisexual women (48.2 percent) and more than a quarter of heterosexual women (28.3 percent) were first raped between the ages of 11 and 17.
- Nearly half of bisexual men (47.4 percent), four in 10 gay men (40.2 percent) and one in five heterosexual men (20.8 percent) have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime. This translates to nearly 1.1 million gay men, 903,000 bisexual men, and 21.6 million heterosexual men.
Additionally, a 2009 study revealed that approximately 50 percent of transgender people experience sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
This new conversation is not limited to Pittsburgh - anyone can participate. For more information, please visit our Change the Conversation page.