Stop Rape Now: National day of action against rape culture
The Roastbusters fiasco is another explicit reminder that there are huge problems with the way our society addresses sexual violence. We demand an end to rape and all forms of sexual violence. We demand that survivors of rape and sexual violence are supported, and that those responsible for raping and sexually violating people stop their actions. We demand that this extend to actions beyond examining the police force.
On Saturday 16th of November there will be a national day of action, calling for an end to Rape Culture and to stop groups like Roastbusters from ‘getting away with it’.
The Bucket Fountain, Cuba Mall, 2.00pm, November 16th
BYO Placards, noise makers
[Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/mydnntl]
Auckland (*update below)
Queen Street, 12:30pm, November 16th
[Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/l4843bh]
Bridge of Remembrance, 12pm, November 16th
[Facebook event: http://tinyurl.com/mydnntl]
This is an important demo and in the light of recent events, it is important that as many of the public as possible attend the demos.
It is also a good time for people to inform themselves of the relevant issues.
This article by journalist Anne Russell provides significant background to the issues: ‘Roastbusters, rape culture and the problem of criminality‘. It begins:
Trigger warning: rape, discussion of victim-blaming.
It is, unfortunately, a truism that the older you get, the more of your friends have been raped. Although popular narratives suggest that rape victims are easy to identify, many of these friends will never be known to you. It takes time for the victim to process what has happened, get past the frequent self-blaming and start their healing process. If they then tell someone, by this time the bruise marks have often faded, if there were any to begin with, and admissible legal evidence is sketchy. Even when rape victims actually want their rapists to go to jail, many are put off going to the police by the victim-blaming and retraumatisation that frequently happens during questioning, with only a slim chance of a conviction.
Too often rape prevention is understood as catching criminals after the act, rather than preventing trauma from being set in motion.
It’s possible that the Roastbusters affair could be a watershed moment in New Zealand’s rape culture politics. The anger around the country is widespread and palpable; protest actions against rape culture have been organised in Wellington, Auckland, and Christchurch. Many are refusing to treat rape as a nasty but inevitable part of living in human society. The dismantling of rape culture will take time, since rape is enabled by all sorts of different institutions and social practices. But at the most basic level, the questions are: what will you do when someone you know is raped? Almost as importantly, what will you do when someone you know turns out to be a rapist, or when they display predatory characteristics? As the Who Are You ad above says, you can be the difference in how the story ends.
If you can’t be at the demos (as I unfortunately can’t) there are other ways we can contribute to action against rape culture.
Palmerston North Demo, the Square. (2pm)
Maia also says:
These events have generally been organised by individuals who know each other and want to do something using social media to reach a wider audience. People in other areas could do the same.
*Auckland – further information from Bust Rape Culture Now.
On Saturday November 16th at 2pm we will be marching from Britomart to Myers Park as part of the National Day of Action Against Rape Culture. We are calling on our communities and government to start taking rape seriously and lead initiatives that support our survivors and initiate a culture shift.
*We want rape crisis centres adequately and sustainably funded.
*We want educational programmes that focus on prevention and awareness.
*We want the police to put measures in place to allow for better support of survivors.
* We want the Law Commission report into pre-trial and trial processes for sexual assault victims to be reinstated immediately.
* We want implementation of recommendations by TOAH-NNest and Wellington Rape Crisis
Some other links:
TE OHAAKII A HINE – NATIONAL NETWORK ENDING SEXUAL VIOLENCE TOGETHER
We are a network of specialist sexual violence response and prevention services, representing members all over the country.
An overview of some of the positive initiatives arising from the news reports about the RoastBuster activities: by LadyMac on The Daily Blog.
Maia at the Hand Mirror has links to some posters for the demos.