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sexual assault

Health

Understand consent with the help of stick figures and a cup of tea

You'll never look at a cup of oolong the same way again.

It’s more than just tea.

In this hilarious and enlightening new animated video from Blue Seat Studios, consensual sex is explained in a way that everyone can understand.

By replacing sex with a cup of tea, this crudely drawn short offers a clear picture of what "saying yes" looks like.


The script for this video came from blogger Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess, previously reported here.

You'll never look at a cup of oolong the same way again.


This article originally appeared on 05.12.15

Family

Mom comes out to her 7-year-old as a sexual assault survivor. The discomfort was worth it.

Sometimes speaking our truth can help history from repeating itself.

Canva

Almost all the important conversations are uncomfortable

Sarah Shanley Hope's story is frighteningly common.

As a kid, she went over to her neighbor's house one day to play with her best friend. While there, her friend's older brother sexually assaulted both of them.

Hope was only 6 years old.


Being so young, she didn't know how to verbalize what happened or how to process it. She carried the pain with her for years, until she had daughters of her own.

two women hugging each otherPhoto by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

She told her own girls from the beginning, "You're in charge of your body." But at times, the message seemed to ring hollow.

Mostly, Hope recalls her older daughter, now 8, rolling her eyes, having heard the refrain so many times before: "There goes mom being overprotective, again."

But one day Hope got a call from school. A boy in the class had been caught inappropriately touching some of the girls. Her own daughter had even had a run-in with him.

"He kept hanging on me even after I said 'stop'! It was so annoying," Hope recalls her daughter saying.

Hope decided that, finally, it was time to tell her daughter her own story — her own "Me Too" moment.

"I finally said, honey, the reason I'm paying such close attention to this is that mommy had an experience when I was a kid, where someone did something to my body that wasn't OK."

"I don’t want you to feel badly inside like I did," she continued, according to her impassioned post on Medium. "I want you to know that we can always talk about the hard and confusing stuff.”

An uncomfortable but, sadly, necessary conversation. You can watch what happens next in the video below:

Why She Told Her 7-Year-Old Daughter About Her Own MeToo Story?

7 might seem like a very young age to tackle such a weighty conversation. But it might be necessary even earlier than that.

The National Center for Victims of Crime estimates that 20% of women (and 5-10% of men) recall an incident of sexual abuse as a child, with kids between 7 and 13 being the most vulnerable.

Those are horrifying statistics for any parent, so horrifying that we might wish we could be with our kids every second of the day to protect them from the horrors of the world. But we can't.

The best we can do is make sure they are aware of the danger and armed with knowledge about what to do if they need help. That includes direct talks — like the ones Hope has had with her kids — and modeling proper boundaries in our own lives.

In Hope's case, sharing her story has triggered a wave of positive change in her own community. She says several of her parent friends have called her recently for advice about how to have these conversations with their kids of all ages. And that's definitely something we need more of.

"We can’t undo the harm," Hope writes. "What we can do is choose discomfort over hiding from the pain — or worse, repeating it."


This story originally appeared on 01.26.18


This is Briana "Bree" Wiseman, a pastry chef and restaurant manager from Tennessee.


A photo of Briana "Bree" WisemanPosted by Bree Wiseman on Saturday, May 6, 2017



The 22-year-old shared a photo of her dog on Facebook next to a plate of food and it went viral — but not just because her dog is really, really cute. In the caption, Wiseman made a powerful statement about sexual assault, using her dog, and the plate of food, as a metaphor.

Wiseman wrote:

To the people that say women get raped due to the way they are dressed. This is my dog. His favorite food is steak. He is eye level with my plate. He won't get any closer because I told him no. If a dog is better behaved than you are, you need to reevaluate your life. Feel free to share, my dog is adorable.

So far, over 325,000 people have shared the post. And thousands have left comments, most of them in full support of both the message, and the dog.

Wiseman told the Huffington Post she decided to share the post to take a stand against victim-blaming, in part because of her own experiences with sexual assault. She said:

The only person to blame in a rape offense is the rapist. It was their decision to rape. People shouldn't have to worry about what they chose to wear for fear of rape. I want people to see that this is a problem, and to stand together against victim-shaming.

She continued:

If a 4-year-old pit bull understands the word no,' even though he is looking at something he wants so bad he is literally drooling, then adults should understand 'no,' no matter how the other adult is dressed... How is it that a simple-minded animal has the ability to understand better than a large part of the adult population?

Good question. Although we already knew dogs are better than people. That being said, kudos to Wiseman for speaking up, and to her dog, for being such a good boy.

This article first appeared on 04.16.19 and was orginally published by our partners at someecards.

via TechCrunch/Wikimedia Commons and MTV International/Wikimedia Commons

"That '70s Show" stars Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis.

Actor Danny Masterson, 47, best known for playing Steven Hyde on “That ‘70s Show” from 1998 to 2006, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women in the early 2000s. Throughout the trial, prosecutors argued that the Church of Scientology helped cover up the assaults—an allegation the organization denied.

The victim's dramatic, horrifying testimony revealed Masterson as a violent predator who pried women with substances before having sex with them against their will. One accuser admitted that she thought she was “going to die” while being raped by Masterson.

After Masterson was found guilty, the judge received over 50 letters asking for leniency in his sentence. Two letters came from Masterson’s “That ‘70s Show” costars, Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who are married.


In their letters, Kunis referred to his “exceptional character,” and Kutcher called him a “role model.”

“While I’m aware that the judgment has been cast as guilty on two counts of rape by force and the victims have a great desire for justice, I hope that my testament to his character is taken into consideration in sentencing,” Kutcher wrote. “I do not believe he is an ongoing harm to society and having his daughter raised without a present father would [be] a tertiary injustice in and of itself. Thank you for taking the time to read this.”

Kunis’ letter adds: “I wholeheartedly vouch for Danny Masterson’s exceptional character and the tremendous positive influence he has had on me and the people around him. His dedication to leading a drug-free life and the genuine care he extends to others make him an outstanding role model and friend.”

After Kutcher and Kunis’ letters went public, the couple released a video that apologized for potentially hurting Masterson’s victims. Many who watched the video thought it was cold, ingenuine and more likely to have been written by lawyers than by the couple.

Kutcher notes that the letter was “meant for a judge” and not for public consumption. One wonders if they would have written such glowing letters if they knew they would be released publicly.

“The letters were not written to question the legitimacy of the judicial system or the validity of the jury’s ruling,” Kunis says before Kutcher adds, “They were intended for the judge to read and not to undermine the testimony of the victims or re-traumatize them in any way. We would never want to do that. And we’re sorry if that has taken place.”

Finally, Kunis notes, “Our heart goes out to every single person who’s ever been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape.” It should be noted that for over a decade, Kutcher has worked to help end child sex trafficking, through a nonprofit he founded with his ex-wife, Demi Moore.

The video caused quite a stir on social media, with people critiquing them for looking like they were in a hostage video and questioning the lengths one should go to support a friend convicted of being a rapist.

One of the most critical takeaways from the public reaction to the story is how people who appear to be affable pillars of the community can have secret lives as abusers. The dual nature of these people’s personalities can make it incredibly difficult for some people to accept their insidious nature. But that mask that the abuser wears also makes it easier for them to continue to hurt others.

Masterson’s crimes are despicable and have ruined numerous lives. But if any good is to come of this, it's for the public to better understand how abusers can hide in plain sight. Just because someone has been a good friend or hasn’t shown any signs of being abusive doesn’t mean they can’t also harbor a terrible secret.