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Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021

The fourth annual Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week took place from the 1st to 7th February. Survivors and organisations came together to make noise about the reality of sexual violence and say simply that #ItsNotOk.

From challenging commonly-held myths to sharing ways we can all support survivors, here’s what we had to say:

We started the week challenging how often the choices of those who perpetrate sexual violence are constantly excused, minimised and ignored. This is not ok and needs to change. 

On day three this message was particularly important. Solidarity then, now and always with women and girls finding ways to resist, survive and find spaces to speak about the sexual violence perpetrated against them.

It is so common for women to be asked “did you say no” or “did you make it clear” and #ItsNotOk.

Sexual violence is rooted in male entitlement and inequality. It is about the perpetrator ignoring or not caring about whether someone else is consenting. It is not about whether a ‘no’ was communicated clearly enough.

On day five we challenged the sexualised racism that Black and Asian women and women and girls of colour are subjected to on a daily basis.

This video from Imkaan and the End Violence against Women Coalition shows powerfully that #ItsNotOk.

Many girls and young women tell us they feel unsafe in public spaces because of sexual violence, harassment and abuse from men.

Our prevention work addresses the root causes of sexual violence, supporting young people to recognise their rights, that sexual violence #ItsNotOk and that together we can create change.

This is a message that needs repeating everyday, until those who perpetrate sexual violence are held accountable and women and girls can live their life free from the threat and reality of sexual violence.

A different world is possible and you are not alone.

For support from Rape Crisis Live Chat Helpline including more resources and information about your local Rape Crisis Centre, please see the Rape Crisis England and Wales website.

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