Last month, I had the honor and privilege of delivering a talk at TEDxBeaconStreet on engaging in uncomfortable conversations about sexual violence. The talk reflects my experience interviewing and surveying hundreds of men about how sexual violence shows up in their lives. As a writer, board member of a local rape crisis center, and survivor of sexual violence, I learned so much through these conversations – and the many conversations I’ve had over the course of my life.
I’ve also learned that it’s possible to adopt a mindset that helps transform stigmatized and judgmental conversations about sexual violence to conversations that promote healing and change.
I’m eager to share what I’ve learned with those who need to hear it, which is why I’m launching new work to spark 100,000 conversations about sexual violence. Sparking simple, high-empathy conversations about sexual violence can be transformative by creating a culture that allows survivors to heal and that makes it more difficult for perpetrators to hide. By working against the shame/blame culture that allows sexual violence to take place, it’s possible to both engage men in new ways and support male and female survivors alike.
So how can you help? It’s simple really.
- Watch the talk. Each view will count towards the 100,000 goal, so get watching today.
- Share it on social media. The talk offer practical guidance and insight into what makes conversations about sexual violence uncomfortable, and how to navigate that discomfort and show up for survivors. You never know who in your life might be seeking help and support for themselves or someone they love.
- Host an online viewing party. Starting in January, you can join one of the online viewing parties with your friends – or host your own. It’s simple: gather a group together, watch the talk, and then chime in for a post-talk discussion on Facebook Live. Sign up for one here on my site and invite your friends to join too.
There are other ways to help bring this conversation to those who need to have it. If your campus or organization is looking for a practical, non-judgmental approach to addressing this issue, please reach out. Or volunteer to help me with my efforts to reach 100,000 people.
Together, we can engage 100,000 men in conversations about sexual violence, making the world a more supportive place for survivors and making it harder for perpetrators to hide among us.