There has been a lot of online movement recently in regards to violence against women. The latest one being red lips, which are now seen as a symbol of solidarity between victims of sexual assault and their allies. It is also a bold statement against blaming rape victims for their lifestyle choices. April was 2015’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the #RedMyLips campaign asked participants to share their support by slapping on their reddest lipstick and splashing it all over social media.
The #RedMyLips campaign was a real success. There were more than 28,951 posts with the hashtag on Instagram, thousands more on Twitter and Facebook.
Unfortunately, all this started with one woman who didn't have a voice.
The movement's founder, Danielle Tansino, was 29 in 2011, when she said she was sexually assaulted during a night out with people she thought were friends. She said prosecutors dropped the case because, as one district attorney told her, "jurors don't like girls that drink."
Tansino was angry. And she armed herself with lipstick.
According to her fundraising page:
"One of the most pervasive myths about sexual violence is that it is provoked by attraction or desire. Connected with this, victims are often blamed, shamed, and forced to suffer in silence.
Given its connection with vibrant sexuality and attraction, red lipstick seems a fitting weapon with which to combat these damaging myths and victim-blaming attitudes. It gives supporters an easy (and safe) way to stand together and make the bold statement that victims are NEVER responsible for sexual violence. EVER."
It’s terrible that victims are still being blamed for their actions, with some suggesting that it is the victim's fault as they put themselves at risk.
More recently a judge in a separate case made controversial comments regarding the actions of Karen Buckley just days after her body was found. Judge Cadbury, sparked outrage after he said Karen Buckley "put herself in a vulnerable position" by drinking with friends. The judge was speaking as he sentenced another woman, for assaulting a woman outside a bar.
Cadbury, said he found it "very, very worrying" that young women drank so much that they could not remember who they were with. He even went on to compare the situation to the death of student Miss Buckley, even though there is no suggestion she was drunk on the night she was killed.
"One only has to think about the horrible situation in Glasgow to see how serious this could have been. It's very, very worrying how young girls put themselves in such very, very vulnerable positions."
Personally, I find it outrageous that there is even the suggestion that women are at fault. To me this suggests double standards and that men take no part in being responsible for their own actions. I really hoped that by 2015 societies and cultures had moved on from these views.
The #RedMyLips movement however is nowhere near being finished. Tansino has said that she welcomes supporters to still wear red lipstick and support the cause by donating, fundraising, or spreading the word on social media so that all victims get a chance to be heard.
Nina is in her Honours year at The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow studying History. She loves keeping fit and healthy at the gym and singing to her hearts content. Because of Nina's love of all things history related, she has a passion for reading, writing and researching. Nina is the Editor-in-Chief for an online magazine for female students at Strathclyde called Her Campus Strath and wants to continue her passion for writing after graduation.