Women around the world are constantly subjected to objectification and sexualization. Unlike guys, they have to endure catcalling, discrimination and a plethora of other issues on a day-to-day basis.
Then there are numerous rape cases you keep hearing about every day, along with thousands that will never see the light of day because the girl is too scared or humiliated to come out. How often do these women get the justice they deserve? These days they're coming out in large numbers to protest such crimes and demand equal treatment, and their campaigns are pretty hard-hitting.
Here are 10 sexual-assault awareness campaigns that are sure to leave you moved:
#10 "I need feminism because..."
The 'I need feminism because...' campaign was started by students in Cambridge to raise the profile of feminism and has been globally successful. Launched in April 2013, more than 700 people took part in the campaign and reached international audiences. It clocked half a million shares on Facebook and when the most striking images were collected on Tumblr, they got re-blogged over 230,000 times.
#9 30 Secrets In 30 Days Challenge
Flickr's 30 Secrets In 30 Days Challenge is pretty popular, encouraging users to come out and share a secret about themselves every day for a month. User 'bex011087' decided she'd use the platform to raise awareness about violence against women, writing out her sexual assault experiences on her body to share her personal experience as a rape victim to be a part of the Sexual Assault Awareness month.
#8 Feminist Shoots
Liora K Photography decided the most powerful way to get the message of feminism across was to write out the messages on the woman's body; a message that shouted out that it was their body, and not anyone else's to control.
Based in Tucson, Arizona, she compiled a set of pictures of everyday women with a powerful message written on their bodies, aptly calling them 'feminist shoots'.
#7 #BriefMessage Campaign
According to a report by the World Health Organization, over 35% of women have suffered some form of violence in their lifetime. Because of this, in honor of World Women's day on March 8th, artist AleXsandro Palombo decided to launch the #BriefMessage campaign.
He asked women on his social platforms to write an empowering message against violence against women on briefs and compiled the best into a photo series.
#6 Stand With Survivors
Hanna Boes was the mind behind 'Stand with Survivors' project and says she was inspired by the popular 'I am a feminist because...' campaign.
Since then, students and faculty from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia have come forward to show support to the victims of sexual assault, including a W&M athlete who came out on the wrong end of the verdict in her rape case.
#5 Project Unbreakable
21-year-old Grace Brown, a photography student at the School for Visual Arts started a brilliant project designed to give a voice to the victims of sexual assault; the twist? they're encouraged to use the words of their own attackers in protest.
The campaign, called 'Project Unbreakable' was started in October 2011 and has since empowered hundreds of victims of sexual assault to come out and express themselves.
#4 Project Unbreakable (male version)
Grace, the woman behind 'Project Unbreakable' did not want to simply stop at women though, she wanted understanding men to join her campaign as well. It included men who were survivors of sexual assault (yes, they do exist, and in surprisingly large numbers), and as expected the movement really helped people come out and speak.
#3 Surviving in Numbers
Three years after she was sexually assaulted in her car during high school, Ali Safran posted a sign on a fence that read: "Three years ago on this date, I was sexually assaulted here. Coming back to this spot still evokes nausea, but I return here to make a point. Sexual assault is preventable."
She then encouraged people on Twitter and social media to post their own stories, with her campaign receiving an overwhelming response.
The first international Slutwalk was held in Toronto, with the movement born out of a police officer's poorly-thought out words of, 'women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.' Since then, the movement has spread across the border to the US, with Chicago the city hosting the event.
The event aims to help victims find a voice and show the world that rape culture is indeed a thing, and has gone to be a raging success.
#1 Feminist Messages on Sanitary Pads
Elonë, from Karlsruhe, Germany, decided that the way to get the message of feminism across to the masses was to use period pads. Choosing International Women's Day as the perfect day to kickstart her campaign, she began taping these pads, inscribed with messages of gender equality, onto the streets.
The campaign got international attention, and it's safe to say, the message was heard.
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