Is Your Cat for Consent?

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Breaking Barriers

Despite increased dialogue about pussy-grabbing and locker room talk, survivors of sexual abuse and assault are facing more fear, shame and stigma than ever before. When the world’s most powerful leaders dismiss sexual violence, or worse, perpetrate it, it can be hard for survivors to feel safe. When the media’s coverage of this issue dominates the news cycle, survivors may feel triggered or overwhelmed.

And when that happens, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) is ready, willing and able to support. Based here in Boston, BARCC provides a 24-hour hotline, medical and legal advocacy, and community education programs – all provided free of charge to Boston and 40 surrounding communities. And in times of public distress, like the two weeks after the Brock Turner verdict, calls to BARCC’s hotline increased by 76%. BARCC is there for all survivors of sexual violence and the men and women who love them.

As a survivor of sexual violence myself, and a board member of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, it feels especially important to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual violence this year during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And luckily, there is a great opportunity to do so on April 23rd at DCI Artesani Park at BARCC’s Annual Walk for Change.

The Walk for Change is a chance to walk with and for survivors of sexual violence. As a survivor, I personally can attest to the amazing and supportive community that BARCC creates in Boston, but especially at the walk. BARCC honors your journey as a survivor 100%, whether you are public or private and any stage of the healing process. The chance to walk alongside other survivors and the champions in their lives is exhilarating and energizing – or to stand up and be one of those champions yourself. So bust out your pussy hat and sign up for the She+ Geeks Out walk team. If you are so inclined, ask some friends and colleagues to support you too.

And if that weren’t enough of a reason to show up, you can bring your dog. #BarkforBARCC

Or your cat! #CatsforConsent

Every dollar raised goes to support the critical services BARCC provides to the greater Boston community. No survivor should feel alone or afraid. We all deserve to find support and solidarity, especially when times are tough. I hope you’ll join us on April 23rd!

Don’t miss a chance to get comfortable talking about sexual violence with a deep-dive session with Sarah on April 11th at the Impact Hub. RSVP here!

Sarah Beaulieu is founder of The Conversation, Inc. and a board member of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Currently a senior advisor at the GreenLight Fund, Sarah also served in leadership roles at OpportunityNation and in higher education advancement at Boston College, University of Massachusetts Foundation, and Brown University. You can view her TEDx talk and find more practical advice and guidance on conversations about sexual violence on her website and YouTube channel. Talk to Sarah on Twitter at @sarahbeaulieu.