National March against Rape Culture

Over the last decade, social activism has been on the rise. People from all walks of life continue to gather, organize, and protest against injustices and oppression. From grassroots activism to letter writing and petitions; from direct lobbying to litigation; from consumer boycotts to economic sanctions; from public demonstrations to civic disobedience – activism in the 21st Century is varied and extensive.

Social equity issues happen all around, broadly, territorially, locally, and within social groups. These issues are an aftereffect of unequal riches and asset appropriation, out of line treatment of people with contrasting race, sexual introduction, etc. They can be assembled into two classes: Inter-Social Treatment and Unequal Government Regulation. Inter- Social Treatment is the treatment of a distinguished group of individuals inside a neighborhood district or territory. The reason for this unequal treatment is more often than not because of an individual conviction, for example, prejudice and sexism. Then again, Unequal Government Regulation includes laws and directions that segregate a group from similar openings and assets in view of contrasts that are one of a kind to that gathering. Cases of this classification include: destitution, capital punishment, ecological rights, access to medicinal services, work laws, social liberties and access to impartial instruction.

Rape culture is one of the many social justice issues that is relevant is today’s culture. According to Time Magazine (2014), rape culture includes day to day issues that both men and women face. It is when women who step forward are addressed about what they were wearing, or asked, “Were you drinking?” or, “She wanted it.”

The growing amount of cases of rape and sexual assault is appalling. The shocking statistics associated with this issue have the ability to send shivers down one’s spine. It is concerning that the following statistics are considered cultural norms. One in five American women survive rape or attempted rape. One in every six men is abused before the age of 18. (RAINN) Every 8 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and on average 321,000 people ages 12 and older fall victim of sexual assault each year. (RAINN) 94% of women experience PTSD after being sexually assaulted, while 33% of women contemplate suicide, and 13% actually do commit suicide. (RAINN) And to add insult to injury, an analysis by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) found that97% of rapists never spend a single day in jail for their crimes. (RAINN)

The National March Against Rape Culture (NMARC) was established by understudy student activists and is planned for both survivors and allies of sexual violence. It is an empowering enabling movement that was made with the goal that anybody could be a part of ending the shame encompassing sexual assault. The March is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The Public Relations design intended for the National March Against Rape Culture will target and accomplish the expressed strategies, objectives, and goals conceived in the preparatory phases of innovative work. The objectives and goals are characterized as bringing issues to light by expanding nearness in the media and executing unique events that will enable the general public to understand more about the pandemic of Rape Culture. The March’s definitive objective is to one day put a conclusion to rape culture, particularly sexual assault.

Although the March on Washington, DC is targeting the general public, its primary target audience are allies of sexual assault survivors as well as sexual assault survivors with the goal that they will show their support, demonstrate their absence of complicity, and ultimately battle rape culture. One of the goals this march is striving to achieve is for individuals to gain a sense of belonging within the group of like-minded individuals attending it. This occasion will bring issues to light about assault and the effects of it on society as a whole. It is an amazing event that gives the general public a chance to find out about the many issues identified with assault culture – a culture where sexual violence is acknowledged as a piece of regular daily existence – and what is being done to end it. This National March Against Rape Culture is a strong and enabling opportunity for all survivors of assault to stand up and let their voices be heard. The March will host guest speakers, most of which are younger survivors of sexual assault and the family members or allies of these survivors. It is also a place for survivors and their backers to interface with a wide assortment of nearby activists.

According to Cindy Xu, a Social Media Lab Research Assistant at Cornell University, utilizing web-based social networking is a powerful apparatus utilized with social equity issues. Her May 18, 2017 article “Going Viral: Using Social Media for Activism” characterizes what it means for a point to “become famous online”. She clarifies how in the present online networking driven world, certain sorts of content can spread like an infection, while instilling different clients with strong feelings when they see it, provoking them to keep sharing the content. Essentially, the more feeling that content brings out in the individuals, the more of a chance it has to end up viral. Rape culture surely qualifies as feeling summoning, so having its own site, Facebook page, Twitter account and hashtag, Eventbrite, and GoFundMe page, National March Against Rape Culture demonstrates a key and powerful approach to advance the march, achieve a more extensive target audience, and increase participation. The March coordinators have additionally given data on forming a Solidarity walk in different parts of the nation, the timetable of occasions for that day beginning with introductory statements at 9:00 am, and the course, which begins at Farragut Square and closures at Union Square in D.C. Also, the March coordinators have secured the help of national associations that share their objectives and message against rape culture and have promoted and given data with respect to the April 21st march on their sites and online networking pages. The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence; the National Sexual Violence Resource Center; and the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) are only a couple of the broadly perceived associations supporting and giving information on the up and coming march. These events have the opportunity to introduce the audience to new ideas and information. The National March Against Rape Culture can be seen as a type of News Conference because the march’s goal is to inform and persuade the audience to stand against rape culture.

Another effective strategy for promoting the event is scheduling it in April, since it has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAM). Because more attention and awareness will be given to sexual assault during this month, NMARC has the opportunity to gain more attention and participation for the march. The theme for the 2018 campaign is “Embrace Your Voice!” The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) believes that our words shape the world around us, and thus how we talk about sexual violence matters. Therefore, the goal is to engage individuals and communities to use their voice to make a true impact and become an agent of change. One tactic used by NSVRC is the release of easy-to-share resources focusing on how everyone can embrace their voice to create a safer, more accepting world. Other tactics include providing printable posters, coloring pages, sharable social media graphics, and a SAAM t-shirt specific to this year’s campaign.

As previously stated, social media is a powerful tool in rapidly spreading information. Web-based social networking platforms, for example, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook all have had their impact in rapidly conveying to the consideration of millions an essential social campaign by putting the content on their sites, trending pages, and hashtags. They’ve conveyed these themes to the consideration of countless individuals and have been shared an unending amount of times. As of May 2013, over 500 million photos have been shared via social media each day and with more than 2 billion worldwide Internet users, there is a tremendous growth in social media networks. (START) Sharing photos on social media networks such as Facebook and Instagram is an important determinant in whether a campaign is successful or not and can be an effective and simple tool when growing a campaign because anyone can access social media, keyword and location searches make it easy for people to discover the photos being shared about a campaign or an event and all main social media sites have a photo sharing service that can make it easy for individuals to share their posts to their like-minded friends who will be likely to at least look for more information regarding the event or campaign. Campaigns, for example, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, #LikeAGirl, #BlackLivesMatter, #NoMore and #MeToo, all fill in as cases of social activism campaigns that have increased in public attention.

The National March Against Rape Culture has the capability of increasing comparable national consideration since it shares similar attributes that added to their success. For instance, the March is close to home for many individuals – members have either experienced assault or sexual assault directly or know somebody who has; it is interactive – members can tag and post on social media while physically marching; it influences members to feel better about themselves – participation encourages a positive feeling by helping other people; it is bolstered by credible associations that are recognized nationally; and it is basic – meaning everybody can wear teal-colored garments (the color assigned for SAAM) and join the march.

The phenomenon of the hashtag was first utilized on Twitter over a decade ago. (Hitchings-Hales and Calderwood 2017) It has helped handle worldwide campaigns to bring issues to light of sexism, inequality, sexual abuse, and strife. “Hashtag activism encourages brisk reaction to imperative events with only a couple of tweets, Facebook posts and instant messages. For dissent coordinators, online networking is a quick and simple approach to make the platform, and that makes it simpler for individuals to gather.” (Jamarillo 2017) The National March Against Rape Culture is grasping the hashtag activism by using the hashtags, #NMARC2018 and #SAAM which are trending on social networking sites such as Twitter.

According to Meg Cale, “There are numerous reasons why social activists are concentrating on advanced media to spread their message, yet the primary reason is that it separates the conventional obstructions to activism; access, time, and money.” (Cale 2017) The Internet is making the world more interconnected. It can likewise simplify the research procedure; simply composing a couple of keywords into Google and an extensive number of results fly up inside seconds. A standout amongst other things is that digital media improves activism by showing social causes to individuals who aren’t actually searching for it. Also, not every person has room in their busy schedules to take part in traditional activism. Supporters can frequently contribute online considerably simpler than when disconnected. For instance, sharing a news article on Facebook can grab the attention of many individuals. Because of lower time duties, a significantly larger amount of supporters can be pulled in while empowering an high state of engagement from individuals who don’t think about themselves as activists. The National March Against Rape Culture is an ideal case of utilizing online networking to shed light on rape culture. Supporters can donate directly to the event’s home page; they may share information on the event on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks; can take part in a one-day event that includes a low level of effort; and can focus on bringing attention to a specific cause.

Social justice campaigns, like the National March Against Rape Culture, are the tools currently being used by activists to tell their story and bring about social awareness and possible change. Their ultimate goal is to cause the effect by engaging thousands of like-minded individuals in the fight for an unprejudiced and unbiased world in which to live. They are a forum for fairer laws, affordable healthcare, driver safety, drug free/tobacco free children, child labor laws, and even sexual abuse. The campaigns are diverse, covering a range of issue areas ??“ from education to the environment to social justice. They empower citizens, protect the environment, and advocate for women and girls across the world. Many are even gaining national attention through the support of media celebrities.

To improve on the goal of reaching a larger audience, NMARC can develop a news release to send to News Stations and Talk Shows such as ABC and Ellen as well as a Social Media News release and Video News Releases. An effective strategy that would make the campaign more effective is the use of celebrities as spokespersons which would grab the attention of the media. NMARC can also create a free app that gives exclusive information about future events and shares places to go, such as support groups or professionals to see if you or someone you know is affected by sexual assault. I look forward to reading about its impact on the issue of rape culture in future legislation.

Regardless of how we feel about social justice campaigns, they are here to stay. Activists must take full advantage of the opportunities they provide and be strategic about how to call attention to their cause. I believe the National March Against Rape Culture is a perfect example of an effective social justice campaign. While taking strides to one day achieve its goal of putting an end to rape culture, The March does achieve its goals of bringing awareness to the issue of rape culture, specifically sexual assault, connecting assault survivors and their allies to like-minded individuals and giving those involved a sense of community and safety. NMARC has already raised over $100 through their GoFundMe page, has over 100 followers on Twitter, 988 people expressed their interest in the March through the NMARC Facebook Event, 142 people liked the NMARC Facebook page and 145 people followed the page. This information can be found on the NMARC GoFundMe page, Facebook Page, and Twitter Page. The March has also added to the increased amount of awareness surrounding rape culture, specifically sexual assault. With posts shared to the personal social media accounts of the individuals who attended or supported the March, especially those that used the hashtags used by NMARC, the NMARC gained attention which in turn provided more awareness to the social issue of rape culture.

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