Wednesday, April 17, 2013
What is Consent?
In the general sense of the word consent is:
con·sent [ kən sént ]
1. give permission: to give formal permission for something to happen
2. agree: to agree to do something
3. permission for something: acceptance of or agreement to something proposed or desired by another
Consent-in terms of physical contact- can be a difficult topic to talk about and it can also be hard for some people to understand. The most basic principle of consent is everyone has control over their own body. Having a clear understanding is important in preventing sexual assault because there has to be clear acknowledgement from both parties that the act is something both want to do. This acronym sums up the elements of consent:
C Comprehension that the act is taking place
O Optional for both parties
N Negotiation with partner
S Sobriety – must have knowledge of the nature of the act
E Engagement in the act
T Talking about it/ communication – silence does not equal consent
Consent is important because it shows the respect and love in a relationship as well as respect and humanity to our peers.
Asking for consent doesn’t have to ruin the mood- it can and should be appealing. Take wedding proposals for example. Many girls dream of their wedding day and how the person they love will one day ask them for their hand in marriage. No-body dreams that the day will be just like any other day and that question will be asked in the same manner as what they want for dinner….no one wants to hear “Hey girl you wanna get married?”. Some girls might even say no to the proposal if they are not asked in a special or romantic way. When talking about consent or asking your intimate partner to go to the next level, you are asking for access to their body. This conversation should be as important as asking for their commitment in marriage. Shouldn’t we hold up the same standards as if you were asking for their hand in marriage and make the moment as special as possible?
Monday, April 15, 2013
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an annual campaign to increase the awareness and prevention of Sexual Assault in the communities across the nation. Throughout the month of April the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault continues its commitment to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual assault in Kern County through the use of special events and public education that will highlight the national start by believing campaign, which is a public awareness campaign designed to change the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities.
Finding the voice to talk about sexual assault is often very difficult and it takes a lot of courage. Do your part by opening the lines of communication with the people around you. Hope and healing start with a voice, a face, and help to break cycles of victimization. Your response when someone tells you that they have been raped is important. It is vital that we take the first step and start by believing. At the Alliance, we believe that everyone has a role in preventing sexual assault. Start by believing together we can end sexual assault!
Monday, October 29, 2012
Regardless of geographic location, one of the key elements holding relationships together is RESPECT. For many people of diverse backgrounds, it is critical for a successful relationship. The definition of RESPECT will depend on who is asked. One person might say RESPECT in a relationship is accepting and embracing each other’s needs and wants while someone else may say honesty. However, none of these interpretations of respect say that abuse is acceptable.I asked some friends about how respect looks in their relationships and all expressed a different way to show how much they care for each other.
For example, my friend Ted, who has been married for 11 years, said that for him respect is honor: by honoring his family and friends he is showing respect. Angela says that she and her new husband show mutual respect by acknowledging each other’s wants and needs, and their relationship is based on mutual respect and kindness. Nataly and Derek (girlfriend and boyfriend), explain that in their relationship respect means to acknowledge each other’s opinion and be thankful for what they do for one another.
All these people come from different backgrounds and cultures such as American, Filipino, Hispanic, Chinese, etc. Nataly says, “Both our cultures are very similar, and being respectful in a relationship in China as well as Bolivia is by being faithful and caring for the family. If a man is being faithful and provides for his family, he is respecting the relationship. If a woman is faithful and takes care of the family she is being respectful to the relationship.” Angela explains, “My husband and myself come from a variety of different cultures historically: English, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, as well as Native American for my part. But our families have lived in America for generations. We were both taught that respect is one of the key things that make a relationship work along with honesty, integrity and values”.
We can see that regardless of our culture, the language that we speak, or the color of our skin, successful relationships across the world have RESPECT in common. Regardless of which part of the world where that definition is coming from, RESPECT is acceptance and tolerance.
Friday, October 26, 2012
The reality of all life is interdependence. We need to compose our lives in such a way that we both give and receive, learning to do both with grace, seeing both as parts of a single pattern rather than as antithetical alternatives.
-Mary Catherine Bateson
Much of our focus this month for DVAM has been on what it means to GIVE respect. But, just as important is to RECOGNIZE respect when we RECEIVE it. Our everyday hero can be anyone, especially our significant others. That is why this week, Alliance wanted to challenge couples to reflect on recognizing how their partner can be their everyday hero. We asked the following couples how their significant others showed them respect and this is what they had to say:
Derek shows respect to me by holding me tight every day, especially difficult days, and by telling me he loves me, telling me I'm beautiful, even though I may not look so good.
Nataly shows respect to me by appreciating what I do for her, even the littlest things.
Nataly and Derek
I think [Matt] shows me respect by giving me space and support to fulfill my own goals, without pressure or guilt.
[Daniela] shows me respect by understanding who I am and always letting me be myself.
Daniela and Matt
My husband shows me respect by allowing me to be my own person and showing me he loves me regardless of any faults or flaws.
My wife shows me respect by giving me the right to be a man, my wife is wonderfully unique. I don't compare her to my mom.
Rocio and Adam
Terri shows me respect by listening long enough to “hear me,” and by being attentive to my needs.
Sabrina respects me by treating me exactly how I expected someone to treat my mother: a cup of love, a cup of kindness and a dash of sarcasm.
Sabrina and Terri
DJ shows respect to me by being a trustworthy man and by always keeping his word and commitments.
Angela shows respect to me by always being there for me and accepting me for what I am, even when I don’t do it for myself, and by always making me see the better parts of me.
Angela and DJ
Respect in our relationship consists of us loving, encouraging and communicating with one another. The issue is twofold, not only to maintain a balanced relationship but especially so our daughter understands what a healthy relationship is like.
Patricia and Daniel
Kabir shows respect by listening to me even when we are both angry, by trying to understand how I am feeling, and truly believing in me and my ideas/passions.
Carla shows respect by listening to me and my ideas with full attention, by comforting me while I am angry and understanding/knowing our limits.
Carla and Kabir
My husband shows me respect by supporting my goals and helping me fulfill them.
[Ofelia] shows me respect by speaking to me kindly when we disagree.
Ofelia and Jose
Eddie and I show respect to each other by sharing more than just a life together.
Alma and Eddie
Barb - Respect is the universal language that lifts the spirit and warms the heart.
Rand - Respect manifests itself in the little things we say and do
Barbara and Rand
So, this week: we challenge you all to reflect on who your respect heroes are. This could be your significant other, a sibling, a friend. As always, it doesn’t matter who it is, as long as RESPECT is present.
Share with us: Who were your respect heroes this week?