How to get Involved in the Movement
By Zoe Waters
If you’re reading this, chances are you might already be involved in some way. For example, if you’ve ever posted #metoo on social media, you have been involved within the movement through sharing your story. If you’ve ever donated to an organization committed to combating sexual violence, you’ve got your foot in the door to being involved. For some, it might seem scary at first to be involved in a movement created to end sexual violence, rape culture, and more, but I promise it’s far easier than you think. Read below for five easy ways to become involved.
This one is for those who have extra money laying around and want to help an organization out. Many sexual assault advocacy agencies and organizations committed to combating sexual violence are nonprofit, and thrive on donations to get anything done. Donating to places such as Project Consent, NSVRC, RAINN, or even your local sexual assault agency can make a world of change.
If you are someone who may not have a lot of money, but has free time to fill, volunteering may be a good way to get involved. This might be a good time to reach out ot your local sexual assault advocacy agency. Some agencies may let you become an advocate yourself through some training, however this is not something for everyone as it may be draining and triggering at times, especially for those who have experiences sexual violence previously. If you are not someone who thinks that becoming an advocate would be a good fit, it can still be good to reach out and ask to help with other things such as tabling during events or spreading the word.
CREATE AN EVENT OR FUNDRAISER
If donating or volunteering are not your style, or even if they are not feasible, reaching out to others and creating your own event is a different way to get involved. Platforms such as GoFundMe or Facebook allow you to reach out to friends and family members to raise money. This money can then go to an organization of your choosing to further care for survivors. If you can snag an event space, creating an event like a silent raffle, or a benefit dinner can be a great way to get people together to talk about sexual violence and how to stop it. Allowing businesses to donate baskets or items to be raffled can bring awareness to not only the businesses, but also to the event theme. If you can get enough people involved and have space for a 5K, this can be a good way to get people outside and working together towards a common goal of ending sexual violence as a whole.
ATTEND EVENTS AND FUNDRAISERS
Even if you are unable to create an event or fundraiser, this does not stop you from attending events that support advocacy agencies or nonprofit organizations committed to providing care to survivors or ending sexual violence. Facebook is a good way to be notified of events near you, but reaching out to agencies around you can be a good way to check in with what is going on around you.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Sharing your story has become easier recently in light of the #metoo and #timesup movements, but they don’t have to end in Hollywood. Sharing your story can bring a personal connection to the movement. This may be difficult for some, so know that it may take some time and support to be able to share your story. While sharing your story can be done during events or on social media, it is important to remember that even simply sharing your story to friends and family can make a change.
If, even after this list, you’re not sure where to begin, reach out to friends and form a group to volunteer, create an event, or even share your stories together. Remembering to practice self care to avoid burnout can be the thing that saves you from making a movement into a moment. Picking one thing may lead to another: attending events may lead you to creating events, volunteering may lead you to creating fundraisers, and so on. It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t need to be a nosedive into creating change - it’s difficult work, and taking things on as you are mentally and physically able to saves from burnout. Being involved isn’t as daunting as it seems, and hopefully these five steps help you to get involved with ending rape culture and sexual violence.