The R Word


Rape. 

I don't have a lot of right to talk about rape.  I am not a victim or a scholar on the matter.  But I am a woman, and my safety is in danger every day as soon as I step outside.  I fear for my safety in town, on campus, at night, and even in my own home.  No matter how many pepper sprays I have (one on my keys, one next to my door, and one by my bed), I am practically powerless against a large male attacker.  

I can take endless precautions and self-defense classes, but that's not how this issue should be resolved.  The attacks need to stop.  I am sickened that a woman was raped on my campus.  I am sickened that some people do not consider rape legitimate if the victim had been drinking.  I am sickened that the institutions around me are not doing enough to protect me or my peers.  

Protection

In addition to the plethora of crimes in Santa Cruz lately, there was a brutal rape on my university's campus.  Last week the community gathered for a rally to lend support and share resources.  There was moving spoken word poetry and overwhelming supporting from male allies.  I urge everybody to take safety precautions and take care of your friends.
 
Safe in the Dark Rally

We have heard all the advice before: don't walk alone at night, don't take a drink from a stranger, don't dress a certain way, etc.  I just want you to think about your safety and the safety of your friends.  Men, we need your help too.  Look out for your friends.  Look out for your classmates.  Look out for us girls.

Support

Red

Here are a few of my favorite photos of red and love that I took today and throughout the past year.  
Happy Valentine's Day!

Spare Some Change - Santa Cruz, CA

Blind Love - Santa Cruz, CA

Guardian - Santa Cruz, CA

There is Always Love - Washington, DC

There is Always Beer - Washington, DC

V-Day - New York City, New York
Rouge - Santa Cruz, CA