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Ways to Embrace Voices for SAAM: Talking Points to Move Towards Prevention and Survivor Speaking Tips

As 2017 closed out, attention around sexual harassment and violence brought awareness to the prevalence of these issues. With SAAM 2018 right around the corner, we can harness this awareness to shift discussions towards prevention. One way we can do this is by embracing our prevention voices with the use of talking points, which are brief focused messages for a target audience. For SAAM your community members are your targeted audience. Talking points can be used in media releases, at any community event, on your agency’s social media page, and anywhere else you might be presenting. Below are some examples of talking points as inspiration for your own efforts.

1.) Recognize your community’s strength.

“Our community has strong family values. Within our families, we can discuss and model healthy relationships, open and kind communication, compromise, and respect. These skills can be used in all types of relationships and reduce the risk of sexual violence, making our families and communities even healthier and stronger.”

2.)  Provide a concrete example.

“Prevention of sexual violence is possible. Small actions matter. In our everyday lives, we can do something when we witness concerning behaviors, like shutting down a sexist joke, or offering to be a sober cab to get friends home safely.”

3.) Challenge harmful beliefs and attitudes, such as victim-blaming.

“While there are some steps a person could take to potentially reduce their risk of experiencing sexual violence, it  just means a person intending to cause harm will find someone else who didn’t take those steps. We want everyone to be safe.  A better way to truly reduce the risk is to prevent someone from causing harm in the first place. This is why it is imperative to start education on bystander intervention, consent, and healthy relationships early.’

4.) Make use of current media attention.

“With reports of sexual violence coming out every day from college campuses, to workplaces, to Hollywood, and beyond, we can clearly see how prevalent sexual violence is. We need to start addressing and changing root causes of sexual violence, such as power dynamics and cultural norms.”

Try out these talking points this SAAM, and let us know how it goes by commenting below!

You may also know some survivors who are thinking about telling their own story. MNCASA has created a document of Survivor Speaking Tips Updated who are considering sharing their own story this SAAM. This isn’t always an easy decision to make, but this resource can be a place to start and possibly guide.