In a recent article Matthew Peyton wrote about a U.K. barrister’s position that conversations about accountability for rape are sanitized. She expressed the opinion that victims hold some moral responsibility for the rapes perpetrated against them. I call this victim-blaming. As such, I’ve decided to rewrite this commentary.

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mom-hugging-teen-sonYep, you heard me. Hug ‘em—especially the queer ones.

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ball-and-chainThe Walk Free Foundation recently released its very first Global Slavery Index. This report documents the prevalence of modern day slavery across 162 countries worldwide.

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Eons ago in the beginning of 2013, I wrote a blog post about the Steubenville case. I lamented that 2012 was not the end of rape, and hoped beyond hope that it would be 2013. Alas, there’s still rape. Even more frustrating is the fact that another football town failed at responding to the needs of a victim of sexual violence.

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When was the last time you asked for a raise?

[crickets chirping?]

Some of you may be snorting…or laughing…or completely dismayed by this question. You may be working at organizations that “don’t have it in the budget this year” or “have to ask staff to take a cut to keep everyone on” or, most recently, “the government shutdown will prevent your funds from being disbursed.”

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path-victim-survivor-quoteIn reflecting on the power and process of reclaiming words in an oppressive system, it only seems fitting to spend some time talking about movement-specific words and the choice to use them or avoid

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In systems of oppression, it’s common to use words to degrade or breakdown members of the oppressed group. Working to dismantle these systems may involve efforts to reclaim a word. While this has happened time and again in a variety of outlets, it seems like there is never consensus on whether or not reclaiming words is appropriate. I thought I’d spend some time presenting a few of these words and a bit about their reclamation.

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Woman-applying-makeup-mirror-imageA comment thread on the NSVRC Facebook page got me thinking. This isn’t new…our Facebook community is always making me think. Smart folks!

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The morning plenary session at the National Sexual Assault Conference erupted in a group chant that sent chills up my spine. "Si se puede!" led by speaker Dolores Huerta. The power of 1400 voices rising together, believing that ending sexual violence is possible, made the struggles, frustrations, and doubts throughout the year worthwhile.

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