Students, educators, faculty, and school support staff have a unique and important role in shifting our culture and challenging rape myths and victim-blaming. However, discussing these issues can feel overwhelming. And it can be hard to know where to begin. Below are some tips for incorporating Red My Lips at schools and colleges/universities (in order of importance). However, if you would like additional ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
The most important part of talking about these issues is making sure those who have experienced sexual assault, rape or child sexual abuse feel safe and supported. So, reach out to school counselors or a local rape crisis center and make sure students (and staff) are aware of who they can talk to if they need support.
If you are planning a presentation or group discussion, make sure to let students know ahead of time that you will be discussing sexual violence and give them alternative options if they feel uncomfortable participating. Explain that these conversations can stir up difficult feelings and let students know where they can go to talk if they feel distressed during or after a presentation or activity. If you are planning an event, it can be helpful to have a rape crisis counselor present and to let students know ahead of time that they are available for students who want to talk.
Creating a supportive environment often allows survivors to feel safe sharing what happened to them and seeking help. This is a powerful and positive side effect of having these conversations! However, it is important to research the confidentiality laws in your area. If you are a mandated reporter, make sure you understand what that involves and communicate that clearly to students ahead of time. Be prepared to provide confidential resources, particularly if you work with teenagers.
Whether you are a student or staff member, it can help to work with others who are also passionate about creating change! And remember that it’s OK to start small. Ask a group of friends or your favorite teacher to help you brainstorm ideas. Think about groups at your school or in your community that might be willing to help. This could be student groups, clubs, fraternities and sororities, sports groups, or community organizations.
There are countless ways to incorporate Red My Lips at your school, so get creative! In addition to wearing red lipstick (or an alternative) during the April campaign, students and staff can also plan an event to raise awareness and funds! (If you intend to host an event, you must first register here, so we can send you our guidelines and an event registration form.) Trouble getting started?