One of the most common misconceptions about sexual violence is the belief that it is provoked by sexual attraction or desire. This rape myth often leads people to blame victims based on how they looked, what they were wearing, how much makeup they had on, if they flirted with their attacker, etc. Since it is historically connected with sexuality and attraction, red lipstick seems a fitting weapon with which to combat these damaging myths.
Additionally, sexual violence is frequently an invisible issue, as the stigma and shame associated with these acts leave many victims suffering in silence. Red lipstick is highly ACCESSIBLE, VISIBLE, and (as it is worn on the lips) encourages wearers to be SEEN…and HEARD. As a result, it gives us an easy way to begin important conversations with people in our lives, while demonstrating solidarity and support for all those affected.
People of all ages and genders can experience sexual violence, not just women. The red lipstick in this campaign is not a symbol of women as victims. Instead, we use red lipstick as a weapon and a tool to create visibility and combat the damaging myths and victim-blaming attitudes that lead many survivors (from all walks of life) to suffer in silence. This is not a "women's issue," it is a human issue. To learn more about how and why it's so important for men to get involved, click here.
Unless you wear red lipstick on a daily basis, sporting such a bold color for an entire month will very likely cause people to take notice. However, it's true that people will not automatically know why you're wearing it. So, we encourage participants to TALK,TALK, TALK!!! Let your friends and family know what you are doing and why this cause is important to you. Maybe even get a group together for encouragement and support during the month. If a cashier or coworker remarks, "I love your lipstick!" you can say, "Thanks. I'm wearing it for a cause!" Then you have a great opportunity to talk about the campaign and why you're participating.
If this feels too vulnerable, you can also post RML photos and updates throughout the month on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter…blog about your experience…or even create a video! See 'Warriors' page for examples.
No. Wearing red lipstick in April is a way to demonstrate solidarity and support for those who have been victimized, silenced, and shamed. It is to show survivors that they are cared for and are not alone. It is also a way for participants to challenge rape myths and disrupt the silence that allows sexual predators to perpetrate these crimes without consequence. It is a way for us to stand together and make it clear that victims are NEVER responsible for sexual violence. Ever.
Absolutely! While we have found that supporters who rarely or never wear lipstick tend to have some of the most powerful experiences participating, we understand that doing so is not comfortable for everyone.
Supporters are encouraged to get creative. In previous years, Warriors have come up with some fantastic ways to incorporate red lips or lip prints to create visibility, demonstrate solidarity, and get people talking about the cause. To check out some examples, click here.
Red My Lips temporary tattoos are also great as an alternative or addition to lipstick. Check out our online store to purchase yours today!
Yes! If you plan to host a Red My Lips event or fundraiser, click here to get started.
Supporters are encouraged to share the logo on social media or print flyers to help spread the word. If you do, make sure to include our website: www.redmylips.org or the link to our Facebook page. If you want to draw the logo on your body, on a shirt for yourself, or as an art project to create visibility, please do. And we would love to see how they turn out! However, no individuals, companies, or organizations may produce or sell merchandise with the logo. This includes but is not limited to: buttons, pins, shirts, hats, bags, bumper stickers, cosmetics, etc.
Yes! Warriors can now fundraise to support local organizations that align with our mission and values. These can include: rape crisis centers, primary prevention programs, survivor support initiatives, art installations, etc. We also encourage those fundraising to consider supporting survivor-led organizations and ones that empower survivors of different ages and genders.
Red My Lips was started by a rape survivor following her re-traumatizing experience with the court system. Learn more here.
Red My Lips is currently run by our small but dedicated board of directors.
As Red My Lips grew and evolved, restructuring the organization made it easier for supporters to participate and create real change in their lives and communities. Reducing our size and expenses allowed us to refocus the April campaign on raising awareness, sparking important conversations, and empowering our global warriors to support local organizations doing important work.
Money raised has enabled us to develop and grow Red My Lips, while also supporting organizations that align with our mission. You can learn more about our supported organizations here.
Aren't you sweet! One way to support our work is to check out our online store. All purchases not only keep us running, but allow us to continue to give back. You can also still make a direct donation here. However, please be aware that, due to organizational changes, donations are no longer tax-deductible.
'Sexual violence' is a term that describes a wide range of behaviors including, but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. Learn more here.
If someone you love has experienced sexual assault, abuse, or rape (whether recently or many years ago) it is important to let them know that you are there for them. Check out the New York Times article How to Support a Friend or Loved One Who Has Been Sexually Abused and our Survivor Support page for ideas and resources.
If you have experienced sexual assault, abuse, or rape, it is important to know that - no matter the circumstances - what happened was NOT your fault and there is help out there. To get started, check out our Survivor Support page https://www.redmylips.org/.