"You gave my voice a place to be heard. You brought the sound back to my silence. Now it's no longer a silent scream but an audible, powerful, unafraid, strong voice ready to speak up for those who are where I was."
"Even though logically, I knew all of these people in my life are supportive, the visual proof of that is like no other feeling in the world. Most of them don't actually know what happened to me. But I think it means more to me that they don't know."
"Thank you for doing this & allowing survivors an alternate way of speaking up & out against this without needing it to be too vulnerable."
"I #redmylips as a reminder that the victim is NEVER at fault - a lesson I'm still trying to learn myself."
"Red My Lips is my way of showing I'm an ally. I would never force someone to talk about something they're not yet comfortable with. So, I #redmylips to let them know that they can come to me if and when they need someone."
"Red My Lips has given me a safe way to speak out, without needing to explain WHY this cause means so much to me."
We have received countless public and private messages from individuals, families, and communities who have been impacted by Red My Lips. Below are some of the powerful messages, posts, and stories that we have been given permission to share.
One way we promote affirmative consent is by seeking expressed permission before sharing supporter images or stories. For this reason, we ask all warriors to include the hashtag #ok2share on their Red My Lips posts that they would be comfortable with us sharing. If they do not include the hashtag, we always ASK FIRST and encourage others to do the same.
Below are some examples of how our incredible warriors have used their red lips to spark conversations and demonstrate solidarity and support for survivors.
TAP PHOTOS BELOW
"It's not my fault, not one time was it my fault."
I just wanted to thank you for your campaign! Those hands belong to my 4 year old. He is simultaneously the result of sexual violence in a relationship and what happens when you are too scared to say no. He is also my saviour. From the moment I held him, I was strong enough to leave because I wanted him to know better! Those belong to the gentlest soul I have ever met, hands that if I can help it will never cause the harm that I experienced.
Your campaign has been so important to me in accepting it's not my fault, not one time was it my fault.
A Message From Johannesburg Prison
On the 1st April 2015, I donned my red lipstick and headed to my weekly session with 18 juvenille offenders at a prison (correctional facility) in Johannesburg. "My Boys" of course asked what was up and we devoted the session to speaking out and standing up against sexual violence - perpetrated by any gender against any gender. Being juvenile offenders (18 - 20) many of these boys have histories of sexual violence (as perpetrators and victims) and we discussed how hard it is for males to speak up when they are raped or abused.
Myths were debunked, lengthy discussions held and my beautiful boys wanted their voices heard. They each wrote a "sign" in red marker to be shared with the world.
Their message: No means No. Real Men don't rape.
I am incredibly proud of them and their integrity. I have Tweeted and Facebooked and shared but I wanted to honour their message to provide hope to all those affected by sending this mail to your organisation as they asked.
Thank you for giving this group of 'criminals' a chance to show their love and support.
"...wearing red lipstick in the hallways has been like seeing fellow members of the same tribe."
For the past two years, North Quincy High School students and faculty have participated in Red My Lips during April. Both years we held assemblies and invited RML's founder (Danielle) to come and speak about victim-blaming and consent.Danielle modeled courage and honesty for our kids, which made many students feel safe enough to open up about their own experiences. After the assemblies this year, a number of students (female and male) disclosed having experienced sexual assault. However, one disclosure was particularly surprising.
After attending one of the assemblies, a male student also came forward to talk about his unhealthy relationship with an ex-girlfriend. RML made him realize how coercion was common in their interactions.
RML has sparked a change in the school climate, which has been so encouraging and fortifying. And seeing students or teachers wearing red lipstick in the hallways has been like seeing fellow members of the same tribe.
~Peggy Farren, School Psychologist