The theme for this year’s V Day is ‘revolution’. Revolutions are dramatic. Radical. They transform and disrupt. We need a disruptive revolution to end sexual violence. Reports in the news are a daily reminder of the scale of the problem facing every society from the streets of New York, to Delhi, Brazzaville, via London and back again.
The world is hungry for change. The world needs change. On 14th February we’ll demand it.
But whilst the problem is global this is a revolution that needs to start at home - in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. The misinformation and misunderstanding about sexual violence is on a scale that is as staggering as the violence itself. And the damage it causes is immense. It’s our lack of understanding that makes survivors afraid to tell their story for fear of not being believed. It’s our lack of understanding that helps perpetrators avoid justice. It’s our lack of understanding that helps the violence to continue.
If we want change we need to be changed. We need to have the courage to open our eyes and minds to the realities of the violence happening on our streets, in our homes, in our communities, and in communities around the world. We’re all afraid of sexual violence. We all find it easier to push the thought away. To tell ourselves that it hasn’t got anything to do with us. Tell ourselves that the people we love can be kept safe. The truth takes courage to see. The truth is that sexual violence could happen to any of us. The truth is that no one we love is immune from the risk. The truth is that this is a problem facing us all.
This V Day let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s have the courage to open our eyes and minds. Let’s spread the word. Let’s show survivors of abuse everywhere that we believe them. That they’re not alone. That we want to try to understand.
Let’s disrupt the ignorance that pervades this space. Let’s rise for revolution.