Who can be a victim of sexual violence?
Anyone can be a victim of sexual violence, including rape.
While the law says that rape is the act of a man forcibly penetrating a woman’s vagina, Thursdays in Black understands that this falls short in many ways. Most notably it invalidates the experiences of trans communities and queer communities, by assuming that people of certain genders have certain genitals and that rape cannot occur between people of the same gender.
Thursdays in Black will support any victim regardless of their gender or the gender of the person who assaulted them. This is why we are not using the legal definition of rape, but a definition supported by the sexual violence sector and by victims/survivors themselves.
Who is Thursdays in Black for?
Thursdays in Black campaigns for safety for every student (and every person!) regardless of their gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity, race, sexuality, religion, or ability.
We are aware that many groups of people are over-represented in sexual violence statistics and yet find it even harder to access support. We are firmly committed to consulting with our most vulnerable communities and hearing what we can do to make student communities safer for them.
We want to support the implementation of a range of solutions that can specifically cater for the varied identities and cultural contexts victims and survivors are coming from.
We are not all the same, and our experiences of sexual violence are not all the same, so our support services can’t all be the same either!
Does awareness raising really make a difference?
Yes! We believe that because sexual violence is so stigmatised in our society, victims/survivors experience very real pressure to stay quiet about their experiences. This inherently supports perpetrators who prey on vulnerability. Talking about these hugely important social issues, which we have been taught to individualise and personalise only, can be radical work that really benefits survivors!
However, it won’t be enough on its own. Our 5 Areas of Intervention discuss what we think the institutional issues are in the way of prevention and response to sexual violence in student communities. We need to raise awareness, destigmatize the experience of being a victim/survivor, and then ensure systems are in place to actually support those survivors.
I am not a student. How can I support TIB?
We would still LOVE for you to be engaged in the campaign, even if you're not on a campus!
You can wear black clothing on Thursdays to show your support for the campaign!
You can buy our merchandise!
You can engage with our social media on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! Share selfies of your #TIBNZ outfits, as an individual or from your workplace!
You can make a donation to Thursdays in Black at the national office, or to a local campus TIB group! Please contact the national office to discuss this :)