In solidarity with the many women bravely coming forward with personal experiences of sexual harassment and assault, Oregon NOW wrote a letter to the editor (“Rape culture at the Capitol: Letter to the Editor“) on the need to change the culture at the Oregon state capitol — and The Oregonian’s editorial board agrees (“Oregon Capitol Needs a Culture Change: Editorial“). But we also know – from the stories flooding the media and from our own lived experiences – that the culture around sexual violence and sexual harassment needs to change everywhere. #MeToo
We invite you to help shape the conversation and build momentum where you live by submitting your own letter to the editor (LTE) to a newspaper in your community. Thanks to the Oregon Alliance Against Violence Against Women for these tips on submitting an LTE:
- In general, LTEs are short, only 250 words or less. Keep it brief and impactful!
- Promote a unified message. Consider incorporating some of the following messages or ideas:
- Sexual violence is a pervasive problem in Oregon. It doesn’t just impact individual Oregonians; it impacts families and communities across every corner of the state.
- When people are forced to choose between their safety and their livelihood, no one comes out ahead: not the survivor, their family, their place of business, or the community.
- Sexual violence is a community problem. The community needs to be part of the solution. Sexual violence is more than an individual’s actions, it is influenced by our cultural beliefs, practices, and structures. Together, our communities can change those influences.
- It doesn’t have to be this way. We all have a role in creating the world we want to live in.
- The #metoo campaign began 10 years ago. Let’s continue to talk about sexual violence—and let’s take action to create safe, healthy communities. Our leaders in Salem have supported bipartisan efforts to create more safety for survivors, but more needs to be done.
3. Speak to what you’re seeing in your community. Have more survivors been reaching out? What types of support can survivors expect when they reach out?
4. As always, maintain confidentiality.
Lisa & Michelle
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