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“Red My Lips” against sexual violence

The Red My Lips campaign hosted every year in April to show support and encourage men and women to stand in solidarity against sexual violence was supported by Witsies this year. Here are 5 facts telling you more about the campaign.

If anyone was wondering whether there is a new red-lip frenzy on the rise, the “Red My Lips” campaign is the reason women have been pouting a little more this April. The campaign is not an opportunity for ladies to paint on red lipstick and embrace their inner diva, as many may think, but stand in solidarity against sexual violence. The campaign, which has spread worldwide, takes place in Sexual Assault Awareness month (April) to support rape victims.

Below are 5 facts about the “Red My Lips” campaign:

1. What is “Red My Lips”?
The “Red My Lips” campaign aims to create global awareness about the realities and prevalence of sexual violence, while trying to fight rape myths and stop victim-blaming.

Photo: Facebook
This image was used as the campaign’s trademark to inspire others to join the cause. Photo: Facebook.

2. When and why the campaign began, and by who?
The campaign began in 2011 by an American rape survivor, Danielle Tansino. She started the campaign due to the absence of family support and after she realised her perpetrator would not be prosecuted when a female district attorney told her: “Jurors don’t like girls that drink.” She has also campaigned to get men involved.

3. How far has the campaign spread?
The campaign has gained support in over 95 countries, including Australia, South Africa and India and Vietnam.

Red My Lips tweeted this image to indicate the support recieved from countries around the world. Photo: Twitter.
Red My Lips tweeted this image to indicate the support received from countries around the world. Photo: Twitter.

4. Why red lips?
“The societal idea of red lips is prostitution and women looking for trouble,” said Charlene Beukes, investigation and advocacy officer at the Wits Gender Equity Centre. Red lipstick violates this notion and is used to portray a bold statement and signify solidarity and support for victims of sexual violence. Founder, Tansino said “wearing red lipstick allows us all to stand in solidarity with survivors and refuse to be invisible … refuse to be silent.”

Witsies showed their support for the cause in April. Photo: Provided
Witsies showed their support for the cause in April. Photo: Provided.

5. What has Wits done to support the campaign?
Wits University hosted the #RedMyLips event on campus two weeks ago. The event was attended by manyWitsies including VoW FM, the Golden Key Society, SRC members, the VC, Professor Adam Habib and deputy VC, Tawana Kupe and male and female Witsies.

Wits guys also joined in to show their support at the event. Photo: Provided.
Wits guys also joined in to show their support at the event. Photo: Provided.
Witsies wrote message of encouragement and support for sexual violence victims. Photo: Provided
Witsies wrote message of encouragement and support for sexual violence victims. Photo: Provided.

This article first appeared in Wits Vuvuzela, May 2015.

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