Low Tire Pressure and Sexual Assault Awareness:
Weird headline, right? Hear me out on this one…
Last week an indicator light lit up in my car to inform me that my car’s tire pressure was low. My first two thoughts, my car is a nag and I really dislike putting air in my tires. So I ignored it.
The other day I had a friend in my car and I explained why the light is still on and why it will stay on until I get my car serviced. It’s not because I prefer to be waited on like a princess (although that would be OK). It’s not because I don’t know how to check the air in my tires or put air in them, I know how – and I don’t mind doing it. What I don’t like is being vulnerable, for that long, at a gas station, by myself, as a female.
My dad used to give me grief for not spending more time at the gas station, tending to the delicate needs of my ride; checking the water, oil, filters, and tires. One day I told him that when he becomes a 20-something year old, female, alone at a gas station… then he can give me grief. Until that moment, he hadn’t realized sexual harassment was real to me or that my fear was real. He doesn’t know that I walk to my car and home with a key in-between the knuckles of my hand. He doesn’t know, because he’s a “him” and not a “her.”
Discussing unwanted crude cat-calls, threats, or stranger gropings isn’t a regular topic around the family dinner table. And disclosures might lead to the suggestion of wearing a potato-sack when leaving the house… because everyone knows that dresses and skirts are the leading cause of assaults.
In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime and nearly 1 in 2 women have experienced other forms of sexual violence at some point in their lives. Many Victims do not Disclose Sexual Violence. Statistics underestimate the problem because many victims do not tell the police, family, or friends about the violence. http://www.cdc.gov/features/sexualviolence/
This is why I’m against putting air in my tires (by myself) and why I’m a huge fan of WEAVE Inc.’s Walk a Mile in Her Shoes annual event, held during April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
Even if you don’t feel up to the challenge of literally walking a mile in high-heels, take a moment to acknowledge that the fear of SA is a part of my life, and probably a part of the lives of the women around you, learn about the issues, be an advocate for the women in your life and please support great organizations like WEAVE Inc.
WEAVE is committed to breaking the cycle of violence by educating the community to better understand the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault, and spearheads campaigns, events, and activities for Sacramento County for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. These awareness month campaigns include activities like Jeans for Justice Day and Women Take Back the Night. Learn more: http://www.weaveinc.org/prevention-education
Side-note: I’m so happy that Kershaw, Cutter, & Ratinoff is participating in #WAM2014 on Sunday, April 27.
Check out Eric Ratinoff’s 2011 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes video below, and learn about the event: http://weaveinc.donorpages.com/WalkaMile2014/EricRatinoff/