"My body. My terms."
That's the powerful slogan and name of a new campaign that hopes to spark some honest and open conversations about sex, consent and victim blaming.
Created by New Zealand media company Villainesse, #MyBodyMyTerms was created to combat revenge porn and victim-blaming, and to also start a larger conversation about sexual violence and the importance of consent.
"Here in New Zealand we have some of the worst sexual violence statistics in the OECD," Lizzie Marvelly, Villainesse editor and creator of #MyBodyMyTerms, told The Huffington Post. In New Zealand, one in three girls will experience an unwanted sexual experience by the age of 16.
"With the prevalence of sexual violence around the world, especially on [college] campuses, the increasing number of revenge porn cases and the continuing presence of pervasive myths that encourage victim-blaming, it’s clear that we need to talk about these issues," she said.
The campaign launched this month with a video featuring a mix of famous and everyday New Zealanders with the words "My body, my terms" written on different parts of their bodies.
Throughout the video, each person gives important reminders about sex and consent including: “I respect myself and I deserve to be respected," and, "If she chooses to drink alcohol it doesn’t make her responsible for the criminal actions of others."
Marvelly explained that #MyBodyMyTerms deals with topics that affect people of all genders, so everyone needs to listen and learn.
"I think that it’s really important that we talk openly about these issues," she said. "To have discussions about what constitutes consent (freely, and consciously given, enthusiastic agreement), to reiterate that posting revenge porn is both a crime and not the way to deal with a break up, and to remove the stigma and judgment that survivors face."
Using this campaign, Marvelly and Villainesse hope to encourage people to think a bit more critically about their personal opinions about sex and consent. "If we can start to remove some of the taboos around these controversial subjects, hopefully we can create a space for open and honest discussion."
Scroll below to see 13 images of people taking a stand against sexual violence with #MyBodyMyTerms.
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