Red lips are now a symbol of solidarity between victims of sexual assault and their allies, and a bold statement against blaming rape victims for their lifestyle choices. April is 2015’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the #RedMyLips campaign asks participants to share your support by slapping on your reddest lipstick and splashing it all over social media.
The #RedMyLips campaign has already seen success. There are more than 24,000 posts with the hashtag on Instagram, thousands more on Twitter and Facebook and, according to a social map made by Vocativ, a worldwide conversation.
It all started with one woman who didn't have a voice.
The movement's founder, Danielle Tansino, was 29 in 2011, when she said she was sexually assaulted during a night out with people she thought were friends. She said prosecutors dropped the case because, as one district attorney told her, "Jurors don't like girls that drink."
Tansino was angry. And she armed herself with lipstick.
"One of the most pervasive myths about sexual violence is that it is provoked by attraction or desire. Connected with this, victims are often blamed, shamed, and forced to suffer in silence.
Given its connection with vibrant sexuality and attraction, red lipstick seems a fitting weapon with which to combat these damaging myths and victim-blaming attitudes. It gives supporters an easy (and safe) way to stand together and make the bold statement that victims are NEVER responsible for sexual violence. EVER."
After April, the movement won't be over. Tansino said you can still wear red lipstick and support the cause by donating, fundraising, or spreading the word on social media so that all victims get a chance to be heard.