Scenes and thoughts from last night’s march for solidarity

Last night, there was a march for solidarity in response to the rape attempt reported on January 8. Participants marched to 24th St. BART at 5:30pm and stopped to let volunteers speak and share their thoughts.

While some of the speakers talked about ways for potential victims to stay safe, such taking self defense classes, carrying mace, and not walking home alone, I was moved by some of the more idealogical issues about the surrounding community that were discussed. Some of my takeaways of that kind were:

  • If someone says she was sexually assaulted, believe her.
  • Don’t ignore cries for help.
  • Get to know everyone in your neighborhood.
  • Don’t blame the victim.
  • Don’t joke about rape.

The reason these things hit home for me is because I, like many of you, read comments on this blog. I know that a few commenters fall under these categories when we post about these incidents.

If your first reaction to sensational reports that don’t show up on the news first is to think that they are a hoax, then please consider that some rapes go unreported because victims are afraid they won’t be taken seriously and that they will be shamed in their communities. In fact, I just heard about someone who still thought that the recently-convicted Mission rapist of last year was an “internet hoax”!

No, we aren’t seasoned reporters, but we are members of this community and if we don’t take it seriously, how do we expect anyone else to? It starts here, folks.

We live in a crazy neighborhood where wild stuff happens all the time. We can get numb to it. But we should never turn a blind eye to people in danger. There are so many different people living in the Mission who are invisible to one another. Stopping and getting to know your neighbors can go a long way in knowing when something isn’t right.

Stay safe everybody, but also keep others safe.

[Top photo via Adrian Arias]

15 Responses to “Scenes and thoughts from last night’s march for solidarity”

  1. 300baud says:

    Well said!

    The march was great. All sorts of good people there. If I ever run across somebody in danger I’ll feel much more comfortable intervening knowing that so many people have my back.

  2. En-Chu Lao says:

    Well stated, Vic.

  3. Wish that it was implicit, that folks would look out for one another, take a stake in their neighbors’ well-being.
    Just as well, appreciate this very much.

  4. friend says:

    hear hear!
    thanks for reporting on this

  5. C says:

    This is my favorite MM post.

    At the risk of feeding the trolls, my best friend was raped by someone we knew. She didn’t tell me or seek help for almost a year because she was embarrassed and ashamed, thinking it was somehow her fault. It wasn’t. Then I went through a time where I was ashamed and thought it was my fault. It wasn’t. If we stop blaming the victims of sexual assaults and crimes, maybe we can actually get somewhere.

  6. Matt says:

    Thank you for posting this MM. Very much needed.

  7. Sarah Park says:

    This march is an effective way to warn people about the crimes that are happening in our society today. This is a wake-up call for everyone to be vigilant at all times.

  8. Brock Keeling says:

    Great article, Vic.

  9. roseability says:

    thank you for this. it’s a message that can’t be shared often enough.

  10. C says:

    Thank you. This is a conversation we need to be having.

    Rape is one of the most brutal forms of violence, yet one of the most ubiquitous (even while being severely under-reported).

    We need a zero-tolerance approach to rape culture. Rape culture normalizes rape, allows rape survivors to not be taken seriously, shames and blames them (which leads to not reporting). The vast majority of rapes are carried out by people who the victim knows. Despite what we’ve experienced in the Mission lately, very rarely are they strangers lurking and often they are people who might be called “nice guys.”

    We also need serious education about what consent means and to TEACH MEN NOT TO RAPE RATHER THAN TEACH WOMEN HOW NOT TO GET RAPED.

    great and infamous article from a great resource:
    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    • snook says:

      Regarding teaching men and women… I don’t know why we can’t do both? You can get on a philosophical soap box all day, but teaching people not to rob does not stop all robberies. Teaching women what methods of prevention they can take will decrease rape numbers. It’s very important that we teach men as well, but to say the other isn’t important is just a fallacy.

      http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/32622312.jpg

  11. C says:

    To add to my above comment- just as we need to intervene for people on the street, we need to intervene at all points to stop rape and the culture that promotes it.

    Mission Mission could do its part in this by not allowing rapists or rape apologists to have a voice on their site by deleting offensive comments.

    That’s all for now.

    • Boney Bob says:

      You know, a “rape apologist” could easily be defined as a person who says it’s A-OK for rape victims to not report their rape to the police (and thus allowing rapists to repeat). You might want to think this through.

  12. Jenner Davis says:

    Hey, just thought I ‘d throw this out there – Giving a fuck is free. You don’t have to buy a ribbon or a magnet, you don’t have to sign anything, you don’t have to come in on your day off, and you shouldn’t have to censor yourself. I have and always will respond to cries of help, and I have, and always will take it seriously when someone says they were raped. To do less in my opinion is tantamount to being a rapist’s accomplice.
    But among my friends I will joke about what ever I fucking want.

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