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Let's Talk About YES: how to debunk myths and avoid stereotypes
9 June 2021, 15:52 UTC
The so-called “rape culture” that normalizes and even justifies sexual violence, including rape, in our societies is underpinned and perpetuated by harmful myths and gender stereotypes.  
Rape can occur in all kinds of circumstances. The only way to know that it is not rape is if free consent has been given to the acts by both parties. Clothing, past behaviour, or marriage do not constitute consent.
It is important that our activism and conversations contribute to debunking “rape myths” and not to reinforcing them.
Be aware that “myth busters” can unintentionally reinforce them. By putting excessive attention on the “myths”, we can contribute to spreading them further. There is a risk that the myth is what people will remember, not the ‘busting’ part.
If you've created content to share, consider carefully whether your artwork, messages and comments might inadvertently be using or reinforcing misconceptions or stereotypes about gender, sex, consent or others. If in doubt, check them with other people before sharing them publicly.
Here are some facts to respond to some common “rape myths” and stereotypes:
Now you know how to talk about consent and create content, you might feel ready to widen the conversations by running a workshop - either on your own or in a group. The next blog will cover becoming a "multiplier" - how to encourage conversations and creative expression via workshops.
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EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
WOMEN AND GIRLS
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Europe and Central Asia
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Sexual and Reproductive Rights
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Blog series: how to start talking about sexual consent
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