In mid-2015, a group of people came together to talk about the hard stuff. Revenge porn, sexual assault, victim-blaming and consent. They’re difficult issues to understand and engage with, and that’s why we wanted to start the conversation.
What is #MyBodyMyTerms?
It’s a campaign that encourages people to think about opinions, beliefs and perceptions that they may hold. #MyBodyMyTerms aims to challenge those perceptions head-on.
In a culture where rape survivors like Chrissie Hynde blame themselves for the criminal actions of their rapists, where young people aren’t sure what constitutes consent, where intimate photographs are shared online, and where a group of young men can form a club called the ‘Roast Busters’ and get away with it, we need to have some open and honest conversations.
What are the key messages of #MyBodyMyTerms?
- Rather than telling potential victims how to ‘avoid being raped’, we need to talk openly about consent, to encourage people engaging in a sexual encounter to make absolutely sure that their partner is consenting.
- Consent needs to be freely and enthusiastically given, not coerced.
- If you’re not sure whether your partner is consenting, stop.
- People who are underage or unconscious cannot give consent.
- You can’t have sex without consent. Without consent it’s rape.
- The only person to blame for a rape is the rapist.
- It is NEVER the victim’s fault.
- Sharing private images and videos without consent is a crime.
- Sex is not ‘bad’.
- Women who have sex are not ‘sluts’.
- Women who take, pose for, or share intimate pictures of themselves are not ‘whores’.
- Men who take, pose for, or share intimate pictures of themselves do not deserve to be ridiculed.
Who’s involved in #MyBodyMyTerms?
The cast of advocates includes: Teuila Blakely, Guy Williams, Frankie Adams, Erin Simpson, Lizzie Marvelly, Sally Martin, Grace Palmer, Reuben Milner, Jayden Daniels, Jacqueline Nairn, Alex Pledger, Michelle Dickinson, Richie Hardcore, Mary Haddock-Staniland, Michael Meredith, Madeleine de Young, Rachael Schedewy, Meagan Kerr, Jade Tang and Adam Taylor.
The campaign was the brainchild of Villainesse.com founder Lizzie Marvelly, brought to life by an incredible team of volunteers including producer/director Jo Raj, director of photography Yves Simard, and photographer Emily Raftery, among many others. For more details, please see the credits of the #MyBodyMyTerms video.
How can you get involved?
Talk about #MyBodyMyTerms with your friends and whanau (families). Talk about it at school, at uni, at work, around the dinner table. Many of us will have encountered the issues featured in #MyBodyMyTerms at some point, and some of us may even be facing them now. Talking about them can help us to understand, learn and eradicate shame and fear.
There is a wealth of information out there about the issues #MyBodyMyTerms focuses on. A few good places to start are:
Become a #MyBodyMyTerms advocate. Consider sharing the video, the campaign images or taking a selfie with #MyBodyMyTerms written on your body. If you’re under 16 please be careful about the images you post; images of minors featuring nudity are viewed as child pornography in the eyes of the law, and it is illegal to publish or share them.
Consider sharing what the campaign means to you and tagging it with #MyBodyMyTerms. Spread the word.
Where can you go if you need help or support?
We know that talking about sexual assault, rape, revenge porn and victim-blaming can be extremely triggering for some people, especially survivors. If you need help, support or just someone to talk to, reach out:
24/7 Helpline: (09) 623 1700
Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together
0800 88 33 00
Victim Support NZ
0800 842 846
0800 376 633