I look to the recent slate of victim protection bills passed in New Hampshire. It was a landmark year for victim protection and perpetrator accountability. On a national level voices of survivors and advocates are being heard. The epidemic of campus sexual assault is finally being addressed. Colleges are being called out for inaction and poor handling of assaults, and bill proposals are making their way to Congress. Rampant sexual assault in the military is under the microscope. Human trafficking protections, child pornography restitution, technology and stalking, DNA backlogs, statute of limitations and the easy availability of guns to batterers are all being addressed like never before.
We have long way to go in shifting the culture, but we can do it. The momentum is there. Changing attitudes is possible. It’s going to take policy work, institutional change, letters to the editor, tweets, volunteerism and everyday acts of rebellion and courage. One of the main takeaways from the CeeLo Green and NFL controversies, are that ordinary people in huge numbers, not just famous people or those at the top forced the change.
Karin Ashton is the Community Relations Coordinator at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She can be reached at email@example.com