According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are nearly 240,000 victims of sexual assault (12 and older) each year. And Black women are at particularly high risk. Upwards of 20 percent of Black women will experience rape in their lifetime, and even more will be victims of forced touching and coerced sexual contact. To help address the problem in his city, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed recently launched a campaign that asks men to “Take A Stand” against sexual assault.
“We can change the tone of the conversation by just emphasizing the fact among our friends that no actually means no. It doesn’t mean to try to persuade harder,” Reed said during an interview with the Huffington Post.
Reed said the idea for Take A Stand was heavily influenced by the female members of his staff, who schooled him on the issues and played a large role in the creation of the campaign.
“I happen to be blessed in that manner because I’ve got a really strong team around me to give me advice — and that’s really how we got to where we are,” he said. “It really was listening to women leaders who said the traditional tactics aren’t moving us in the direction that we want to move in.”