In an effort to raise awareness of sexual assault, rape culture, and consent for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2016, Teen Vogue rolled out a series of content as part of our "Not Your Fault" campaign, which aimed to educate people about this insidious epidemic affecting young people of all genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The second of said series, part of Teen Vogue's "Guys Read" franchise, focused on men in an effort to flip the script on rape culture. In the current conversation surrounding sexual assault, men are often demonized, excluded, or they are responsible for perpetuating rape culture. So, we wanted to have a conversation led by people who are, by society's standards, the least likely to have perspective on this issue. We invited eight young men — who are cisgender, transgender, black, white, Christian, Jewish, agnostic, Buddhist, gay, straight, and pansexual — to read stories of sexual assault submitted by survivors. After reading the stories, we gave them an opportunity to talk about what they just read in an effort to start a conversation around sexual assault that we hope continues even after the video is over.
While the other videos in the series featured sexual assault stories written by cisgender women and transgender survivors, this video was particularly impactful in that it gave a man the opportunity to share his story of experiencing sexual assault.
The video successfully provided a unique perspective on sexual assault, encouraging continued dialogue around this difficult and traumatic issue, and further establishing Teen Vogue as a resource for conversation around such topics. It was also picked up by several major media outlets, including Huffington Post, Women's Health, and more.