There’s a new reason to wear red lipstick, and it has nothing to do with style. The #RedMyLips campaign has turned red lips into a symbol of solidarity with victims of sexual assault. For Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the campaign is urging social media users to show their support by sharing pictures of themselves rocking red lipstick, with the hashtag #RedMyLips.
Danielle Tansino founded the #RedMyLips campaign after falling victim to sexual assault in 2011. According to campaign’s website, Tansino, who was 29 at the time, was raped by a childhood friend of her then housemate. When she tried to press charges, a female district attorney told her that they would not prosecute because “Jurors don’t like girls who drink.”
“In this moment, she realized it was not ‘the system’ that fails victims of sexual violence…we ALL do. We ARE the system,” reads her website.
Victims are often blamed for their own sexual assaults. Tansino’s fundraising page reads, “Given its connection with vibrant sexuality and attraction, red lipstick seems a fitting weapon with which to combat these dangerous myths and victim-blaming attitudes.”
The #RedMyLips campaign is growing quickly. There are more than 26,000 posts with the hashtag on Instagram right now, followed by thousands of other posts on Facebook and Twitter. Participants are posting their stories, acting in solidarity with victims, or simply showing how awesome red lips can be—and how they definitely don't imply “yes.”
Red My Lips is an international nonprofit organization that stands together with victims of sexual assault and their allies. Their mission is “to transform our culture of sexual violence by educating, inspiring, and mobilizing a global community to red their lips, raise their voices, and create real change.”