"Sexual assault has no excuses" image by Jason Taellious, on Flickr, through Creative Commons
Since that tape of Donald Trump bragging about hitting on women was leaked, the allegations have been coming fast and furious.
According to a CBS report, several women have now come forward, saying Trump touched them sexually.
Some of the claims go back as far as 30 years.
Us Weekly features nine instances, one of which involved his first wife, Ivanna.
Vanity Fair reported that "Donald Trump's Apprentice set was a breeding ground for sexism. And there's probably a lot more.
Let's face it. The guy's a pig.
A pig who thinks that when you're a "star," it's okay to grope women and kiss them without their consent, that it's not sexual assault.
On Wikipedia, The National Center for Victims of Crime states:
"Sexual assault takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats. Usually a sexual assault occurs when someone touches any part of another person's body in a sexual way, even through clothes, without that person's consent."
Now that we're clear on what, exactly, constitutes sexual assault here are some truly staggering statistics:
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, in the U.S. another person experiences sexual assault every 109 seconds. That's just about every minute and a half. Every minute and a half!
We've got nothing to brag about in Canada, either. In 2014 it was reported right here in Huff Post Canada that there are 460,000 sexual assaults in Canada every year.
Pretty damn disturbing.
But if anything positive can be said about Trump boasting about "moving on women" and "not even waiting to kiss them," he has created tremendous awareness around the issue of "consent."
And Rachel Verner couldn't be happier about it ...
Rachel is a recent grad from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. While there, she was working as their Sexual Assault Response Team Intern. Her goal was to find ways to diversify the conversation around consent and sexual violence prevention. It quickly became apparent that people weren't showing up at the workshops they hosted because either they didn't identify as "survivors" or they were uninformed about "consent."
So Rachel and two of her very close friends decided to do something about it.
As luck, or serendipity, would have it, they happened upon a spoof website designed to look like Victoria's Secret had launched a line of consent underwear. They were inspired by the idea and were surprised to discover that despite all the buzz generated by the website, no one had produced and sold the underwear.
"To me, consent underwear seemed like a great way to get a wider group of people at Wesleyan talking about consent," Rachel told me when we spoke last week, and went on to say, "So I decided to design and sell a line to the student body."
And "Let's Be Clear," Rachel's company was born. Let's Be Clear is an apparel and education company, with a clear mandate: To normalize sexual consent, to remove barriers and encourage conversations, to increase dialogue and awareness. Their initial clothing line includes tees, sweatshirts and tank-tops emblazoned with gutsy statements, like "I'm the Boss of These Parts."
It's an empowering message. Men and women alike need to understand that "no" means "no" and it's okay to say "no." The merchandise can be ordered through the website and Rachel told me that they are happy to ship to Canadians who want to speak up for consent.
This is a big deal and under normal circumstances a female candidate running for President could make hay with it. But unfortunately these aren't "normal circumstances" and the minute Hillary Clinton brings it up her husband's past infidelities will come back to haunt her.
Otherwise I would have suggested that Rachel send her a T-shirt. I'd have loved to see her wearing one at the next debate.
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