What is Red My Lips and what can I do to help?

Red My Lips

The international campaign ‘Red My Lips’ runs annually each April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness month. Red My Lips as the name describes, encourages supporters to don red lipstick throughout the month of April with aims to raise awareness around the prevalence and realities of sexual assault, dispel myths around rape, combat victim-blaming, and demonstrate support for survivors.




Victim Blaming

Unfortunately there is still a tendency in society to blame and shame sexual assault survivors who speak out, invalidating their experience and attributing cause to “not being careful”, “giving mixed signals”, “letting your guard down”, “asking for it”, or wearing tight or revealing clothing. This societal atmosphere essentially encourages other survivors to keep quiet, preventing consequences for perpetrators. One of the myths about rape is that it is caused by an uncontrollable desire or sexual attraction. What causes sexual assault is a perpetrator who commits an act of domination, entitlement and violence on someone else.


What about other groups who have experienced sexual assault?

Females make up the majority of those who experience sexual assault. It is important however to be aware that there are other groups who experience a high prevalence of sexual assault. Australian research data indicated that almost one in three survivors of sexual assault were male, in both hetero and gay relationships. The One in Three campaign website provides support and helpful information for this population.


What can I do to help?

Listen, be open and validate those who may talk to you regarding their experiences of sexual assault

Do not blame, shame or deny a survivors experience

Speak out against victim – blaming, encourage awareness of sexual assault, and be aware of the research (see references)

Encourage seeking professional help. With professional help, support and guidance can be given to assist with coping and processing after a traumatic event


Where to get help?


1800 737 732 – 24 hour National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line

131 114 – Lifeline crisis counselling

1300 78 99 78 – Mensline Australia supporting men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties

If you are in immediate danger, call 000 for Emergency services


References: White Ribbon campaign website, Red My Lips campaign website, One In Three campaign website                                     


About the Author

Danica Adolfsson, is a registered Psychologist with the AHPRA. Danica has worked with diverse populations in a variety of settings. This includes work in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, a university clinic, Community Mental Health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Headspace, and the Conduct Disorder Program which involved home visiting families and their youths who were experiencing emotional and behavioural concerns. Danica uses a variety of evidence based treatment approaches, drawing from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy. Danica’s approach is flexible, client-centred and strengths based. Danica strongly values feedback from the client and uses this feedback to better tailor treatment.

Danica is passionate about helping those of all ages who experience difficulty managing mental health concerns, assisting and supporting them to achieve good health and wellbeing. Danica has a particular interest in working with adults and young people on issues relating to: Mood disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Psychotic Disorders, Eating Disorders, Trauma and Stress related Disorders, Behavioural Disorders.

If you are concerned or need to talk to someone about any of the above, please call us. Our team of highly skilled and well-experienced Psychologists are here to help.

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