I'm Harper and as I prepare for my Bat Mitzvah (and my upcoming 13th birthday!) I'm working on a community service project that I hope will help improve the lives of others. My project is a fundraiser based on an issue I researched and studied at school this year.
As part of the school project I have been researching the portrayal of women in media and how pornography destroys the decision-making and developmental parts of your brain. Through this research, we looked into the effects the proliferation of these issues have on women and men, and the outcomes of all of this on broader communities.
Hypersexualized media portrayals and pornography lead to the idea that women are objects rather than people, which can lead to men asserting their dominance through sexual harassment, rape, and domestic violence. The women may also internalize this ideology and start to believe they are just objects, which can mean that they are less likely to stand up for themselves.
As part of my research, I interviewed and surveyed local individuals to see how their lives have been affected by hypersexualized portrayals of women in media and how they have been directly, or indirectly, affected by sexual violence and harassment in their lives. From this, I learned that over 70% of local respondents indicated they have been subjected to, or witnesses of, sexual harassment.
Given that this issue is prevalent locally and not just on a national scale, I wanted to find a way to help address these issues in my own community. To do so, I am trying to raise money for a local nonprofit that helps people who suffer the trauma of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Family Services is an organization here in Tulare County that “builds safety in homes, in relationships and for children through informed and compassionate care that helps people heal from trauma. [They] help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, homelessness and other traumas by providing shelter and comprehensive support services. [They] serve more than 3,000 individuals every year.” (www.fstc.net)
Please help me address this important issue and donate to Family Services to support an incredibly helpful local organization!