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Red My Lips: “Sexual Assault Isn’t a Women’s Issue, It’s a Human Issue”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UW Stout chapter.

Red My Lips: Sexual violence and victim blaming needs to stop. Think I spelled read wrong? Nope. Red My Lips is the campaign that is trying to get people to educate themselves and others about the realities of sexual violence and victim blaming. Red My Lips is trying 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” (Redmylips.org).

So why red? The campaign is inspiring individuals to wear red lipstick throughout the month of April to raise awareness about sexual violence and victim blaming. UW-Stout sophomore and Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) member, Coltan Schoenike, is one of the advocates trying to start the conversation.

Schoenike explains that his passion for the movement stems from two things: being a survivor of sexual assault and wanting to get rid of the idea that men can’t wear makeup.

“It’s so silly,” says Schoenike. “Whenever I would tell people about the campaign, they would say, ‘Oh well men don’t wear makeup.’” Schoenike explains that the people who use that argument are probably the same people who believe that men don’t get raped.

UW-Stout senior and SASA member, Maddy Sevilla, also explained her association with the movement. “This is a simple and fun way to support survivors that may have been blamed for an assault,” explains Sevilla. “Just because they were drunk, in tight clothes or wearing makeup does not mean they were asking for it.”

Luckily, this is one of the easier campaigns to follow along with. Just pucker up and put on some red lipstick! Stout freshman, Madison Macomber, who is also an SASA member, said that even though she’s not used to wearing red lipstick, it’s for a great campaign so she’ll make an exception.

But, it’s not just SASA members who are well aware of this campaign. “I love that it’s a simple and beautiful way to raise awareness,” said Stout freshman, Miki Seliger. “It’s relevant to the meaning of the cause.”

“A lot of people have this pre-conceived notion that sexual assault only affects women, and thus only women should participate,” explains Schoenike. “Sexual assault isn’t a women’s issue, it’s a human issue.”

Red My Lips is happening all through the end of April. Schoenike even explains that if you’re not confortable wearing makeup, you can just wear red in some other way every day for the month of April, “or at least as often as your life permits you.”

For more information, visit www.redmylips.org or contact SASA. Pucker up, collegiettes!


SASA is a new organization on the UW-Stout campus focused on raising awareness for sexual assault and abuse. Their confidentiality policy makes it a safe environment and it is making a difference in changing college culture. For more information, email sasa@uwstout.edu

Laura (Lo), originally from Milwaukee, WI, is an alumni of Her Campus and the University of Wisconsin - Stout. She majored in Professional Communication & Emerging Media and Strategic Communication. Lo was involved with Her Campus as a High School Journalism & Publicity Ambassador, Chapter Advisor and Campus Correspondent for HC UW-Stout. Laura is currently a Social Media Specialist for Fence Talk Digital and does freelance writing occasionally. Feel free to follow her on Twitter or add her on LinkedIn.