#NoMeansNo — Survival Arts Teaches Consent in 13 Languages

For Immediate Release

8 May 2019

Contact: Jamie Yancovitz, Director — Survival Arts Academy, asurvivalarts@gmail.com and Julia Saubier, MA candidate of Economics & Chinese Cinema — Peking University, julia.saubier@gmail.com

Survival Arts Teaches Consent in 13 Languages #NoMeansNo

Survival Arts Academy and the Movement to Protect Girls from Violence & Sexual Assault

In the Philippines, a person is reportedly raped per hour. In America, every 92 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives. Indigenous, black, brown, and LGBTQ communities experience the highest rates of rape. College women are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence, while women of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely. These numbers are only a percentage of the reality of sexual violence around the world, as most assaults go unreported.

With known statistics like these, it is clear that women and girls have no choice but to protect their bodies from attack. A 2005 study by the National Institute of Justice reported that resisting a rape attack verbally or physically reduces the risk of rape by more than 80%, compared to nonresistance. This means that once accosted, it is always worth screaming and fighting back. In fact, psychologists now show through neuroscience that combat and sexual assault training is needed in order to prevent assault. According to Jim Hopper, “Sexual self-defense training can reduce not only sexual assaults but all kinds of coercive sex.”

Created in Bacolod City, Philippines in 2016, Survival Arts Academy works to protect women and girls from violence and sexual assault, particularly indigenous, black, brown, queer, trans non-binary people, and pinays throughout the global diaspora.

As a Filipina American born and raised in New York City and Bacolod, I started Survival Arts Academy as a response to the violences I had witnessed and personally experienced while traveling and commuting on public transportation throughout my life. By using our indigenous fighting arts of Pekiti Tirsia Kali, I teach women and their families how to protect their bodies from attack and respond to sexual assault. In the past year alone, Survival Arts has trained over 350 women and girls worldwide, partnering with more than 20 local communities throughout Southern California, New York, and the Philippines including Bacolod, Manila, and General Santos City. Our training helps women respond to and survive violent attacks, build self-confidence, and conquer fear. Survival Arts is a mindset. It is about understanding the reality of violence in the world, and how to protect your body from sexual assault.

Julia Saubier, MA student of Economics & Chinese Cinema at Peking University and Binibining Pilipinas candidate, joins Survival Arts in launching a new international campaign on #Consent, translating its very basic definition #NoMeansNo into the 6 official United Nations languages and 7 Filipino dialects on social media. She shares her words below.

#NoMeansNo Campaign on Consent

Pageantry plays an important role in our national fabric in the Philippines—its reach and followers draw focus nationwide, and I decided to join Binibining Pilipinas because I recognized its potential to magnify my impact both here in the Philippines and abroad.

A part of my platform is focused on sharing my work with Survival Arts to draw attention to sexual violence and to lead a conversation on its prevention, which necessitates a discussion on sexual consent. While the Philippines is a conservative country, if we plan to address rape and violence against women, we must acknowledge their root causes.

A friend was sexually assaulted and being with her in the aftermath of her assault completely transformed my perspective. I began to invest in learning kung-fu because I needed to be able to trust and empower my body with the vocabulary and power to protect itself if something were to happen to me. I began learning Pekiti Tirsia Kali, our indigenous Filipino fighting arts, as an extension of this, and training with Survival Arts Academy. I believe that all women and girls should have the knowledge needed to survive everyday violence.

Our campaign consists of educational messages to inform the public about sexual consent, respect, body boundaries, and street safety. #NoMeansNo is one example of how we are using simple messaging to inform the public about the basic principles of consent. We have rolled-out our campaign by translating the phrase, “No Means No” into the six official U.N. languages, and will be adding at least 7 Filipino languages to mobilize our message across the Philippines and the globe. Consent must be universally understood and applied.

This collaboration with Survival Arts represents a global movement to equip women, girls, and members of the LGBTQ community with the tools and mindset to protect themselves, and to likewise, seek to challenge and dismantle power systems and paradigms which give rise to a world where sexual violence, harassment, and abuse are the norm. The international multilingual Survival Arts campaign is just the first step in our global plan to continue to promote our indigenous Filipino fighting arts, to provide training in self-protection to women and children, and to educate the public about sexual consent.

#NoMeansNo in world languages:

English, Filipino, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian

#NoMeansNo in languages of the Philippines:

Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Bisaya/Cebuano, Bikol, Karay-a, Waray, Chavacano

Healing Through Sacred Sisterhood

Thank you so much, Julia. Since much of Survival Arts work is centered around healing, we’ve started to collect stories of survival and dealing with violence from around the world. Our hope is to allow voices to share their experiences, and work through their trauma to make space for healing. As we educate and share knowledge about consent and respecting boundaries, we also work to to create safe spaces for transformative healing and sacred sisterhood.

Every woman has a story to tell, especially women like us who live in metropolitan cities like New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, and Manila. Now with the new #NoMeansNo campaign, we are inviting others to share their stories of resilience and survival against violence. Often times, those who have been assaulted are shamed or guilted into thinking it was their fault, when it isnever the victim’s fault. As we move away from #RapeCulture and into #ConsentCulture, we have to teach consent, respect, and boundaries to all ages. We invite any one who feels called to share their story, or release their trauma, by providing a space on our website. All are welcome to submit their stories of everyday survival and dealing with violence:https://survivalarts.org/submit

What You Can Do

Violence against women is only increasing globally. There are many ways that you can help make a difference. Education, awareness, and training are the basis for prevention. Tell your mothers, daughters, titas, sisters, wives, and lolas about the need to learn survival skills and how to recognize abuse. Help us spread the knowledge about CONSENT and #NoMeansNo. Join our international campaign to teach consent in every language. Contact Survival Arts to bring us to your area!

Survival Arts Academy is a grassroots community service and a labor of love. All donations go to ensuring that we have the resources to teach women and girls worldwide how to protect their bodies from violence and sexual assault. You can donate to provide training supplies for our students or sponsor local girls to train in our program. To organize a training in your area, please email us at: asurvivalarts@gmail.com

Subscribe and share our videos on YouTube to get more women and girls involved and support our message. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and share our content on social media to empower our sisters. Knowledge is power. Learn Kali to take back your power. Let’s strengthen our girls for a better tomorrow.

#NoMeansNo

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