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March 13, 2019

Good Vibrations, BAWAR Partner for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SAN FRANCISCO—Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual campaign slated for every April to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.  Good Vibrations is very proud to collaborate with iconic nonprofit Bay Area Women Against Rape by hosting four events to highlight their crucial work and blending the two organizations’ strengths on behalf of survivors of sexual assault, focusing on uplifting survivors to celebrate and reclaim pleasure, desire and intimacy on their terms. “Good Vibrations has had a longstanding relationship with BAWAR, providing donations and sex positivity trainings for their staff and advocates throughout the year,” said Educational Outreach and Affiliate Manager Andy Duran. “It became clear that there aren’t a lot of resources designed to help support those who have experienced sexual assault in reclaiming pleasure and intimacy, both alone or with partners. This topic is incredible important, not just to us but to the communities we serve, and we knew more needed to be done. We are honored to offer this new workshop series!” To launch this month of awareness and education, BAWAR and Good Vibes will host a free Meet and Greet on March 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Good Vibrations Lakeshore store (3219 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA 94610). Enjoy snacks and sips and meet staff members from BAWAR and Good Vibrations. Peruse SAAM workshop content and materials, meet the facilitators, ask questions, RSVP, and celebrate a pleasure-based approach in the anti-sexual violence movement. Historically, this movement has been more focused on issues surrounding violence and less focused on including discussion of sex, sexual pleasure and sexual connection, and has not always validated the needs and/or practices of many communities, such as People of Color, LGBTQIA+ communities, people with disabilities, sex workers and people who practice kink, polyamory and consensual non-monogamy. By centering our bodies, our pleasures and our desires as a potential site for healing, we engage in an act of reclamation that can prove integral to the process of transcending trauma. “Working to serve a diverse customer base, Good Vibrations staff often meet survivors of sexual assault or trauma; this is a significant source of sexual distress and problems. We are so very glad to offer this resource designed to give people access to pleasure and support,” Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist Carol Queen PhD said. Additionally, BAWAR and Good Vibrations will present a Sex Ed for Survivors workshop series. On April 10, 17 and 24, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the Good Vibrations Polk Street store (1620 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109) there will be a three-part workshop series to be collaboratively facilitated by BAWAR and Good Vibes staff. Participants are encouraged to attend all three, though each workshop can be attended on its own. Experience a different kind of sex education that deconstructs myths, blasts apart biases, and invites in a truly intersectional approach, with attention to the ways the bodies of people who have experienced sexual violence may be impacted, both somatically and psychologically. While these are not intensives, participants should expect to leave with introductory-to-intermediate level information, exercises and ideas. The BAWAR/Good Vibrations team will provide presentations, facilitate group discussions and give toy demos. Participants will be invited to participate in PG- rated exercises (no touching, exposure or disclosure required!) and will always be given the option to step out if they need some space. This workshop series centers the experience of survivors; however, it is not necessary to identify as a survivor to participate. The individual workshop descriptions are below. While this is not group support or therapy, participants can contact BAWAR at [email protected] or call the BAWAR office at (510) 430-1298 for information and referrals to such support. For immediate emotional support, utilize the 24-hour hotline at (510) 845–7273. Tickets are available through Eventbrite; attend one class or all three. Early registration is encouraged, as space is limited. Part one:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/survivors-workshop-series-part-one-what-we-carry-with-bay-area-women-against-rape-tickets-58011116812 Part two: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/survivors-workshop-series-part-two-reclaiming-ourselves-with-bay-area-women-against-rape-tickets-58013354505 Part three:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/survivors-workshop-series-part-three-inviting-others-with-bay-area-women-against-rape-at-polk-good-tickets-58015029515 Two pricing options are built into these RSVP pages: a $10 entry fee for those who can afford it, and free admission for those who need that option.  For every copy of The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone (authored by Carol Queen with Shar Rednour) sold during April, Good Vibrations will donate $5 directly to BAWAR. Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive adult toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Still a feminist-owned business, Good Vibrations has since expanded to include all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its nine retail locations or on the GoodVibes.com website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education. BAWAR (which represents and serves all genders), the first rape crisis center in the country, has addressed the problem of sexual assault since 1971. Through their work, rape and incest survivors can receive the quality counseling and advocacy they need, and the community receives education regarding sexual assault issues. BAWAR defines sexual violence by the narratives of the survivors who experienced the violence. We are here to believe and validate the community we serve in a trauma-informed, culturally appropriate and accessible way. Programs include presentations specifically designed for children and youth from middle school through college; outreach to men currently incarcerated for violent offenses; and professional trainings for emergency room staff, therapists, clergy, educators and police officers. For more, visit BAWAR.org/.    

 
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