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At Vidcon 2015, we sat down with Kat Blaque, Skittlez, and Lindsey Doe to talk about how sexual violence disproportionately impacts people of color.

CALL TO ACTION: Share with us your thoughts on how your race or ethnicity shapes your opinions about sexual violence using #EngageUplift!

Engage by Uplift tackles the difficult issues surrounding sexual abuse that the YouTube and online communities face. We're starting real talk for real change.

Each week, our host Kat Lazo discusses abuse and how it manifests in virtual spaces. Watch and collaborate with us through weekly calls to action, and join in with some of your favorite YouTubers as they consider the issues in round table discussions.

Kat Blaque:
Lindsey Doe:

Hosted by Kat Lazo:

Directed by Kelly Kend:

Real talk for Real Change. #EngageUplift
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Kat Lazo: Thank you so much everyone for joining us for another episode of Engage by Uplift. We're joined with Kat Blaque, Skittles, and Lindsey Doe.

Lindsey Doe: Hi.

Kat: So today's topic, um, is really about People of Color and sexual assault. First off, let's just get right into it; Why should we even talk about People of Color specifically when talking about sexual assault?

Kat Blaque: I think it's really really really important to discuss culture, um, and race when we talk about sexual violence because, um, the racist system that we do live in means that there are certain women that are certain women that are targeted for violence moreso than other women. 40% of Black women report sexual violence before the age of 18. Um. Black women are only second after Indigenous women in terms of the highest rates of sexual assault, so. Kat Lazo: How does culture or race and ethnicity affect reporting rates of sexual assault?

Skittles: Speaking in terms of the Latino community, um, thinking of like people who might have this type of stigma where you don't wanna shame the family. If I report it then not only am I shaming this person, but I am also shaming myself because "why did I put myself in that position?" to be allowed to be abused and whatnot.

Kat Lazo: I've been thinking to myself, what about undocumented women? there's an extra layer of, "well if I report then I may also be deported. Is it worth it?"

Kat Blaque: For every 1 Black woman that does report sexual violence there are 15 who don't. 'Cause Black people are viewed as a monolith, there's this idea that we have to maintain a certain image. And so, for many Black women and in the Black community, there's a pressure to maintain the image of the Black man. So if the Black man is the, you know, the person who did the sexual assault, there is this idea that we can't perpetuate this negative image.

Kat Lazo: Um, speaking almost on that, how do stereotypes fit into all of this?

Lindsey Doe (mumbling): I think you guys are wanting me to talk but I feel like I, I would much rather hear from, from you - what your take is from your experiences.

Kat Lazo: Get it Lindsey. (All laugh vibrantly). Well you know what Lindsey, that's the best thing. I'm thinking to myself about the women in my family who have kept silent, because of the stereotype that, you know, "Latinas are just seductive we just are in nature" - and lemme put that in quotes for people that are gonna comment back and not understand my sarcasm. Um, that "we are naturally just seductive and that we called upon this," you know, just by my presence, by me being exotic or whatever the hell that means that I actually made this happen so I should have you know - fill in the blank. That I should have covered up, I shouldn't have shown my breasts, I shouldn't have been out at night... x, y, and z. I shouldn't have been brown. (Skittles speaks in the background: Absolutely.) End point of that.

Kat Blaque: And within the Black community there is this very specific history of the Jezebel. And the Jezebel is this, you know, hypersexual creature. There's Saartjie Baartman, there's this Black woman who was captured from Africa and put into, um, zoos - like human zoos in England. And basically they were trying to prove that because she had a large bottom and a large breast and she was just a large curvaceous woman - that she was "build for sexual... use." But after Saartjie's death, Sara Baartman's death, she was, um, her vagina - her vulva - was actually cut out and put into museums. You know, that whole history is very much there for Black women, um, and it still definitely affects us to this day. Kat Lazo: How do factors like racism and white privilege factor into how our society receives claims of sexual assault.

Lindsey Doe: For someone who experiences white privilege, I don't have fear when I go to the police station to report something that I've seen. I don't um, I don't have to think about multiple levels of my identity and how that is going to impact whether or not they'll listen to me. Kat Blaque: I walk into a police station, I don't wanna have to risk, um, something happening to me, because the thing I think everyone goes through is "oh she was asking for it". But Black women specifically especially, especially if they're trans, "were definitely asking for it". Like there's this notion that, you know, because I'm Black and because I'm Trans that I just am a sexual object, that I just am available for sexual use, so.

Lindsey Doe: I just wanna add that I think there's something strange which maybe isn't being talked about enough, where there's this idea that, um, people who are white suffer less in general and so if this person experiences violence "oh my goodness we should have this incredible amount of pity and sympathy" and then for other groups there's this idea of "oh well you have already experienced challenges and you have experienced abuse and maltreatment and marginalization and so 'the fall isn't going to hurt you as much' "

Kat Lazo: Oh I see.

Kat Blaque: Definitely.

Kat Lazo: Like we've already suffered so we should be used to it.

Lindsey Doe: yeah.

Kat Lazo: interesting I've never thought of that. I was scared of where you were going but (everyone laughing) I was like uh-oh (Kat Blaque talks in background) I was already processing, I was like how am I gonna transition, cause - but that makes a lot of sense. You got this. Well, thank you so much, I know that this was a really difficult conversation to have, so thank you all for being really honest and genuine. Until next time.

Kat Lazo: Alright that's it for this week. Thank you so much for watching. Don't forget to answer our Call to Action using the hashtag #EngageUplift on social media or in the comments down below! While you're at it, why not subscribe? Thanks again, I'm Kat Lazo of "TheeKatsMeoww". Until next time!