RAINN is the nations largest anti-sexual violence organization and you need to know about it!
From movements like #MeToo to #TimesUp, it is imperative that women and men alike know that resources are available. RAINN is an organization committed to providing these resources in the form of counseling, education and working to improve public policies when it comes to identifying and helping those affected by sexual violence. All of that being said, a lot of people still do not know about this organization which is why Craig Lawrence, Abby Lawrence and Samantha Kane started raising money and awareness through Sucker Punched!
They were so inspired by the strength and sisterhood presented in the movie that they centered a photography series around female empowerment. Each of their models come up with their own character, backstory and style all photographed in a way that emphasizes owning their power.
As Sucker Punched grew into full-scale project, it gained a charitable aspect. The theme was empowerment, so we decided to donate a portion of our funding to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), to support their mission as the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. The people at RAINN work tirelessly to fight against sexual violence and the societal and institutional biases against the victims of it and we are proud to support them every chance we get.
Sucker Punched is on it’s forth season! It began as a photography project and quickly turned into something powerful. I interviewed the creative team and a few of the models slated for this year to learn more about what is sure to be an amazing way to give back to RAINN.
Me: How did this project start for you?
Craig Lawrence (Photographer and Co-Creator): Abbi and I started this as a fun creative outlet, something to play with in the studio, but quickly wanted to make it something bigger and more meaningful. Our first shoot was just playing around, inspired by the warrior women of Sucker Punch, we made our own character for Abbi with what we had in our costume closet and my stage combat prop closet.
When we wanted to make this bigger and have some social impact, we asked around to a lot of social workers about what organization would be best to donate to and support. Everybody said RAINN. Once we checked them out and saw how much work they do an how much people rave about them, we knew we found the right organization.
Me: What do you hope to accomplishment with this project?
Craig Lawrence: On the small, personal scale, we want to help our models process whatever demons they’ve got locked up. Without going into the crazy psychology of it too much, we draw strength from being able to relate to strong heroes. The more personal the connection, the more we can draw from it. That’s why representation matters. So for the women in the project, they get to be creative and become one of the dream warriors like the women in Sucker Punch. A character who is beautiful and badass and who has the strength and power on the outside that the model has in the inside.
On a larger scale, we want to put more images of warrior women out there. Women of all shapes and sizes and colors and from all walks of life, manifesting their strength in all kinds of ways. I want the kids and family and friends and fans to see these women as larger than life, powerful, badasses, heroes. It creates a subtle ripple effect, it gets people thinking about women as being heroes just as much as they think of men being heroes. It changes the dynamic, just a little bit. Hopefully.
The commitment to showing a woman’s inner strength is amazing. Sucker Punched has such a diverse roster of fabulous women ever season! Some of the models are stunt women, some are educators, and some work for government agencies that they were not allowed to tell this interviewer about. The bonding element between all of them was that they had strong reasons for wanting to be a part of this project.
Rachel Riddly (security analyst): RAINN is important to me because sadly, so many of us have a #metoo story, and many of those stories are borne from inappropriate workplace behavior from male coworkers or superiors. Women not only struggle to be taken seriously and treated as equals (not to mention still enduring a pretty stark wage gap) in their professional lives, but often face various levels of harassment both verbally and physically. It is extremely important to me to TALK about this, recognize it, standardize anti-harassment/assault policies in the workplace, and provide a strong support network for women who have been the victim of this sexist treatment, while moving towards the creation of equality and safety in the workplace.
Ilyana Eberhardt (stunt woman): RAINN, to me, is the organization that helps victims become survivors. RAINN supports them through the trauma and reminds them everything will be okay and that they’re not alone. It is important to me because a strong support system is essential to saving lives. And you can’t put a price on that.
Rebecca Scruggs (full time student): Supporting RAINN is important to me because I am always thestrong one for my family and my friends but I know that not everyone has that support. It gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing that there are other people, a whole organization even, that is dedicated to being strong for people who may be struggling to be strong for themselves. Life is hard. Supporting each other as human beings makes it not feel as hard
Sucker Punched 4 is currently in the fundraising stage so, if you would like to show some support for these creatives and for RAINN, donate here! Feel great knowing that you are helping people and get some awesome perks as well. You can see past Sucker Punched series here!
Most importantly, if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse please check out the many resources available by RAINN. It is their mission to see victims of abuse and harassment through their trying time. They helped me years ago after my assault and I cannot recommend them enough.
Did you know about RAINN? What do you think about the Sucker Punched series? Let us know!