Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Survivors of Sexual Harm Coming Forward on Twitter

The topic #ididnotreport has been trending on Twitter, with survivors of sexual harm telling very powerful stories in 140 characters. This movement is showing the world just how prevalent sexual assault is and how often women (and men) are disbelieved when they do come forward:

Katharine ‏ @rockon_musegirl
#ididnotreport because the first time I tried telling someone they asked what I was wearing. It was an orange bikini. I was 12.

Becky B ‏ @MrsBeBe_
#ididnotreport systematic sexual abuse over a 2 yr period by boys at my school because teachers didn't believe me so why would anyone else?

cate cate ‏ @birdgehrl
#ididnotreport the man who would not listen to me when I said no, even though I was drunk.

Vicky Kapoor ‏ @hrsyofgrmnghst
#ididnotreport because I have no faith in our justice system where so few rapists are jailed + victims are treated like perpetrators

Most sexual assaults happen between acquaintances, and the vast majority are never reported to police. Survivors fear that they won’t be believed, or worse, that they will be shamed.

What can you do? If you feel comfortable, share your story using the #ididnotreport hashtag. Tweet your support for survivors using #ididnotreport and #webelieveyou.

For everyone:
If someone shares with you that they’ve been assaulted, your response makes all the difference. Learn more about how we can, as individuals and a culture, stand in support of survivors of sexual assault. Download the powerful presentations and posters at www.startbybelieving.org

For survivors:
The Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline is -1-888-293-2080 and nationally the RAINN hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

In Chicago, CAASE’s legal program offers free representation to survivors of sexual harm. Learn more about our services here.