Digital Action Campaign - Speak Our Stories

Posted May 7, 2017 from India

Speak Our Stories

Have you ever wondered why does it take victims of sexual assault so long to speak out? Simple, because the stigma around a sexual assault is still alive and well in our societies. Saying such things as “She asked for it” or “the victim might have made it up” or “Men get these biological urges to rape, they just can’t help themselves”, are classic examples of victim blaming. Female victims are usually seen as liars and male victims are often mocked or ridiculed.

According to statistics from RAINN, 68 percent of sexual assaults will remainunreported because of this – a figure thatescalates to 95 percent on some American college campuses.

That’s why at Sayfty, collaborated with Sex Abuse Chat to start the campaign “Speak Our Stories”. Why? Because we believe in the strength of many voices, in community, that speaking our truths helps other survivors know they are not alone.

Speak Our Stories is a joint campaign ofSayftyandSex Abuse [email protected] (on Twitter)

There are three componentsto the SpeakOurStories campaign:

1. To provide a safe online space on our website, for survivors of sexual assault to share their stories. We believe that the more openly we share our stories of sexual assault, the less of a stigma it will be. Victims will be blamed less and the community will come forward to help and support the survivors.

2. Crate parallel events to showcase programs and campaigns focused on rehabilitation and empowerment of survivors of sexual assault and abuse. For example, girls in mostly rural India are kidnapped and raped and sometimes trafficked while on their long commute to school on foot. Most of the survivors drop out of school because of shaming, fear, and ostracisation. One such campaign is the bicycle campaign, which is an attempt to empower the girls and reinstate them back to mainstream life so that they can continue their education. Girls drop out of school and stay at home unless their families marry them off. The survivors never regain their self-respect, dignity and are always economically challenged. Receiving justice is also a huge and challenging task. Unless they are able to complete their education, it is impossible that they can be economically independent. Such is the story of many other victims of sexual abuse and violence. We want to celebrate the success of campaigns that fight at removing social stigma and empowering these victims so that they can lead normal lives!

Such events will allow people, women, and men, to come together to share survivor stories and rehabilitation program, views and advocacy efforts in the implementation of such program. The event would constitute a space for people, particularly women and girls, to frankly and safely discuss the

3. Build a community of resources in the form of advice, guidance, professional help, access to hospitals, rehabilitation centers and other services for survivors to access as and when they need it the most.

Finally, we will also raise awareness on issues like victim blaming through our online campaigns on social media.

We will be using Social Media and small digital campaigns to reach out to a larger audience. To encourage survivors to share their stories and host survivor empowerment events. We see this as an ongoing and long term project and partnerships with organizations and people from across the globe will be crucial to our mission and objectives.

How to Get Involved

Help us spread a word about the campaign and encourage survivors to share their stories on our platform

Comments 4

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Sally maforchi Mboumien
May 08, 2017
May 08, 2017

Hello Shruti I like your campaign!!!! Silence is the main issue in abuse of women since they are afraid of stigma. I believe collecting a bank of victim's stories will help build the support and confidence victims need to address this issue. I have a worry how will these stories shared on an online website be accessed by the poor victims who haven't got internet connection or lack digital skills? I am looking forward to hearing the progress of your campaign.

May 08, 2017
May 08, 2017

thank you for your words of encouragement. The offline events are to address the lack of of digital skills problem. Doing offline community events in a safe space will help identify programs working on survivor rehabilitation and allow those who don't have access to the digital world to share their stories. Please let me know if you have any other questions? 

Jacqueline Amen Adebija
Jun 04, 2017
Jun 04, 2017

I can only imagine what this safe place online means to a lot of women who need to unburden themselves. Many women will take their stories to their graves and yet the impact of that on our world economically, socially and culturally is undeniable as it is unquantifiable. Keep up the good work, for, if just one out of the many, can unburden herself on SAFTY then that would be one more battle won for the good side! 

Nov 28, 2017
Nov 28, 2017

Thank you for sharing this great story about the stigma.Many people are dying with the virus due to stigma yet coming out and speak about your status is the best cure.

love the story keep on empowering people with the knowledge of transforming their lives.

Kisakye moses