LIVING

#TheEmptyChair Hashtag Has An Important Message For Sexual Assault Survivors Everywhere

07/27/2015 11:23 EDT | Updated 07/27/2015 11:59 EDT

A single New York Magazine cover is prompting an incredibly important conversation for sexual assault survivors everywhere.

On Sunday, the magazine released a cover story of interviews with 35 out of 46 women who accuse actor Bill Cosby of sexual assault.

The magazine's cover included stunning black and white shots of each of the 35 women sitting on chairs, leaving one chair empty, symbolizing any women who have not yet come forward.

But on Twitter, the hashtag #TheEmptyChair emerged, serving as a space for men and women to speak up about victim shaming and why so many women, just like these women who came forward in Cosby's case, continue to be disbelieved.

theemptychair cosby

Not only are survivors of rape, sexual assault and abuse afraid people will accuse them they're lying, but often, they delay telling authorities or remain silent because of the long process that follows coming forward. As the Globe and Mail notes, that can include being dragged through a court system, getting their loved ones involved and being forced to repeat the horrific events that happened to them over and over again.

Last fall, after allegations against former CBC Q host Jian Ghomeshi came to light, many Twitter users began using the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported to talk about their own experiences of sexual assault and staying silent in a similar message of solidarity.

Here are some powerful tweets we saw on Monday under #TheEmptyChair. You can check out the full feed here.

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Images From 'Surviving In Numbers' -- A Project Highlighting Sexual Assault Survivors' Experiences