Men must take responsibility.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
"Women have tweeted me sexual assault stories for 14 hours straight ... Do not ignore."
I am thankful to Mandi Gray. It takes immense bravery to report sexual assault and endure an 18-month trial. Especially when confronting a system that regularly fails women. We have a system that was built broken and does not support survivors of sexual assault.
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Seven women who are embracing their own unique beauty and proving that behind their "pretty faces" is a powerful, intelligent, person.
You can know a statistic -- even be horrified by it -- but when those statistics become stories, and those stories are coming from women you've known, worked with, are related to or voted for and then the stories just keep coming -- the frame on the issue shifts.
"We're still in the talking stage" when it comes to sexual assault, says one of the hashtag's co-creators.
What would I like to see the #BeenRapedNeverReported campaign become? Before any meaningful change can occur, we need to work towards pulling back the layers of stigma. If we are unable to talk openly, how can we expect survivors of sexual violence to come forward with their own experiences with trauma?
The officer was quick to side with my attacker, making me feel that because I wasn't actually raped, I was making "more" out of this attack. He made me feel like I should just brush it off as "some drunk guy", and that it wasn't a big deal that this man forcefully shoved his hand between my thighs.
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It has been 25 years since the Montreal Massacre and women still face gender inequality. According to journalist and filmmaker Francine Pelletier, women face two major obstacles: violence against women and hypersexualization. Yet there are signs that feminism is no longer a dirty word.
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If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
It's normal that we don't want to believe the absolute worst about ourselves, but until we come to terms with how we create and participate in what we are, we can't possibly expect to correct any injustices.
"Believe them, do not question their story, do not pressure or guilt trip them to report. It is not the victim's job to put a rapist in jail, they don't need that added stress and pressure on top of the terrible things already done to them, coming forward and telling someone is difficult enough. it is the rapist's job NOT TO RAPE. Teach young men and women how to respect boundaries and speak out against violent sexual behaviours."
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I feel guilty in some weird way for entering into this debate that has been eye-opening for so many people, as it sheds light on how many female victims of sexual assault are among us. As a man, and as a survivor of rape myself, I worry that adding my voice to this might in some way usurp or direct the conversation away from highlighting the abuse of women in our society. But part of me thinks that this shouldn't be a debate about men or women, but rather, it should be about creating a culture in which stepping forward and disclosing sexual assault becomes a much more supportive and empowering experience.
Trigger warning: This article contains information about violence which may be triggering to survivors. What help is there for survivors of sexual assault? How do they begin to heal? These questions s...
Editor's note: We dedicated our front page and Living page to #BeenRapedNeverReported and published this post on November 2, 2014. Read on to find out why and share your thoughts on how to support sur...
Trigger warning: This article contains information about sexual violence which may be triggering to survivors. Women and men are sharing their first-hand stories about rape — and reasons why they neve...