#WEcount - Sexual Assault Survivors Share London Postcodes to Reclaim their City
Rape is a word that even tastes bitter coming out of your mouth, but it's not one that should be silenced.
Rape - derived from the Latin word Raptus, which means to seize or take; a perfect explanation for what the barbaric act does. It tries to take a huge chunk away from you and leaves irreversible damage.
The Women's Equality Party have launched a new hard-hitting campaign titled #WEcount - Reclaiming our streets for women. Women are posting pictures of their hands on various social media sites with the postcode in which their sexual assault took place. They then mark it on Google's recognizable map with an exclamation mark and a label 'It happened here.'
Not only is this incredibly brave for the survivors willing to share their stories but it sheds a much needed light on the extent of the sexual assault that takes place in and around London. The amount and proximity of exclamation points are staggering and just remember; these are only the reported incidents.
The hashtag is a strong play on words, with the WEcount meaning that they are, well, literally counting, whilst also symbolically speaking about the women's worth.
The film features Pavan Amara, who built the 'My Body Back' project after her attack. This project has helped hundreds of women reclaim their bodies and lives after facing their trauma. In this viral video she talks about what her view of London nightlife was like before and how it made her feel. She says "Even though I grew up here, London at night was very new. It was kind of like what life should be I guess and what I think a young girl should be feeling at that age."
She goes on to say about her attack "I would say it changed everything, and I don't like to admit that."All she hopes for her city is the ability to walk down the street and there being no chance of being assaulted. A peculiar wish because isn't that how women should feel anyway? Safe in their home town, safe in the night, safe on their own. Why should we HAVE to worry about these kinds of things? And we do, we all do. That's why we go out in group's and avoid strange men on the pavement. It's why we ask to be walked home or just feel that much better if we're on the phone to a man during our journey.
Roughly 85,000 women and 12,000 men are sexually assaulted in the UK alone every year; that's a disturbing 11 adults every hour. 1 in 5 women will have experienced some sort of sexual violence since the age of 16 and only 15% of those that have experienced it even report it. That leaves us with a distressingly large, dark figure of crime.
This campaign will help those that are suffering in silence to come forward and put their mark on the map. It will give them the strength to speak out and know that they do count.
Pavan finishes her video by saying "I think the really important thing to know, for women who have experienced sexual assault is that it really does get better. There are some incredibly difficult times that you'll go through but no one can take you away essentially. People can try and they'll do what they want but they'll never take the essence of you away, ever," as she holds up her hand with the post code written in black marker.
This social media movement is striking, so check out their website and view the video below:
or share the hashtag #WEcount
Don't be afraid to talk about rape. Because if you are, it gives the monsters in the dark the power.
Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn
#WEcount - Sexual Assault Survivors Share London Postcodes to Reclaim their City Reviewed by Robyn Tillett on Thursday, March 10, 2016 Rating: