Sorry it has been so long between posts but LOTS have been happening in my life and I will update you soon enough on it, but first I am part of this awesome initiative that needs help and since I have a little bit of reach I wanted to get the message out there. PLEASE help or send along if you know anyone who this might apply for.
Shea needs PHOTOS and stories to help CHANGE the face of sexual assault. People don’t know that when we talk about sexual assault and rape that we are talking about everyone. Mothers, sisters, cousins, friends, brothers, coworkers, fathers. The survivors are not one archetype and we have to SHOW the world that so we can start to end sexual assault. Please remember that you are allowed to use pseudonyms. I have interviewed with Shea and she is very easy to talk to and understanding.
Thanks so much!
It’s Not Your Fault
For my senior capstone thesis, titled “It’s Not Your Fault,” I’m defining what rape culture is and how it is perpetuated in our society without people even knowing what it is, or how they’re contributing to it. I am also working on redefining what a survivor of sexual assault or rape looks like. In conjunction with my written thesis I’m creating a video with passport-like photos of survivors with audio clips of survivors telling their stories playing over the photos, and video clips of interviews with survivors. I want to get as many photos as possible to show that survivors are diverse and to deconstruct the stereotypical picture of a drunken girl wearing a revealing outfit.
As a rape survivor myself I know how hurtful victim blaming is and how difficult it is to navigate through living in a rape culture. My hope, as a result of this project, is to educate people about rape culture and teach them how to be supportive instead of perpetuating rape culture and victim blaming.
Please feel free to send this to any survivor you know who would be willing to send me a passport-like photo to contribute to the project. You can remain anonymous or you can also send me your name, age, occupation, your story, or any other information you’d like to share with me and have appear with your photo or added to the written thesis. I’d be more than happy to add your experience, or even better, set up an interview with you. My email is email@example.com. Thank you so much!
~Shea Carmen Swan
2 Comments Add yours
My name is Michael and I am a survivor of sexual assault. I was attacked while asleep in a prison camp. I have relatives that are gay and I have grown up respecting their right to privacy. I know that being in prison is difficult for everyone. I also know that people in prison come from many places and most grow up thinking sex with the people they live with is the same for everyone and they don’t really understand everyone’s right to the privacy of their own body and their decision not to share it with people they don’t want to. The prison system requires that people take care of themselves and there is no where a person who has been sexually assaulted can turn to except the people who work there. I feel like the situation was handled and the point was made to keep your hands off of other people to the people that did it but that doesn’t take away the bad memory of it. I cope with these bad memories by offering support to people who have gone through the same thing, too. I really like your confidence and I think you are brave by wanting to be a victim’s rights advocate and I want to remind everyone that just because you were victimized you don’t have to stoop to their level and get revenge and go after them because that’s what they want because it means if you get caught you might find yourself back in prison and then things will be the same or worse. I suggest that everyone that has dangerous thoughts find people like them and to talk it out and if you come across someone like yourself who has been sexually assaulted talk them out of making it worse and next time if you can just say “no” to unwanted sexual words and be leave the area where it takes place in your heart, mind, body and soul and be thankful your alive to tell the story.
Hi Michael! I’m sorry you had to experience that. It breaks my heart when I hear survivors say they had no where to turn for help and support. Unfortunately I know that pain first hand as well. I’d love to include your story in my thesis! I haven’t been able to find a male willing to share their story yet. Would you be interested in sitting down with me and sharing your story? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for sharing your experience! I look forward to hopefully hearing from you!!