TW: sexual assault
Every day, more stories of sexual assault and harassment surface and more people suffer at the hands of this epidemic. This goes beyond Hollywood, it happens everywhere, and our university campuses are no exception. In my first year at university, I was sexually assaulted by someone I had previously considered a friend. This wasn’t the first time I had experienced sexual violence, nor the last, but it is the moment that has stayed with me. I could write a million words about the effect this has had on me – and hopefully at some point I will – but for now the words escape me. As survivors, we are silenced during the event and in the aftermath; our agency is taken away. This week, we are launching a new photo series on SAVAGE Journal called Our Bodies, which aims to give agency back to survivors by offering them the chance to tell their story in their own words and be believed. If you would like to share your story, know that it is on your terms. If you want to remain anonymous, you can. If you want to be photographed, you can. These are our bodies, our survival, our stories and our voices. We will not be silenced anymore.
In the next few weeks, we will also be hosting a panel discussion in collaboration with The Cheese Grater (another of UCL’s student magazines), looking at the policies currently in place and asking what more the university could be doing to support survivors and to prevent this behaviour from manifesting in the first place. Further details will be announced on the Facebook event soon.
If you are a current or former student of UCL and would like to share your story on Our Bodies, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message the Instagram account (@_ourbodies_).