Not “Just Words”: U of M Victim-Survivors of Sexual Assault Share Impact of Election

Editor’s Note: In the case of all posts, the opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Minnesota or the University of Minnesota Women’s Center.

Content note for this blog post and accompanying video: sexual assault, sexual violence, rape culture.

I started this project to create space for the voices of women who are fellow victim/survivors of sexual assault during a time that contains a lot of popular rhetoric that actively silences and invalidates us. I wanted there to be a platform that allowed people, especially people on campus, to hear us and to gain understanding of how this popular rhetoric impacts us as victim/survivors of sexual assault as well as how it impacts larger society as a whole.

I think it is very important to recognize that communication is quite possibly the most powerful tool that humans possess; that words aren’t just words because they are what we use to understand the world around us. My ultimate goal with this project is for people to become aware of how their words and the words of people that they support affect others, create a normalizing affect for the ideas and actions they reference, and contribute to the creation of future action. In this context, we are specifically talking about sexual assault but, I hope, once people understand the ideas that we present, they can apply them to a range of issues and start working to dismantle multiple systems of oppression.

If you have been impacted by sexual violence and are looking for support, check out the free confidential resources for U of M students at the Aurora Center, or in the community, check out the Sexual Violence Center.

This project was created in collaboration with the Feminist Ambassador Brigade, an entity of the Women’s Center.