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Survivor Solidarity

KaylaJo O’Lone-Hahn: I’m tired of the isolation of survivors. Every day we hear how 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted, and 1 in 33 men are too. We hear the statistics: 73 precent of rapes are perpetrated by someone the survivor knows.  Numbers come in and out, numbers tell us what to fear. These statistics keep the real, breathing, heart-beating survivors trapped in obscurity. We know the numbers, but not the faces. Countless survivors share their stories in acts of bravery and others never can–the world doesn’t always want to know the real, down-in-the-dirt, cold hard facts of the matter. Rape exists, and survivors live on every day carrying what we’re told should be a secret.

Survivors are a group. Survivors are the people you see on the subway and walking down the road and you’d never know unless there was a sign on their forehead, or they told you. Unlike other rights groups such as women and people of color, you can’t just look at us and know what society says we are. There is nothing like “gay-dar,” for survivors. There is no stereotype on how we should act, because we are expected to assimilate from the start.  Many groups fight the assimilation of an oppressive culture, yet survivors, who have just as unique an experience as any other rights group, don’t have this ...