Hi all,

In light of how massively the #metoo campaign has taken off, I just wanted to share a few thoughts/things with you.

Let’s start by putting out there the fact that this can be a pretty exhausting thing for survivors to be exposed to, and there are resources and supports for you if you need them. For everyone at Uvic (and in the Victoria community, too) we have drop in support hours and also can do sessions by appointment. Info Here.

We’re located in the basement of the Student Union Building, B028

To all the trans and gender nonconforming/variant folk out there:

“Just a gentle reminder that trans and gender variant people experience a lot of sexual violence as well. I’ve been struggling a bit with some comments and posts I’ve seen over the past couple days because much of the conversation hasn’t really acknowledged how these issues impact trans people, especially those of us who are transfeminine. It’s important to recognize how the voices of transfeminine survivors are often silenced or ignored through a narrative that undermines our identity and labels us as “men” and sexual predators, when the reality is that we are far more often the targets of sexual violence. It’s important to recognize the nuance of these issues and to avoid reducing the conversation to something experienced by a single identity.”

(Contributed by Ashe Haigh)

For all the survivors out there who are participating in this campaign:

  • You are amazing.
  • You do not owe your stories to anyone. They are yours, to do with as you see fit.
  • You are not alone.
  • We believe you.

For all the survivors who are not participating:

  • You are also amazing.
  • You are not obligated to share anything with anyone if you don’t want to.
  • Your survival is also resistance.

For all the survivors who are wondering if they can/should participate:

To all the guys out there:

A couple things; if this is all very surprising to you, then it’s maybe time to wake up and have a look around at the world you’re living in. People have been making a lot of noise about this for a long time, and this shouldn’t be news for anyone. If this is bothering you, then it’s time to start doing something. There are a lot of posts that are also circulating about what you can do to help. Read them. There are groups and resources you can access; seek them out and start learning. I might suggest EverydayFeminism as a good place to start, or come check out the Uvic Men’s Circle every second Wednesday.

A number of people on my facebook feed have been bringing up another really important point here; we really need to start talking about perpetrators, too. There are people out in the world, who are mostly male, who are doing these things, and they need to have the light shone on them. Centering and supporting survivors is amazing and important, but we also need to pay attention to the people committing violence so we can really start holding them accountable. Guys, this is our problem, too. Time to show up and start putting in some work.

And finally; to all the male survivors of sexual assault and harassment out there; we see you, too. You are real, your experiences are real, and you are deserving of the same love and support as anyone else.

– Written by Taisto Witt, with contributions from Ashe Haigh, and support from AVP

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One Comment

  1. Thanks so much for offering this piece. I really appreciate your contribution and the ways you’re reaching out to people affected by the campaign.

    I’ve noticed that there are also mass disclosures happening right now by people who have caused harm (and I’ve seen invitations for men and masculine folks to respond to ‘Me too’ with an admission of ‘I did’). I love that people who have caused harm are seeking to be honest and trying, in their own ways, to be accountable for their behaviour. And, mass disclosures are ending up in people’s news feeds without content warnings, without consent by the people who experienced the harm being described, and also without the consent of the reader.

    Every human being makes mistakes, and does things that are unskillful. It’s super important that we all be able to reflect on and get support for the ways that we have caused harm, and learn from and are accountable for the hurts that we cause. And, it’s so important that we do this in ways that do not compound the harm. Sharing details of the ways that you have been shitty in your relationships (past or current), specific acts of violence or ways that you have contributed to rape culture, can have negative impact on many people. People who have caused harm, as someone who does anti-violence work I want to hear your disclosures and be there for you to work through that, and as a survivor I need to make sure that my own well-being is being taken care of too. Please be thoughtful in how you’re using social media to work on this and consider whether there are other ways that you can do that work.

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