Thanks to Everyday Sexism, an online project dedicated to collecting real stories of sexism and sexual harassment, both women and men who have experienced sexual harassment or assault have been empowered to expose how early in life many people are faced with these issues. Using the hashtag #WhenIWas, Twitter users are encouraged to share what age they were when they first encountered sexual harassment or assault.
#WhenIWas 7, I was sexually assaulted by an older boy and my school tried to suspend me for taking it to court”
The project has also served to tell some stories of how rape and sexual harassment can be used as a hate crime against members of the LGBT community. As user
@DRIMACHUCK writes: “ #wheniwas 18, I was raped by a guy who learnt I was queer wanted to prove to me that ‘guys are better’.”
Child sexual abuse is clearly a serious problem and we condone the many brave people who are sharing their stories on social media to reduce stigma and raise awareness. We publish many titles for professionals treating sexual assault or harassment of children including Medical Response to Child Sexual Assault. For mandated reporters and laymen who may need to identify signs of child abuse, we have Recognition of Child Abuse for the Mandated Reporter.