Two more courageous young women have given up their right to name suppression and anonymity in order to help other survivors of sexual violence share their experiences, and break down the stigma that still accompanies so many people’s experience of violence.
As people working in an agency for survivors of sexual violence, we know how powerful the impact will be for others. When women MPs last year ‘outed’ themselves as survivors, we received calls from people in the community sharing their reactions. They felt sadness that it happened to so many people (‘even those successful women’ was one shocked reaction) admiration for the bravery it took, solidarity with someone they’d never met and the reminders of their own experiences.
Sometimes we get more self-referrals from people who have had similar experiences and feel emboldened to seek support. Sometimes it can confirm for a survivor what they experienced was not okay, and sometimes it is even because they have been victims of the same person in the story.