The power of the human spirit is strong, alive and well. How do we know? Because we follow some incredible people on social media. Just when you think social media is all about selfies, images of food and frivolous “check-ins” at the hottest late night spots, enter Christine Fox, @Steenfox on Twitter. The savvy social media user witnessed an earlier online debate with a follower who insisted that women’s revealing attire could be a contributing factor to sexual assault.
“I was trying to make him understand that it absolutely does not make a difference, and that the responsibility does not lie on women,” she told The Root.
So when a report of a grandmother’s assault came across her timeline, she used it as a reminder of the absurdity of blaming women’s clothes or conduct for their attacks. She turned to her over 17,000 Twitter followers and posed the question, “Can I ask a question? If there are any women on my TL who are victims of sexual assault & don’t mind sharing something? What were you wearing when you’re assaulted? Let me know if it’s ok to RT your response. Thank you in advance for sharing. <3”
And that’s when the floodgates opened.
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Story after countless story of women–our mothers, daughters, aunts, friends, etc.–confessed to their stories of rape, many of them heartbreaking. From a simple t-shirt and jeans, to corporate attire, women’s testimonies of what they were wearing during their attacks busted the myth that women “asked” to be raped because of how they dressed. A few of the responses are below:
@steenfox I was wearing a Grumpy Carebear Tshirt, with jean shorts…it was a male relative…(okay to RT)
@steenfox Assaulted twice. At age 15: jean capris, loose red baby tee, flip flops. At age 18: jeans, university t-shirt, sneakers. Can RT.
@steenfox I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, baggy jeans and a cap advertising the Beatles. You can RT
@steenfox I was wearing a brown Garanimals-type shirt w/green frogs on it, a brown fringe jacket, Wranglers and B. Brown loafers. 6. OKRT
@steenfox The first time? I was 8. I had on a sweater and jeans. The 2nd, work clothes: dress pants and a button up blouse
@steenfox 1st of multiple times by the same family member was at 7…wearing pajamas. 2nd time I was 12…sweatpants and tee…youth pastor
@steenfox 10 wearing pjs molested by a “family friend”….16 wearing jeans, black hoody, and nikes
@steenfox bicolor short set. It was my favorite. I had matching jellies. There were two of them. The oldest was 12. I was 6. RT away.
@steenfox 8yrs old at after school tutoring sessions so in school uniform – below-the-knee short sleeved dress. You can RT
“I really hope that this opens people’s minds that what you are wearing has absolutely nothing to do with whether you are assaulted,” said Fox.
Others in the Twittersphere took notice and congratulated Steen on her efforts:
For those who may be suffering from sexual abuse, feel free to seek help here.