On Sunday, The Huffington Post Canada offered up a haunting tribute to rape survivors. Using tweets shared with the trending hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported, HuffPost filled its landing page and the front page of its Living section with truth-telling revelations.
The hashtag was created by former Toronto Star reporter Antonia Zerbisias and Montreal Gazette writer Sue Montgomery in support of women—including Canadian actor Lucy DeCoutere—who have come out as victims of abuse by now-fired CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Zerbisias first tweeted on Thursday, “#ibelievelucy #ibelievewomen And yes, I’ve been raped (more than once) and never reported it. #BeenRapedNeverReported.”
Survivors shared harrowing and brave stories all weekend on Twitter:
Alcohol does not excuse him and alcohol does not dismiss you. #beenrapedneverreported
— Brujita Mala (@InsurgentPrieta) October 31, 2014
I too have #BeenRapedNeverReported. Took me years to call it rape. Because I didn’t want to admit it even to myself. Still can’t, really.
— Sex+Bex (@BexvanKoot) October 30, 2014
— Lynne (@Hunkerton) October 30, 2014
The Huffington Post Canada’s tribute, pictured above, used tweets to drive home the point that reporting to police isn’t always a safe option for survivors. HuffPost editor Lisa Yeung wrote,
Words previously unspoken out of fear or shame must not be ignored, whether one or thousands speak them at once. … To the thousands who have shared on #BeenRapedNeverReported: Your stories are courageous beyond words. Thank you.
Since Ghomeshi was fired from his CBC radio show last week, nine women have come forward—some anonymously, some not—with stories of physical and sexual abuse. Three women have taken their complaints to Toronto police, who are currently investigating the former radio host.
We salute HuffPost Canada’s editors for their willingness to share stories of survival with dignity and respect.