When I do sexual assault prevention education, I often start with a standard little activity, where the first person names the number of people they know who have been sexually assaulted, and then the second person adds the people they’ve known to that, and the third adds theirs to that and so on. So if you know one person you say, “One,” and then if the next person knows two people, they say “Three,” and so on. You see?
I did that this morning, went around the group, listened to them add. There were 22 students in the group.
By the time they got to the end, the number was 84.
With 22 students in the group.
I didn’t cry until I got home, more than 8 hours later. Quite proud of that.
Why do I do this work, when there are days like this, that eat away at me?
I do it BECAUSE days like this exist. And because 22 women, representing 84 survivors, show up to a classroom on a sunny Thursday morning to learn how to stop it.