Today’s BLAST topic is really difficult to talk about - and that’s the problem! But #HistoryHero Maya Siegel is making it Safe to Speak about sexual violence.
At 14, Maya had her first experience with sexual assault. She had neither the tools nor the confidence to talk about it. So she did what most assault survivors do: she kept her experience to herself.
For years, she struggled with intimacy, trust, and the emotional trauma that plagued her everyday life. Then, in her first year as a US undergraduate, she found an online community - a safe place - where she began writing about sexual violence. Writing changed her life.
Now, this #ChangeMaker is passionate about connecting with and supporting other survivors of rape, attempted rape, incest, and sexual assault. She works to dismantle rape culture, and to help other young survivors so that they don’t feel alone.
Did you know…
Someone is assaulted every 98 seconds.
Sexual abuse survivors cross every political, racial, religious, and gender boundary.
69% of sexual assault victims are aged 12-34.
28.5% of undergraduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
Females aged 16-19 are 4x more likely to be victimized.
And 1-in-10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
That’s a lot of children!!!
Still, sexual violence is trivialized by society and most perpetrators get away with their crimes. Survivors are often told it’s their fault, so they choose not to speak up and suffer in silence.
Maya and her co-founder, Alex Hooten, are trying to change that. They decided to start a youth-run organization dedicated to being a resource for young survivors and allies, SpaceToSpeak.org. With gratitude to you Maya! Keep up the good work.