What is Our Story?
Our Story began as a single event on a single campus, but the motivation behind it has shaped our history and will continue to affect our futures. Survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment find themselves in a world that often isn't supportive. But it doesn't have to be that way. we envision a world where survivors are supported, believed and empowered not only by the people around them, but also the policy and culture that shape their daily lives.
Our Story began as a forum for sharing, listening and standing with Carolina's sexual assault survivors.
In response to UNC-Chapel Hill’s inaction in upholding its promise to pursue safety and justice for all students, we organized a listening session where survivors of sexual assault shared their stories and were finally heard by an audience of administrative staff.
We invited survivors to share their feelings, questions or experiences themselves or anonymously. We invited members of student organizations to attend in solidarity or to read a story on behalf of a survivor. We invited administration to listen, not for the purpose of response, but to truly hear what our campus is feeling about an issue that affects us all. We acknowledged all survivors' stories have always been and always will be legitimate, whether they've been heard or unheard.
We never intended for this event be the final conversation. Our Story culminated in an ask for a committee dedicated to changing the culture and policy of sexual assault on UNC's campus. The Carolina Sexual Assault Coalition serves as advocates with survivors of sexual assault at UNC-Chapel Hill to raise awareness, influence institutional policy and prevent sexual assault and related forms of gender-based violence. Through this coalition, we hope to host more events, publish more photo series, and create programs that are effective in bringing an end to sexual violence.
Feel free to reach out to either of us with any questions, comments or inquires about getting involved. We'd love to hear from you.
Hannah PEtersen and Emma Johnson