Content warning: This article contains discussions of sexual assault.
I wrote a similar article just over a year ago when triggered by a tweet. Everyone deals with things differently but I usually turn to writing.
This week in the news has been exhausting and triggering. News that makes you shudder all over and makes goosebumps cover your body.
I am heartbroken for Sarah Everard who was robbed of her life simply walking home. The tragic news has resonated with people across the world that something has to change.
For many women what happened to Sarah Everard is a chilling reminder of many situations we’ve been in before where we have been made to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, then coerced into thinking it’s our own fault. It’s never our fault.
As my time at Stirling begins to come to a close there are a lot of things I will miss. One is the strength and spirit from the student community, specifically some strong women within that community.
From the fierce and fantastic predecessor Editor of Brig Abigail Taylor who always stood up for women’s rights, one of my first memories was her calling out the student union for playing, ‘blurred lines’ a blatantly sexist and disgusting song that promotes rape culture.
To Chloe Whyte the ex-president of the Stirling Student Union who has always been a strong voice and organised the Reclaim the Night Edinburgh event taking place online tomorrow night.
To Jess Reid, the student union women’s officer and founder of the Stirling Sexual Education and Health Society. Jess not only started this fantastic society but was monumental in leading the Stirling sexual assault survey that made the front page of the Herald.
All the powerful voices I have encountered standing up for what’s right and going out their way to tackle these issues head on.
When the news is this overwhelming it is absolutely okay to take time out and away from social media. It is so important to look after your mental well-being.
Solidarity with everyone speaking up and sharing their experiences it takes so much strength and illustrates how common these situations are.
But don’t feel like you have to open up or share, those experiences are yours and you should not do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.
If you need to ,try speaking to a family member or friend who you trust.
I have been in many situations where I have felt violated, scared and uncomfortable from being twelve years old and unknowing to how much it will affect my life to come, to being 21 but still being as shaken as the first time I was sexually assaulted.
As a journalist writing is a joy and something I often use to deal with situations but those situations are ones I am not ready to tackle yet, if ever.
Let’s stand together, share information and look after one another in these tough times! Everyone deals with stuff in their own way, so take care and keep doing you.
If you need advice or support you can contact: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/help-after-rape-and-sexual-assault/
Students can access support via the university website
Feature image credit:Elle