*TW: Discussion of rape and sexual assault.*
This week, we have seen reports of online discussion among TikTok users, warning each other about rumours that a group of men are discussing a national day of rape and sexual assault.
We do not wish to cause any additional alarm for survivors or indeed anyone troubled by this discussion, so we must firstly say that there has been an in-depth look into these rumours by a number of concerned organisations, including Our Safer Schools who found that there is “no contemporary evidence to support them”.
Tiktok have released a statement which reads: “While we have not found evidence on our platform of any videos related to this subject, our safety team is remaining vigilant, and we will remove content that violates our policies.”
Despite apparently being rumours, these are incredibly disturbing ones and emphasise the seriousness and pervasiveness of rape culture within our society.
We are aware there has been a lot of (largely well meaning) advice given to women following these rumours to stay indoors, be vigilant or keep to brightly lit areas. It should never be women’s responsibility to modify and limit their freedoms and behaviours in fear of male violence and we are saddened that discussion of increasing such behaviours is so normalised.
We would like to emphasise that we stand in solidarity with all survivors. It is NEVER a survivor’s fault when a perpetrator makes a decision to enact violence or abuse, regardless of the circumstances of the attack.
Survivors are experts in their own experiences. If you have been following the online discussion about the rumours raised above, we would encourage that you take some time out for self-care. Engaging with emotive issues, online or in person can be upsetting and draining.
Search for ‘safety and self-care’ on our website for tips and advice. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, you may find the resources we shared during Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2021 helpful. They discuss selfcare, specialist support, reconnecting with your body and more. You can find them on our Twitter and Instagram.
The Live Fear Free helpline is here for all survivors, of recent or historic abuse, for loved ones and for concerned individuals. Helpline workers can offer support in a variety of languages, ensuring you can communicate in a way that feels most comfortable for you.
Call: 0808 80 10 800
Live Chat: livefearfree.gov.wales
Email: [email protected]