Several women and some men across the world have been taking to social media to share stories of sexual violence perpetrated against them. The powerful Twitter hashtag #BeenRapedNotReported is being used by many to tell stories of rape, some even opening up for the first time, and why they never reported it.
The hashtag was created by former Toronto Star writer Antonia Zerbisias and Montreal Gazette reporter Sue Montgomery, who shared their own stories of rape.
In an editorial piece for media outlet Al Jazeera, the hashtag creators said: 'It is estimated that more than 80 percent of women do not report their attackers because they fear humiliation or re-victimisation in the legal process. For women of colour, those concerns are heightened by the expectation of racism.'
'Sometimes we keep these stories secret for a lifetime, empowering our attackers to revictimise us every time we blame ourselves for having worn the wrong clothes, or having had one too many drinks, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
'It was also becoming clear through the heated debates on social media that even people we considered enlightened, still don't get it. They have no clue of how common it is for women to be flashed or to have a man masturbate before her while looking her up and down late at night on a subway train, both frightening violations whose impact is often minimised.'
The stories of these survivors are heart-wrenching, and many point out that this could be just 'the tip of the iceberg'.
The News Minute contributed to this story