Word & Image 

Anita Artis, 49, Social Work Student

click to enlarge ASH DANIEL
  • Ash Daniel

"From the time I can remember to my early teens, I was sexually abused. … I remember going to school and learning about sex — when they teach you about the birds and bees, and they show you the little videos — and it just dawned on me, that what was happening to me at night wasn't supposed to be happening to me.

"I told my mom about it. And there were no resources and no information at that time. It was just like, "Be quiet, don't talk about it, it will go away, you'll grow out of it" — which you'll absolutely not.

"I've got quite a history with this. I also went back to school. Working with trauma survivors and abuse survivors, especially adult survivors of sexual abuse, is kind of a passion of mine. I'm not young. I've been around a long time. I'm a childhood survivor too. Later in my life, I had something else happen that taught me it doesn't go away after childhood.

"It happened to me, it happened to everybody. I will tell you, out of every single one of my friends, I can hardly meet one who hasn't had something like this happen in her life. Almost every woman I've met and some men.

"[The One Billion Rising rally] is a resource, and it's attention to the problem in a big way. It gets it out of the dark. … You can shine a light toward a solution, toward help, toward people to talk to, that you're not alone, that there are answers. … And if you can help, it's like the best revenge you can get, helping someone else gain victory over the problem that has held them … that's empowering. It's a solution.

"Legislation, all that's fine, but the survivor has to live with it. The victim has to live with it, no matter what anybody else does or doesn't do. And we're ultimately the ones that have to live with it, so I love that we're ultimately the ones coming together to find a way to fight it and to find answers for it."

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