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Why CSASS will ALWAYS believe you.

The Struggle

On Friday 10th November at 7pm we will meet at Storyhouse in Chester to ‘Reclaim The Night‘. The history of the Reclaim The Night protest goes back to sisters in the 19th Century, but, if you’ve watched the ITV drama about the victims of Peter Sutcliffe, The Long Shadow (we urge caution in watching as it’s very harrowing), you’ll have seen that Reclaim the Night was a huge protest in Leeds in response to curfews being placed on women. They put the pressure back on men to not hurt women. These things can often be taken for granted and when the struggle eases, women’s rights begin to roll back.

Believing Women

The #MeToo movement brought the issue of sexual assault and harassment back to the forefront of public discourse. One of the central themes of this movement is the importance of believing women when they come forward with allegations of sexual assault. In more recent times, with cases like Russell Brand, it’s been difficult to read so much disbelief creeping back into the social conversation, this has also been hugely challenged by the voracious spread of the ideas of misogynists like Andrew Tate and Donald Trump.

In this blog, we will explore why this belief is not only vital for the survivors but for society as a whole.

  • Overcoming the Stigma
    One of the most significant barriers to reporting sexual assault is the fear of not being believed. Many survivors suffer in silence because they anticipate judgment, disbelief, or victim-blaming. When society actively believes women, it sends a powerful message that survivors should not be ashamed or afraid to speak out. This can help reduce the stigma associated with sexual assault and encourage more survivors to come forward, making it easier to address and combat the issue.
  • Encouraging Reporting
    It’s estimated that a significant number of sexual assaults go unreported. Believing women when they come forward can create a supportive environment that encourages survivors to report their experiences to the authorities. Reporting is crucial not only for the individual survivor but for society to hold perpetrators accountable, ensuring that they don’t commit further offenses.
  • Validating Survivor Experiences
    Believing women validates their experiences and the pain they’ve endured. Survivors often grapple with feelings of guilt, shame, and self-doubt. When their experiences are validated and believed, it helps in the healing process. It reinforces the survivor’s sense of self-worth and allows them to move towards recovery and emotional well-being.
  • Holding Perpetrators Accountable
    Belief in women who come forward is a cornerstone of justice. Without the belief in survivors, it becomes exceedingly difficult to hold perpetrators accountable. In cases where there might not be concrete evidence, the survivor’s testimony becomes a crucial piece of the puzzle. By doubting or disbelieving survivors, we risk perpetuating a culture of impunity for sexual offenders.
  • Changing Societal Norms
    Believing women when they say they’ve been raped is essential in reshaping societal norms. It challenges the deeply ingrained stereotypes and misconceptions about sexual assault. It sends a clear message that consent should always be enthusiastic, explicit, and revocable, and that no means no. By reinforcing these principles, we contribute to a cultural shift that can prevent sexual violence from happening in the first place.

Believing women when they say they have been raped is not about blindly accepting any accusation without due process. It is about acknowledging that, far too often, survivors of sexual assault face scepticism, indifference, or hostility when they come forward. Belief in survivors is a crucial step towards creating a society that is more compassionate, supportive, and just. It’s about giving survivors a voice, validating their experiences, and holding perpetrators accountable. By believing women, we can work together to address the pervasive issue of sexual assault and create a world where everyone can live free from the fear of violence.

Come to Reclaim The Night in Chester

Join us in November. Show that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and believe them and say that we will never give up the fight to live in a safer society. Facebook event here – https://fb.me/e/3WFCEZ5my