Sexual assault is an epidemic on Penn’s campus. It’s a massive, frightening problem everywhere. Of course, this sounds like frustratingly common knowledge. For some, though, it’s easy to ignore the sexual violence that happens at Penn. It can be easy to ignore  the numbers and statistics. It’s hard to ignore first–person testimonies. 

That’s why 34th Street Magazine has decided that for our last issue of the semester, we’re filling our pages with first–person testimonies from assault survivors. Our entire print publication and our entire online presence will be dedicated only to survivors and their stories.

Sexual assault and rape don’t touch just one gender, one sexuality, one ethnicity. Sexual violence comes in different forms, under different contexts, and affects everyone in a different way. That’s why we want to collect as many testimonies as possible from as many people as possible. If you have a story to tell, we want to hear it. Narratives, poems, artwork—whatever form your story takes, we want to share it. 

As a campus publication with a wide reach, we want to give survivors a platform to tell their stories and make sure that they’re heard. Whether it’s offering education, a sense of community, or even catharsis—Street wants to provide a way to use your voice and tell your story. We want to put groups that so often get pushed to the side at the forefront. We want to give those who feel like they’ve lost their voice a way to communicate. 

For those of you who are ready to share, we welcome your stories. For those of you who aren’t, we hope this project brings you some sense of comfort that your voice matters and is being recognized. 

There are too many stories that go unheard. Help Street share them. 

Here’s How to Contribute: 

  • Please send your testimony to streetassaultissue@gmail.com by November 17th
  • Please include in the body of your email if you’d prefer to be anonymous. To guarantee that we’re respecting everyone’s privacy, we’ll send a follow–up email to ensure we have the correct attribution. 
  • If you’re struggling to put your piece together, or if you just want to talk, either Managing Editor Dani Blum (blum@thedp.com) or Editor–in–Chief Orly Greenberg (greenberg@thedp.com) are available to sit down in person to edit, discuss, and figure out the best way to tell your story. 
  • Share this letter on Facebook, with your friends, on group listservs. Give others the opportunity to use their voice. 

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