‘Using The Words’ is a writing project which brings together the stories of survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and the stories of those close to them. Through writing, we aim to share our knowledge and experiences, to name what happened to us as part of our personal journey of healing, and to create together a language of survival.There are as many stories to tell as there are survivors, and you can chose to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable. This story is in your hands. It is a space to discuss what happened, the impact it had, and how you coped with what was happening. There is no set format, and we will repost anything from essays to short stories to poetry. All that we ask is that you speak from your experience.All content will be posted to the blog anonymously, and collected stories will be published in a hard copy zine as well a free PDF on this website in Autumn 2013. You can find more details of of the project online here. Please ensure you have read the safe writing guidelines below before you submit your story.
- Word count 500 – 1,500 (with some flexibility)
- Don’t include identifying personal details such as addresses, workplaces, specific groups or organisations
- It is ok to detail what words were used against you or used in context of what someone else said, but we will not accept any language used against other people that is racist, homophobic, ablist, classist, sexist, transphobic or derogatory in any way.
- Remember this is for the internet and we can’t make guarantees about who will read it and where it might be shared.
- All posts will be anonymous.
- Any names used will be changed as standard for the safety of the writer and of everyone involved on the project. This will happen regardless of whether writers indicate names have already been changed.
- If you are sharing writing that you have already published in some form elsewhere, perhaps on a personal blog, be careful as to what identifying details could be traced back to you.
- We ask that people who did not experience the abuse directly, for instance family and friends of survivors, focus on their own experiences rather telling someone elses story. Only you can decide the boundaries of this. Please interpret this guideline respectfully.