How we talk about sexual assault online | Ione Wells

How we talk about sexual assault online | Ione Wells


It was April, last year. I was on an evening out with friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. We hadn’t been all together
for a couple of weeks; it was a perfect evening,
as we were all reunited. At the end of the evening, I caught the last underground train
back to the other side of London. The journey was smooth. I got back to my local station and I began the 10-minute walk home. As I turned the corner onto my street, my house in sight up ahead, I heard footsteps behind me that seemed to have
approached out of nowhere and were picking up pace. Before I had time to process
what was happening, a hand was clapped around my mouth
so that I could not breathe, and the young man behind me
dragged me to the ground, beat my head repeatedly
against the pavement until my face began to bleed, kicking me in the back and neck while he began to assault me, ripping off my clothes
and telling me to “shut up,” as I struggled to cry for help. With each smack of my head
to the concrete ground, a question echoed through my mind
that still haunts me today: “Is this going to be how it all ends?” Little could I have realized,
I’d been followed the whole way from the moment I left the station. And hours later, I was standing topless and barelegged
in front of the police, having the cuts and bruises
on my naked body photographed for forensic evidence. Now, there are few words to describe
the all-consuming feelings of vulnerability, shame, upset
and injustice that I was ridden with in that moment and for the weeks to come. But wanting to find a way
to condense these feelings into something ordered
that I could work through, I decided to do what
felt most natural to me: I wrote about it. It started out as a cathartic exercise. I wrote a letter to my assaulter, humanizing him as “you,” to identify him as part
of the very community that he had so violently
abused that night. Stressing the tidal-wave
effect of his actions, I wrote: “Did you ever think
of the people in your life? I don’t know who the people
in your life are. I don’t know anything about you. But I do know this: you did not just attack me that night. I’m a daughter, I’m a friend, I’m a sister, I’m a pupil, I’m a cousin, I’m a niece, I’m a neighbor; I’m the employee
who served everyone coffee in the café under the railway. And all the people who form
these relations to me make up my community. And you assaulted
every single one of them. You violated the truth that I
will never cease to fight for, and which all of these people represent: that there are infinitely more
good people in the world than bad.” But, determined not to let
this one incident make me lose faith in the solidarity in my community
or humanity as a whole, I recalled the 7/7 terrorist bombings
in July 2005 on London transport, and how the mayor of London at the time,
and indeed my own parents, had insisted that we all get back
on the tubes the next day, so we wouldn’t be defined or changed by those that had made us feel unsafe. I told my attacker, “You’ve carried out your attack, but now I’m getting back on my tube. My community will not feel we are unsafe
walking home after dark. We will get on the last tubes home, and we will walk up our streets alone, because we will not ingrain
or submit to the idea that we are putting ourselves
in danger in doing so. We will continue
to come together, like an army, when any member
of our community is threatened. And this is a fight you will not win.” At the time of writing this letter — (Applause) Thank you. (Applause) At the time of writing this letter, I was studying for my exams in Oxford, and I was working
on the local student paper there. Despite being lucky enough to have
friends and family supporting me, it was an isolating time. I didn’t know anyone
who’d been through this before; at least I didn’t think I did. I’d read news reports, statistics,
and knew how common sexual assault was, yet I couldn’t actually name
a single person that I’d heard speak out
about an experience of this kind before. So in a somewhat spontaneous decision, I decided that I would publish
my letter in the student paper, hoping to reach out to others in Oxford that might have had a similar experience
and be feeling the same way. At the end of the letter, I asked others to write in
with their experiences under the hashtag, “#NotGuilty,” to emphasize that survivors of assault
could express themselves without feeling shame or guilt
about what happened to them — to show that we could all
stand up to sexual assault. What I never anticipated
is that almost overnight, this published letter would go viral. Soon, we were receiving
hundreds of stories from men and women across the world, which we began to publish
on a website I set up. And the hashtag became a campaign. There was an Australian mother in her 40s
who described how on an evening out, she was followed to the bathroom by a man who went
to repeatedly grab her crotch. There was a man in the Netherlands who described how he was date-raped
on a visit to London and wasn’t taken seriously
by anyone he reported his case to. I had personal Facebook messages
from people in India and South America, saying, how can we bring
the message of the campaign there? One of the first contributions we had
was from a woman called Nikki, who described growing up,
being molested my her own father. And I had friends open up to me about experiences ranging
from those that happened last week to those that happened years ago,
that I’d had no idea about. And the more we started
to receive these messages, the more we also started
to receive messages of hope — people feeling empowered
by this community of voices standing up to sexual assault
and victim-blaming. One woman called Olivia, after describing how she was attacked by someone she had trusted
and cared about for a long time, said, “I’ve read many
of the stories posted here, and I feel hopeful that if so many
women can move forward, then I can, too. I’ve been inspired by many, and I hope I can be as strong
as them someday. I’m sure I will.” People around the world began
tweeting under this hashtag, and the letter was republished
and covered by the national press, as well as being translated into several
other languages worldwide. But something struck me
about the media attention that this letter was attracting. For something to be front-page news, given the word “news” itself, we can assume it must be something new
or something surprising. And yet sexual assault
is not something new. Sexual assault, along with other
kinds of injustices, is reported in the media all the time. But through the campaign, these injustices were framed
as not just news stories, they were firsthand experiences
that had affected real people, who were creating,
with the solidarity of others, what they needed
and had previously lacked: a platform to speak out, the reassurance they weren’t alone
or to blame for what happened to them and open discussions that would help
to reduce stigma around the issue. The voices of those directly affected
were at the forefront of the story — not the voices of journalists
or commentators on social media. And that’s why the story was news. We live in an incredibly
interconnected world with the proliferation of social media, which is of course a fantastic resource
for igniting social change. But it’s also made us
increasingly reactive, from the smallest annoyances
of, “Oh, my train’s been delayed,” to the greatest injustices of war,
genocides, terrorist attacks. Our default response has become
to leap to react to any kind of grievance by tweeting, Facebooking, hastagging — anything to show others
that we, too, have reacted. The problem with reacting
in this manner en masse is it can sometimes mean
that we don’t actually react at all, not in the sense of actually
doing anything, anyway. It might make ourselves feel better, like we’ve contributed
to a group mourning or outrage, but it doesn’t actually change anything. And what’s more, it can sometimes drown out the voices of those directly
affected by the injustice, whose needs must be heard. Worrying, too, is the tendency
for some reactions to injustice to build even more walls, being quick to point fingers
with the hope of providing easy solutions to complex problems. One British tabloid,
on the publication of my letter, branded a headline stating, “Oxford Student Launches
Online Campaign to Shame Attacker.” But the campaign never
meant to shame anyone. It meant to let people speak
and to make others listen. Divisive Twitter trolls were quick
to create even more injustice, commenting on
my attacker’s ethnicity or class to push their own prejudiced agendas. And some even accused me
of feigning the whole thing to push, and I quote, my “feminist agenda of man-hating.” (Laughter) I know, right? As if I’m going to be like,
“Hey guys! Sorry I can’t make it, I’m busy trying to hate
the entire male population by the time I’m 30.” (Laughter) Now, I’m almost sure that these people wouldn’t say
the things they say in person. But it’s as if because they might
be behind a screen, in the comfort in their own home when on social media, people forget that what
they’re doing is a public act — that other people will be reading it
and be affected by it. Returning to my analogy
of getting back on our trains, another main concern I have
about this noise that escalates from our online responses to injustice is that it can very easily slip
into portraying us as the affected party, which can lead to a sense of defeatism, a kind of mental barrier to seeing
any opportunity for positivity or change after a negative situation. A couple of months
before the campaign started or any of this happened to me, I went to a TEDx event in Oxford, and I saw Zelda la Grange speak, the former private secretary
to Nelson Mandela. One of the stories
she told really struck me. She spoke of when
Mandela was taken to court by the South African Rugby Union after he commissioned
an inquiry into sports affairs. In the courtroom, he went up to the South African
Rugby Union’s lawyers, shook them by the hand and conversed with them,
each in their own language. And Zelda wanted to protest, saying they had no right to his respect after this injustice they had caused him. He turned to her and said, “You must never allow the enemy
to determine the grounds for battle.” At the time of hearing these words, I didn’t really know why
they were so important, but I felt they were, and I wrote them
down in a notebook I had on me. But I’ve thought about this line
a lot ever since. Revenge, or the expression of hatred towards those who have done us injustice may feel like a human instinct
in the face of wrong, but we need to break out of these cycles if we are to hope to transform
negative events of injustice into positive social change. To do otherwise continues to let the enemy
determine the grounds for battle, creates a binary, where we who have suffered
become the affected, pitted against them, the perpetrators. And just like we got back on our tubes, we can’t let our platforms
for interconnectivity and community be the places that we settle for defeat. But I don’t want to discourage
a social media response, because I owe the development
of the #NotGuilty campaign almost entirely to social media. But I do want to encourage
a more considered approach to the way we use it
to respond to injustice. The start, I think,
is to ask ourselves two things. Firstly: Why do I feel this injustice? In my case, there were
several answers to this. Someone had hurt me and those who I loved, under the assumption they
wouldn’t have to be held to account or recognize the damage they had caused. Not only that, but thousands
of men and women suffer every day from sexual abuse, often in silence, yet it’s still a problem we don’t give
the same airtime to as other issues. It’s still an issue many people
blame victims for. Next, ask yourself: How,
in recognizing these reasons, could I go about reversing them? With us, this was holding my attacker
to account — and many others. It was calling them out
on the effect they had caused. It was giving airtime
to the issue of sexual assault, opening up discussions amongst friends,
amongst families, in the media that had been closed for too long, and stressing that victims
shouldn’t feel to blame for what happened to them. We might still have a long way to go
in solving this problem entirely. But in this way, we can begin to use social media
as an active tool for social justice, as a tool to educate,
to stimulate dialogues, to make those in positions
of authority aware of an issue by listening to those
directly affected by it. Because sometimes these questions
don’t have easy answers. In fact, they rarely do. But this doesn’t mean we still
can’t give them a considered response. In situations where
you can’t go about thinking how you’d reverse
this feeling of injustice, you can still think,
maybe not what you can do, but what you can not do. You can not build further walls
by fighting injustice with more prejudice, more hatred. You can not speak over those
directly affected by an injustice. And you can not react to injustice,
only to forget about it the next day, just because the rest
of Twitter has moved on. Sometimes not reacting
instantly is, ironically, the best immediate course
of action we can take. Because we might be angry, upset
and energized by injustice, but let’s consider our responses. Let us hold people to account,
without descending into a culture that thrives off shaming
and injustice ourselves. Let us remember that distinction, so often forgotten by internet users, between criticism and insult. Let us not forget
to think before we speak, just because we might
have a screen in front of us. And when we create noise on social media, let it not drown out the needs
of those affected, but instead let it amplify their voices, so the internet becomes a place
where you’re not the exception if you speak out about something
that has actually happened to you. All these considered
approaches to injustice evoke the very keystones
on which the internet was built: to network, to have signal, to connect — all these terms that imply
bringing people together, not pushing people apart. Because if you look up the word
“justice” in the dictionary, before punishment, before administration of law
or judicial authority, you get: “The maintenance of what is right.” And I think there are few things
more “right” in this world than bringing people together, than unions. And if we allow social media
to deliver that, then it can deliver a very powerful
form of justice, indeed. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “How we talk about sexual assault online | Ione Wells

  1. I don't understand dislike/like ratio. The talk is badly paced, but that doesn't make the message of "don't instantly react to something" any less ironic in the video, because that's exactly what people are doing

  2. The title is misleading garbage, badly worded and total click-bait. Whoever gave that the go ahead should be kicked in the shins.

    The talk itself was hit and miss for me. I quite liked that she said both men and women, as that's too often forgotten by the radical feminists. I disliked even the mention of 'social justice', as that is proving more and more to be an idealogically driven cult rather than a movement that 'considers' anything. There was also, at the beginning of her tale, the hint of those bad rape stats of 1 in 4 or 5 that have been so thoroughly and repeatedly debunked. I'm just glad she never went right into them or I would have stopped watching right there. Well, no, I wouldn't, but I would've gone into full 'know thy enemy' mode for the rest of it.

    What I got from this talk, if I'm correct, is that victims of rape should not allow that to define them for the rest of their lives, and the rest of us should help them to deal with the trauma, not virtue signal by tweeting about how awful it is and then forget about it, nor should we blame the victim because she wore a short skirt. That sounds reasonable to me, and unless I'm mistaken, the speaker never once called herself a 'rape survivor', and did not, at least to me, seem to ever really try to play the typical SJW victimology poker.

    Of all the horrible things that can happen to a person, why is that only victims of rape are given a pass on recovery? There's no other trauma I can think of, certainly not one that would invovle another person, from drunk driving to being simply beaten half to death, that we don't expect people to recover from. We don't have people paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by an armed intruder calling themselves 'home invasion survivors', but I would wager they have a great deal of trauma to deal with.

    I think the speaker was talking about trying to actually help victims of rape take back control, and not be defined as victims for the rest of their lives.

  3. "You've carried out your attack, but now I'm getting back ON my TUBE" 3:10
    Oh dear… There is something wrong with my brain.

  4. TED should consider changing the title. I'm sure people disliked without watching or did quickly after hearing the way she spoke.

    I respect her introspection and I feel for the people legitimately taken advantage of. However, it should be considered that there are other people, just like the 'twitter trolls', that give feminism and sexual assault awareness a bad name because they may also be delusional to reality. Movements like this have become a subject of criticism because real assault stories are mixed in with rants of delusional feminists who actually do hate men. Social media can be a cesspool and using it to actually do something about this problem would just be laughed at.

    It is a complicated problem and being powerless is terrifying, but tweeting about it would only give people more reason to undermine its legitimacy. Real change needs to happen using a different medium.

  5. So, a callous disregard for the immigration policy which allowed her migrant rapist to enter her country, an utter misapprehension regarding the prevalence of rape in most western societies, and a failure to understand that there are means by which people can reduce their risk of rape? It is a shame that such an articulate young woman employs these and other fallacies.

  6. read some of the comments above and below ….they are coming from the same aggressive and arrogant alpha male mindsets as the one who brutalized this beautiful lady . …..the message i'm taking away from here is that the minority , if at all, of these " retrograde personalty types " are sensible enough to let mere loving words such as the letter written by this young lady wash away the thick dirt enveloping their better selves ….as we can read from their callous comments ….they require much more involved " rehabilitation " to leave the ranks of the woeful wilderness and enter into true civility ….

  7. That's good 🙂 … every hear what 'Lionel Tiger' says about those types of perpetrators? Perhaps for a moment maybe you can think in terms of that guy ( assuming it was a guy? ) … just what is going on inside his head that allows him to justify such an act? Seriously, we all know it's totally wrong, but that guy probably thinks it's ok and justifies it totally in his mind. To find justice you really need to understand what motivating those dweebs. Personally, I'd just immediately slaughter that genetic line, but I imagine nature has a plan and were not Gods. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I sincerely apologize for those idiots out there.

  8. Why so many dislike? The talk is a bit dense and boring for my taste, but she doesn't say anything outrageously wrong (maybe I missed it, I skipped some parts). I find the link between assault and terrorism quite weak, but that's all.

  9. This is a wonderfully encouraging speech about not hating humans and beoming bitter simply because of the few sadistic people in the world. the world is a better place because of this person and see no logical reason people can say mean things about her. shes fighting for humanity as a whole not feminism. not that there's anything wrong with fighting for females but that is not at all what this video is about. so why all the feminism hate? I find the comments here to be most peculiar

  10. Yeah, sexual assault is bad, everyone know it. So has every other crime but sexual assault is the only crime that affect more women then man so obviously it is more important. You know, because justice ans stuff.

  11. The type of attack described by the speaker has always been regarded, at least in civilized societies, as a very serious crime requiring severe punishment of perpetrators. This isn't mere "injustice", it's forcible rape. Why do feminists want to trivialize this by conflating it with far less serious offenses?

  12. 2:50 Does the speaker actually believe that her rapist is like an Islamic terrorist fighting for some greater cause – the ability to rape without consequence – like the Islamist fights to spread Islam, punish infidels and win 72 virgins? Does she think that is what men want?

  13. What is the percent of victims of sexual assault that get blamed? I simply don't believe that it's even 1%. Victim blaming is a feminist construct. No doubt that some assholes blame victims, but it's far from the normal, and far from a problem. I'm willing to support the idea that people should talk about what they wish to, but it sounds like you're saying it's societies fault for your unwillingness to speak out. Sounds like victim blaming to me.

  14. Modern White people have such bizarre reactions to violent assaults from non-Whites and Muslims. Violent crime statistics from all around the world reveal pretty consistent racial patterns. Blacks and Muslims are especially prone to sexual assault. But rather than choosing the logical decision to keep blacks and Muslims out of White countries, liberals like her instead support flooding our countries with blacks and Muslims – to the point that we're becoming minorities in our own cities and countries. They also want to criminalize White bigotry so that White people can't even complain about what's happening to them.

    Liberalism is a dangerous mental disorder that is turning White Western civilization into a 3rd world cesspit. She got raped by a black Muslim immigrant in an iconic White city where White Britons are now minorities, and she used her rape as an excuse to further the progressive feminist ideology that caused her rape in the first place.

    The idea that White Western civilization shames women into not speaking out about being sexually assaulted is an insane feminist conspiracy theory. The only people that are trying to cover up rape culture are left-wing feminists like her that are trying to cover up how lecherous non-White and Islamic males are because they don't want to aid far-right White Nationalists like me.

    And I'm all for victim blaming, just not in the sense that she's referring to. If you support open borders, mass non-White and Islamic immigration, and the demonization and criminalization of White Nationalists that want to protect our people, then yes, I will hold you responsible when you get assaulted by the foreign invaders that you're literally in bed with. In fact, I'm glad that it happened to you. I just wish that the non-White hordes that are flooding into our countries only attacked the liberal race traitors like you rather the the innocent people who had nothing to do with the progressive movement that's trying to demographically annihilate the White race.

    A lot of White Nationalists like to say that black-on-White crime will wake White people up from their liberal brain trance, but you're proof that the exact opposite is true. You take a beating from your non-White comrades and somehow rationalize it in your warped brain to redouble your support for mass immigration and suicidal tolerance of "the other". There's no hope for people like you. You're destined to extinguish your own race while patting yourself on the back while doing it. Which is why a far-right revolution needs to come to power in order to prevent future generations from being brainwashed by left-wing feminist ideology.

  15. The comments here are so disheartening. Probably sad lonely people behind their screens. This was a very poised and well delivered powerful message. It's just a shame about the ignorance those have towards the word 'feminism' this is all a movement towards equality, not a female takeover.

  16. Thank you for you message, for fight against the rape culture and for stop shaming victims. People like you are really helpful

  17. I am disgusted and appalled by the negative reactions to this talk. Please watch the video before you embarrass yourself with your ignorant comments.

  18. "Let us not forget to think before we speak just because we might have a screen in front of us. And when we create noise on social media, let it now drown out the needs of those affected but instead let it amplify their voices. So the internet becomes a place where you're not the exception if you speak out about something that has actually happened to you. All these considered approaches to injustice evoke the very keystones upon which the internet was built; to network, to have signal, to connect. All these terms that imply bringing people together not pushing people apart. Because if you look up the word justice in the dictionary, before punishment, before administration of law or judicial authority, you get the maintenance of what is right. I think there are few things for right in this world than bringing people together than unions. And if we allow social media to deliver that then it can deliver a very powerful form of justice indeed."

    So don't use social media but do use social media to deliver a powerful message. I am utterly confused by the entirety of this TED talk and if I were to write all of it out I could see a number of contradictions. I haven't downvoted a TED talk in a long time but I think this is one that deserves it.

  19. You lot at TED and TEDx are a disgrace. Apparently only those ideas you approve of are allowed to be spread. Any criticism or critical discussion is not allowed and you file DNCA notifications. I refer you to that abomination of a 'Brett and Sarah' diatribe. You only seem to give a platform to Social Justice Whiners and Feminazi's.
    I support Bearing 100% and am in no doubt his videos on Fat Abuse will be reinstated.

  20. Did you know that TED files fraudulent copyright claims on YouTubers for saying things they don't like about one of their talks? Yep, apparently TED only wants a conversation when people are saying stuff they agree with. Bearing has a bone to pick with you, TED.

  21. Not gonna lie, I am a little freaked out by all the dislikes and negative comments. This was a great talk. Strengths include:

    1. Good Pace
    2. Simple Language
    3. Focus on Primary Sources
    4. Breaks 4th Wall by discussing primary sources as a focus for discussion
    5. Discusses the effects of Social Media technology on our understanding of sexual assault and other issues
    6. Presents solutions to problems that she brings up
    7. Pretty
    8. Confident
    9. Not afraid of the word genocide
    10. Hella Haters
    11. Forthcoming Battle Rap Album?

  22. I feel like you focus too much on the people questioning the validity of sexual assault claims. They aren't necessarily the problem. Sexual assault is real, and it is a very big problem, I'm not going to dispute that. But it has also been used as a way to ruin people's lives, even if acquitted of the crime. Growing up I was taught that one bad deed will negate the effects of hundreds of good deeds, which I feel cannot be argued against. The same can be used in this scenario. The selfish people that would make these false claims out of pure spite of another person ruined the credibility of a lot of sexual assault victims. Claiming that you were sexually assaulted by a man is one of the most devastating blows to not only his present, but his future as well. He will never be respected by anyone who knows of the claims. And if we don't have the people questioning the claims, then what's going to stop it from being abused and used at a way to completely ruin a person's life. The sad thing is that there aren't any definitive solutions, and I dont think there ever will be. It's so hard to convict someone of sexual assault because most of the time it comes down to a he said/ she said, which will always go in favor of the defendant because no evidence equals no conviction. That's why so many women don't speak up about their situations. But lets say that they didn't need substantial evidence about what had happened and the court would just trust the woman. Then there is a huge door wide open for people to abuse the system. It's just such a scary situation.

  23. This is an important talk, yet there are a lot of people here thinking this is some sort of feminist propoganda. One question: Why?

  24. South Park FTW. Why? watch this season about trolls. Pinning two rational sides against eachother for the sake of semantics is genius. This video is a great example. One side dislikes the video because it caters towards censorship and doesn't follow the tech and science platform. While the other side, likes the video because it is about a real victim looking for a real change. The conflict comes from a third point: Disagreeing with one another for a reason the other doesn't find relevant enough. Some People complain about feminism, while others complain about anti-feminism but for the same reason. We all agree rape is bad, but we all can also agree that the platform of which we discuss these types of issues needs a lot of work. BUT I am glad to see both sides fighting for what they believe. That is your right and whether I agree or not, I respect the right to make the point in the first place. Remember there was a point in time not too long ago, where freedom on this level was a dream.

  25. I'm an anti-SJW who watched the whole speech, and I still don't get why this have so many dislikes. Where's the encouragement of censorship that she is supposedly in favor for?

  26. The problem with the way we talk about sexual assault online or in real life is this: Some people quickly assume those who share their experiences are making up the whole thing. And, while this may be the case in some situations, it doesn't mean that those who have legitimately experienced it deserve voices of ridicule and disbelief. Rape is wrong but so is lying about being raped. When someone lies about being raped, it hurts those who have experienced this trauma and those who have been wrongly accused.

  27. The worst thing you can do after going through sexual assault is attempting to "humanize" the one who committed it. Remember, every rapist, robber, murderer… anyone who has commited a serious crime knows that what they did was wrong, but if we attmept to raise ourselves into a false feeling of moral high-ground by sending them letters all it does is further weaken us to these crimes. So, provide a platform for all victims of abuse to speak freely about it, but also teach people to defend themselves physically and have an aggressive mentality towards abuse. The subhuman that abused you doesn't deserve a letter, it deserves broken bones.

  28. I think what she's trying to say is when you post an information, people can turn it around and use it for their agenda, which sometimes destroys it's primarily purpose. I don't understand why so many people have a problem with that.

  29. Of course her solution and points are incomplete in the grand scheme of things, but I think she did a good job about addressing how movements and social interactions/discussion should be flowing in social media, and maybe other areas of life too. Her commentary on how people react on social media is also pretty on point aha, especially when looking at some comments on this very video

  30. I'd love to see the statistics of this video, how many disliked and left?
    Is there a correlation between dislikes, quick leavers and the average like/dislike ratio of an average TED video?

  31. I to have been asulted more then once we have to learn to deal with it then put it dehind us and go on take all that's positive with us perhaps make good come from a horable ugly experience .like the lady speaking. Can only say hates off t you.

  32. This brave young person talked about both men AND women in her well-poised speech, giving all victims of sexual assault hope and empowerment. "Meninists" and misogynists who I assume are responsible for the majority of the dislikes need to heed to the information in the video before reacting negatively purely to the words "sexual assault".
    What if (God forbid) this was someone you knew? Would you not want you or your loved ones to REACH OUT through HER CAMPAIGN (cause really that's all she talked about in the video) to seek help?
    Please, have some respect.

  33. You spoke for 14 minutes without reaching a point. Also many of your claims are dumb. No one is victim blaming. But there is something called risky behavior. For instance if I show a wallet full of money in a bad neighborhood and get mugged I am not to blame but I am partially responsible for the crime. And your solution is not taking precautions, not anything that could diminuish the number of victims, no, your solution is censoring speech.

  34. One of the most moving talks on this show. Amazing courage and fortitude displayed here. As a father and husband i want my whole family to see this. Thanks for the upload.

  35. I used to like TED for insightful talks about meaningful topics in science and academics in a 21st century environment, now it's a biased shithole spewing leftist garbage out left and right. cmon!

  36. Don't worry about all that rape and violence. It doesn't matter. Your great-great grandkids could be poor and hopeless idiots because of the butterfly effect caused by it, and the rapist's great-great grandkids will be successful and powerful in some way or another. But it'll be equal then, so it doesn't matter now. Just like native americans, african americans, and asian americans compared to the whites that raped and murdered our people in the past, right?

    Edit: Except as you can tell, these time are much different. By her tone and reasoning, you can tell she's slightly off in her morality of others. Of course the guy assaulted you, but you have to "humanize" him? You do realize that psychopaths are defined by their lack of empathy, and if you had to actually effort to have empathy for someone else instead of having it by nature then maybe you fit the bill. Anyway, as you can tell she's a powerful and confident young female. Just the kind to end up successful and wealthy regardless of what happens to her. A real demon to the third world, globalized nations, and oppressed cultures such as myself. Nothing but money spreading money spreading power spreading money spreading power from her and her type. You make me sick with your manipulative yet still clear superiority complex.

  37. Although some excellent points were brought up I do have a few problems with this, firstly commenting that men had opened up to u about there attacks then less than a minute later completely ignoring that men have this happen to them too, I appreciate that u do not like the idea of "man shaming" it is refreshing, but commenting on something then ignoring the comment seems unfair. Now the second problem is that social media is not a medium that can be "regulated" as much as u seem to want, the problem is that social media and the internet in general is different from anything that has come before and cannot play by the same rules. Someone cannot be silenced simply because of there accusations or opinions no matter how extreme or unfair. In my opinion that is the greatest thing about the internet, a persons ability to voice and opinion where they could not outside, it gives everyone an equal chance of being heard, u do not have a bigger voice just because ur rich or powerful, and trying to pull the tongue out of so many others just because they don't agree with u it they have an opinion or they question ur reasoning for the campaign is simply unfair and is should never be allowed no matter what, I'm Irish so we don't play the "free speech" here, but if I don't agree with someone i have the right and should always have the right to interject and to object and voice my own counter argument, this is not "victim shaming" or "discrimination" and not be silenced. The internet is a new medium that cannot be regulated as much as u hope, I'm sorry, but that's my opinion

  38. I'm so happy I've found that video I feel like it's the one I needed to watch to help me heal 🙂 and what a strong woman I feel like I have my feet on the ground again. Thank you 🙂

  39. I just started up a channel trying to create a community for those of us who have experienced sexual assault in all it's forms. Check it out if you want!

  40. this girl is brave and kind, but the real world is much dangerous , so take care of yourself ,it is better to prevent those things happen than tell the story.

  41. People never want to hear that we, as a whole deny the truth of what is in front of us each and every day. We see events, and the after effects, and blind ourselves to the pain we see. At the point that our self-imposed blinders come off, we are overwhelmed by the shame of our blindness, we usually over react with our only natural defense for this: Anger. She makes a very good point, if we are to overcome the problems of the world, we need to move past the base instinct to attack with anger, and find constructive ways to create a safer world. A place where we actively look out for one another. The evidence that we don't do this is all around us shown by the things we turn a blind eye to and do nothing about. The poison that will eventually kill us all is the idea that any individual person isn't worthy of a helping hand, that because we may be better off we don't have a responsibility to help someone who isn't as well off. If you think you are above this, when was the last time you stepped up and put a stop to a stranger degrading someone else? If you had seen the assault of this woman, would you have stepped in? As a whole, we have to work together. As an individual we are weak, as a whole looking out for each other we are a force to be reckoned with.

    In short, thank you Ms. Wells for your strength. You have brought up a subject we hide our heads in the sand from. I hope this and similar movements bring hope to the men and women who have been a receiver of these injustices, and encourages bystanders to keep an eye out and offer a helping hand to those less fortunate.

    Thank you, again!

  42. I keep seeing the word feminism in the comments. Sexual assault affects more than just woman… Including myself. I am a male who survived a terrible sexual assault and I'm not alone. Many more man than people think are affected as well by sexual assault. Some people need a learning lesson. But this woman is seriously strong and I have total respect for her!!

  43. Sad to know people are having problem with a positive change….but the world is big and people like Wells are bringing a positive change.

  44. I have been exposing the guy who raped my girlfriend for 3 years now….FACEBOOK and Youtube

  45. This women gets up in front of a large crowd of people and this video has been viewed almost 100,000 times and tells her own story of sexual assault and tries to advocate for others and she still gets hate. This women has more balls and motivation then everyone who said something nasty in the comments combined together. And thats not it. Everytime someone tries to advocate for sexual assault, they get more hate than praise. Unless you've experienced something similar man or woman, you need to stfu.

  46. This is the reason people are ashamed to speak out about sexual assault. I understand that there is trash out there but this isn’t that. Sexual assault is serious and life changing. It’s an awful thing that isn’t tackled like it should be. It’s disregarded by the authorities and women and men allover the world just need a safe place to speak out. So stop turning everything into hate. Maybe you should listen to these people instead.

  47. SHE ISN'T ADVOCATING FOR CENSORSHIP she is saying that people should be more compassionate. It is fine to disagree but there is a respectful way of disagreeing that isn't just hating and putting others down. It isn't what is being said that needs to be changed it is how people say it. There is constructive criticism that contributes to growth and there is destructive criticism that is only a way to force your ideas on another and bash them. Lean towards constructive criticism and the world would be that much better

  48. How she was such an amazing speaker! Just saw this but i'm from the UK and experienced sexual assault while in college in the US and while I feel I can talk about it in America, no one in the UK talks about it and it leaves survivors feeling very isolated and silenced

  49. Online sexual harassment is assult,in my case its coming from neighbors and cops, firemen stalking painting lies about my true human existence its criminal and I'm fighting back until everyone of these clowns gets what they deserve..no one has the right to abuse me..You will lose your rights ,they will be stolen from you when you least suspect it to happen a thief in the night will take you down, you will cry and plead ,oh its to late,

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