*Trigger Warning* this post discusses sexual assault and unsolicited explicit pictures.
The SafeSpace has been created by @emmccatt and @amymayforrester to provide a safe space for women in educational online communities who have been the victim of unsolicited messages/DMs/emails/snapchats and feel they haven’t had the opportunity to discuss this in a safe and supportive environment. It is designed to be a space where support is offered and signposted and most importantly a place where you are listened to. It is important to both of us that the Safe Space is a place where experiences can be shared and women feel heard.
We have both had experiences with unsolicited pictures and messages being sent directly to us. Some of you may know that I (Emma) had an experience just over 18 months with a man who I considered a professional friend on Twitter. He sent me explicit pictures and abuse. It had a huge effect on me and it’s something that I am still dealing with. I have written a blog post about my experience here.
One of the biggest feelings we have both struggled with was the isolation. We didn’t feel that people would believe us and it left us feeling incredibly helpless. We want that to change. What we have realised since discussing what has happened to us publicly is that this is something that is happening to female (and some male) educators on social media CONSTANTLY. After posting our blogs we received many DMs from women who have been through the same and have felt those same feelings of helplessness and isolation.
Amy and I have since had many conversations about this both with each other and the wider edutwitter community and ultimately this led to The Safe Space being born. We are not a legal organisation nor do we claim to be, but rather we exist to provide confidential support for female educators who need it. We are a safe space where women can feel protected and free to talk. It is important for women to know that they will never be pushed to ‘out’ an aggressor and it will always be your choice in what you decide to do.
We are here and we are listening.