It's not your fault.
That's a phrase that sexual assault survivors don't always hear, but thanks to a new Tumblr, they will start to see it more often.
Tani Ikeda, writer, director and founder of imMEDIAte Justice — a community outreach program that encourages girls to tell their stories through film — began the #SurvivorLoveLetter Tumblr for assault survivors and their loved ones to share messages of support and love.
"#Survivorloveletter was an act of defiance, a declaration of self love and a call to allies to honor the survivors in their lives," Ikeda told A+, explaining that the project first began on Valentine's Day when she made the initial call-out on Twitter.
The responses kept flowing in, with many people uploading images of their actual letters, so she decided to create the official Tumblr page to archive them.
The letters first came from family and friends, but now come from strangers, which Ikeda calls a privilege, given how personal they have been in nature.
They tell the stories of self-discovery, acceptance and bravery. Some of the letters from allies tell the story of respect and admiration. All of them share a common theme of love and support.
Ikeda told A+ that she founded imMEDIAte Justice because sharing her personal story was a way to combat the voices that try to silence what she and others like her have experienced. Now she hopes to accomplish the same for others through the #SurvivorLoveLetter page.
"I hope that someone reading #survivorloveletter will feel a little less alone today," she said. "I hope that by sharing our complex stories of violence we will break down the stigma of shame around rape and start conversations that lovingly honor survivors."