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I told my friend.

As you read our stories you may recognize yourself or a loved one. Recognition is important – story-telling connects us.

But what happens for women who do not recognize themselves in the stories we tell? They feel alone. They are silenced.

For women of colour sexual assault is both an attack on their gender and their racial identity. They may feel, or have experienced, that there is no safe place to break their silence. Women of colour, women with disabilities, lesbian and trans women are less likely to seek medical care, report to the police or reach out to social services.

We are so thankful to Shari who came forward so more women could recognize themselves and reach out for the same help she has received. Her beautiful face and her remarkable story told in her own words reminds us of the unique struggle so many women face.

We hope Shari’s participation empowers more women to tell their story. A #ShoutOut4Survivors who fear coming forward because of their race, sexual identity, sexual orientation, class, ability or size.

You deserve to have your story told too.

You are brave. You are resilient. You are seen.