Reclaiming Your Voice After Sexual Assault

Reclaiming Your Voice After Sexual Assault

Be Heard Once More.

“I have never heard a more eloquent silence.” - Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

If a story sits at the back of your tongue for long enough, it can burn holes in your mouth and drastically change who you are. The silence that follows a traumatic event can be just as damaging as the event itself- for it will sit in the back of your throat until you finally find the courage to speak. Sexual assaults on campuses nationwide are the untold stories that aren't carried in libraries. They are the voices that are muffled by pillows and fear. They deserve to be heard. You deserve to be heard.

It is estimated that between twenty and twenty-five percent of women in college are sexually assaulted- and nine out of ten of those victims knew their offender.

Although these statistics are alarmingly high, they offer one glimmer of hope: you are not alone in what has happened to you. Moreover, what has happened to you does not define who you are and who you will be.

Your story is your most powerful weapon. It is a revolver in the hands of a woman reclaiming her strength. When the trigger is pulled, it has the potential to destroy. However, out of destruction comes rebirth. Gardens will grow in your chest once more- even if it has been polluted and trampled. You are always capable of growing beautiful stories in a place that was once haunted.

I write this because I acknowledge that the courage to speak is perhaps the most challenging bravery you could ever muster. Once you do, I promise you will experience a new world beyond your demons- beyond the people who have hurt you. Beyond guilt, shame, and fear.

The moment I realized that my voice alone could defend me in times of trouble, I knew I would never be alone again.

I encourage you to wear your story on your lips like your favorite lipstick. Be unapologetically bold.

Have the courage to speak. Reclaim your voice. Relinquish your spirit.

Be heard once more.


Need help?
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Recommended Reading: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Other Resources:

Not Alone: Website dedicated to educating students and schools about sexual assault

End Rape on Campus: Advocacy organization for sexual assault on campuses

RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

NSVRC: National Sexual Violence Resource Center

NOVA: National Organization for Victim Assistance

VAW: National Online Resource for Violence Against Women

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Cover Image Credit: Google

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How SoundCloud Is Changing The Music Industry

Many of the most popular artists in the music industry all got their start on SoundCloud.

It’s no secret that the term “SoundCloud rapper” has changed in recent years. Due to the number of popular artists that originated from SoundCloud, aspiring artists are posting their music there in hopes of becoming famous now more than ever. This phenomenon has helped crank out some of the hottest artists in the music industry right now, and there are more artists blowing up every month.

Soundcloud has changed the game in the hip-hop scene. It was first founded in June of 2007 in Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss and was launched in October of 2008. It was originally intended to allow musicians to collaborate by facilitating the sharing and discussion of recorded audio but quickly became a music distribution tool. It offers a platform for artists to build a profile of their music and gain a following.

With the amount of music and so-called “SoundCloud rappers” on the site, the industry is flooding with more and more talent. Some of your favorite artists who are topping the Billboard Top 100 charts right now originated from Soundcloud, and you might not even know it.

Recent notable artists that got their start on SoundCloud include XXXTentacion, Post Malone, Lil Pump, Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and even Lil Uzi Vert. They first started posting their music on Soundcloud and quickly built significant followings. Not only have they not been known for more than a couple years, but some of them have made timeless classics that you’ll be hearing for many years to come.

Post Malone’s first studio album, “Stoney [Deluxe Version],” released on December 6th, 2016, peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 and was on the Billboard Top 100 for seventeen straight weeks. His album went platinum less than six months after being released. That album then reached double-platinum about six and a half months later.

His most popular song on that album, “Congratulations,” went platinum in about three and a half months after its release and has since gone 7x Platinum (selling seven million units) a little over a year and three months after its release according to the RIAA.

Another prime example of a popular SoundCloud originating artist is Lil Pump, who was one of the fastest growing artists in 2017 and 2018. He released his first album ever, "Lil Pump," on October 6th of 2017. On that album was his song, “Gucci Gang,” which went platinum a little after four months from its original release on September 1st of 2017.

For a SoundCloud artist who first started making music in late 2016 and putting up big numbers on SoundCloud with songs like "Boss," which went RIAA certified gold, and "Drose" in 2017, he's a prime example of an artist that originated from SoundCloud and became one of the biggest names in hip-hop in just under a year.

These hip-hop artists, along with many others, that originated from Soundcloud have made big marks on the music industry by making multiple platinum and triple platinum hits on multiple songs and albums, as well as some making songs that each top the Billboard Top 100 Charts consistently for multiple weeks in a row.

These facts not only describe the artists themselves, but it also paints a picture of how Soundcloud and the internet are shaping the music industry and making music more successful and accessible than ever. Soundcloud is one of the primary drivers of bringing up new artists and making networking easier than it ever has by allowing music to flourish and reach more people.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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Gen Z Will Never Truly Understand How We Felt Growing Up With Harry Potter

I met Emma Watson in real life, and I'm surprised I didn't cry.

Is it just me or are other people also getting the feels for the new Fantastic Beast film? I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd. I cried so hard in the movie theater when the last Harry Potter movie screened. I’m so in love with the series, so much so that I’m planning to get the Deathly Hallows tattooed on me.

To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t even gotten it done yet! Kiddos of Generation Z, the ones born after the Millennials, will never truly understand the intensity of what it felt like growing up watching the franchise.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the new Fantastic Beast franchise but only because I was in denial for so long that my childhood had ended when the Harry Potter movies did.

I grew up with the magical trio themselves. I was around six when the first movie came out, and at the time I had two really close best friends, so it was as if I saw us three on the screen.

Recently, I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. I have dreamt of going to the UK to visit the set of Harry Potter for the real deal but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. Universal Studios is the best I can do for now. When I was there, I realized that the majority of people who were having the most fun were people in their early 20s. Sure there were little rascals running around in little robes and wands but us, millennials, grew up with so much curiosity; wondering what the wizarding world was like.

1. Wondering what butterbeer tastes like

2. Waiting to receive your Hogwarts acceptance letter

3. Punching Dudley in the face

4. Looking for Platform 9 and 3/4 at every train station you went to

5. Getting sorted into your house

(By the way, I’m Slytherin.)

6. Playing Quidditch

There's Quidditch in college, guys. I'm shook.

7. Spending most of your childhood going “It’s leviOsa, not leviosA”

I teared up going through “Hogwarts” when I was on the ride. Harry Potter meant so much more to me than just a movie. While he was going through difficult trials in his life, fighting Voldemort and trolls in the girl’s bathroom, I was being bullied and fighting Voldemorts and trolls of my own. Harry gave me hope that I wouldn’t give up. No matter how many times I felt like I’d lost, I remembered him not quitting and as a young teen constantly watching movies and being surrounded by media. I think I chose a pretty good role model.

Growing up side by side with Harry and being around the same age as him, allowed me to fight my battles while he was fighting his. I’m happy that people of Gen Z will be able to experience a different type of wonder and curiosity through the new franchise. It was a magical experience for me and I hope it is for them as well.

Cover Image Credit: Nacha Promsatian

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