Overnight*, the problem of sexual assault and harassment on Grounds was brought to everyone’s attention on Twitter, when an account called “UVA Abusers” (now deleted) went public and began naming alleged sexual abusers. The names and stories were submitted via direct message (DM) and the identity of the survivor was kept anonymous. Within about two hours, the owner of the account received doxxing threats– the search for and publishing of private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet–and the account was deleted.
Soon after, two new accounts emerged: @UVAabusers2, which posted screenshots of the original UVA Abusers tweets and began posting additional survivor stories submitted via DM, and @ExposedUVA, which posts survivor stories via DM. @ExposedUVA has amassed over 1,300 followers in thirteen hours and @UVAabusers2 has gained over 600 followers. As of this afternoon, @UVAabusers2 has been suspended.
Many students have taken to Twitter to share their disgust with how these situations have been handled by the university. The group UVA Survivors are circulating a petition on social media to change “the University of Virginia’s policies and resource allocation for sexual violence, sexual harassment, and intimate-partner violence prevention and support services.”
The demands include university accountability in “stopping sexual, gender-based, and interpersonal violence on grounds”, better education and training programs, including programs that are survivor-created, and more resources for survivors. You can read all of their demands in their petition which can be found here.
If you are a survivor at the University and would like to share your story with UVA Survivors, please fill out this survey.
SARA, the Sexual Assault Resource Agency, has a 24-hour hotline that can be reached at 434-977-7273 and you can read more about their work at saracville.org
*REVISED: this article was originally posted yesterday but is being re-uploaded with a new thumbnail due to internal error