"Who in Alaska is going to listen to me?"
June 16, 2020 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Unheard: Sexual assault survivors tell their own stories. "Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation. These women and men did not choose to be violated, but they now choose to speak about what happened."

ProPublica has published 29 portraits and profiles of men and women who have survived sexual assault.

"...It was important that each person sharing their story had input on how to tell it. This project is not only about what has happened to them, but also who they are today. Each chose how to be publicly identified and how their experiences — related and unrelated to abuse — would be represented."

"They worked with Daily News photographers to make portraits that are true to them. They chose to be photographed in meaningful locations, alongside people they love or dressed to represent a source of strength."
posted by cnidaria (4 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you for posting this. The Anchorage Daily News/ProPublica collaboration started last year with a series, “Lawless,” about (the total lack of) law enforcement response to sexual assault in rural Alaska. That piece (which won a Pulitzer for public service reporting) would be a good read for anyone who wants an explanation of how things got this bad. The stories in “Unheard” largely came from a call in Lawless for survivors to speak with their own voices about their experiences.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:53 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]

Thanks for linking to that series, charmedimsure. I am definitely going to read it and get a new perspective on the situation.

With BLM possibly (hopefully!) bringing a seismic shift in how we do policing in the U.S.A., law enforcement response (or lack of) to sexual assault, domestic abuse, and similar crimes has been on my mind lately. "What about the rapists?" feels like a common knee-jerk response to dismantling police departments. But I know (from personal experience and from abundant anecdata) that the police are often not, in fact, helpful at preventing or addressing the aftermath of sexual assault or domestic abuse. And a fair amount of the time, they're worse than unhelpful.

It all definitely has me thinking a lot about how we can construct public safety systems that actually support our communities and keep us safe.
posted by cnidaria at 1:13 PM on June 16

These are fantastic photo portraits.

Maybe I'll have words for the article later. Right now it's just too intense.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:26 PM on June 16

Those were all so moving to read.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:04 PM on June 16

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