'Powerful' TikTok about 'grim reality' leaves viewers heartbroken

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A “powerful” TikTok video has conveyed an important but “grim” message, leaving many viewers heartbroken.

Brittany Piper, a motivational speaker and rape survivor, shared a video on the social media site of a presentation she made to women at a university in the US.

“So this question, if you are physically able and willing, can you please stand if you know someone who has experienced sexual assault whether it be a friend, a family member, a co-worker or even yourself,” she says, speaking to an auditorium packed with about 100 students, many of them women.

Women at a university stand to indicate they or someone they know have been a victim of sexual assault.
The women stand to indicate they or someone they know have been a victim of sexual assault. Source: TikTok/ Brittany Piper

Less than half a dozen remain seated.

“If you know that that person reported their assault please stay standing,” she says.

About six remain standing.

“This is bringing tears to my eyes,” Ms Piper says.

The video was shared on Instagram with many viewers calling it “powerful” but “heartbreaking”.

One woman wrote that it brought her to tears.

“Such a disgrace. It shouldn't be this way,” she wrote.

Another woman labelled it a “grim reality” but that the many reactions to the video filled her with hope.

Why women don't report sexual assault

While it was filmed in the US, the video also speaks to the experience of women young and old around the world.

Sexual assault remains a major issue in Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost two million Australians have experienced some form of sexual assault by age 15.

Girls aged between 15-19 and 10-14 make up the most reported age group of female victims with 23 per cent. It’s important to note these are just the incidents that were reported.

Many women do not come forward to report sexual assault out of fear of damage to their reputations, concerns about backlash from friends, colleagues or their accused, and or not having their experiences believed.

Alarmingly, 87 per cent of women who have suffered sexual assault do not report it to police, according to the ABS. That equates to almost 90 out of 100 women who have suffered but not come forward.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800 RESPECT (737 732) for the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service; Sexual Assault Support Services on 6231 1811 or after hours 6231 1817; Family Violence Crisis and Support Service on 1800 608 122 and Bravehearts – Sexual Assault Support for Children on 1800 BRAVE 1.

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