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Sexual Abuse Victims Step Forward

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Sexual Abuse Victims Step Forward

Stígamót.

Photo: Stígamót.

Stígamót, an education and counseling center for survivors of sexual abuse and violence, has launched a fundraising campaign, using videos where victims tell of their difficult experience, RÚV reports.

“We were reluctant to using this method, but we felt it was time to go further,” stated Guðrún Jónsdóttir, spokesperson for Stígamót. The fundraising effort, called ‘Shorten the Dark Nights,’ includes more than ten videos, where both men and women tell of the abuse they have suffered. There are accounts of violence the victims were silent about for decades. Some of the violence was committed by a spouse; in other instances, the victim was drugged and incapable of showing resistance.

Since the videos began airing, demand for consultations at Stígamót has increased. About 330 first-time clients seek help there every year. The purpose of the fundraiser is to expand the center’s reach, especially outside the capital area, shorten waitlists, increase education, and to reach out to certain groups of people, such as men and people of foreign origin.

“There is so much there that we want people to understand in terms of what this is all about,” Guðrún explained. “Of course it was something we debated and we were reluctant to burden our people by asking them to step forward. Through the years, that’s something we have avoided, and this line between emotional pornography and suppression is a fine one, and it’s hard to find the right path between the two.”

She added that part of regaining your pride and getting rid of the shame involves telling others about the abuse sustained.

In the videos, no abusers’ names are ever mentioned, but they are described in some way.

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