Published in the February 5, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Woman uses social media to talk about her sexual assault
‘It’s the worst day of the year, every year.’
That’s the title of a blog post recently written by 24-year-o ld Brittany Kustra, an Edmonton woman who was sexually assaulted years ago on her birthday.
Kustra wrote the blog post as a way to help others who have gone through similar experiences.
“It was finally time to start talking about it so other people who have gone through the same thing know that there’s someone else out there,” Kustra said.
“I’m finally at a point where, I’m able to talk about the fact that I got sexually assaulted and not cry but it took me several years to get to that point.”
Kustra says since she wrote the blog, she’s received an overwhelming response from both men and women.
‘NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT’
“The saddest part of the whole thing is it happens to so many people and it’s really shameful because no one talks about it and even though it happens to so many of us, we have no idea who we can talk about it to and who we can reach out to,” she said.
A lot of the comments and e-mails have applauded Kustra for being brave enough to write the blog.
I also shared that sentiment. How brave, how courageous, it is that she was able to talk about such a dark moment in her life and on such a public platform.
But Kustra doesn’t see it that way.
“I hope that at some point it won’t necessarily be considered a brave thing to do because it will be something that people can be more open about it and just be able to talk about it like it isn’t something shameful,” she said.
I do hope that becomes the case and I believe Kustra’s blog post is a great step in that direction, and a great example of how social media can be used to help others and make a difference.
Kustra mentions several organizations that helped her heal — including the Saffron Centre, the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton and the University of Alberta’s Sexual Assault Centre.
She hopes those blog mentions will help increase awareness of the resources available to victims of sexual assault.
The blog post is the first of more planned on the topic and Kustra hopes in the end, her blogging efforts means survivors are more aware of supports that exist for them, society takes sexual assault and rape more seriously, and that cases can be prevented.
Follow Kustra on Twitter @brittanyinyeg and read her blog at www.brittanyinedmonton. wordpress.com.
She also invites you to get in touch.
“If you are someone who has experienced sexual assault, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. If you have an idea on how we can work together to prevent sexual assault, please contact me,” she says.
Some Tweets of the Week
@CStormG: Today’s goal was to make a new friend: Accomplished by 11:15 a.m. Word. #yeg #lrt
@VitalityGuide: Networking lunch with a great group of #yeg business women. If you’re a soloprenuer, get out there and meet like minds! #BIzTip
@caitlyn_780: To whoever was kind enough to turn in my phone at the Tim Hortons across the street from Grant Mac THANK YOU I owe you one. #yeg
@ruby_reds: There’s such a fun, party-like vibe at the blood donor clinic today! I think I will always donate on Fridays! :) #YEG #donateblood
@ChrisTse_: I don’t think we need speed traps in #yeg anymore. These potholes are enough to deter most speeding!