#TheEmptyChair Opens Up a Painful, Powerful Dialogue About Sexual Violence

by Heather Dockray

July 29, 2015
Image via Flickr user Flabber Degasky

On Sunday, New York Magazine published a groundbreaking article featuring stories from 35 women who claimed that Bill Cosby assaulted them. The 36th chair, which came to be known as #TheEmptyChair, was left empty to symbolize stories from survivors who weren’t featured in this article, but who also had painful stories of sexual trauma that desperately needed to be heard. Like lightning, users on Twitter started sharing their stories and voicing their support for a problem that, for far too long, has been silenced.

In less than 24 hours, the Tweet had been used 13,000 times. Journalist Elon James White started using the hashtag, sharing statements from women who had direct messaged him, but weren’t comfortable sharing their stories themselves. Of course, members of the Internet also abused the conversation (welcome to the Internet), but by and large, the conversations held were critical, meaningful, and powerful. Take a look at some of the stories below.

(Via: The Washington Post)

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#TheEmptyChair Opens Up a Painful, Powerful Dialogue About Sexual Violence