And It Was Wrong

About the Project

And it was wrong is a grassroots compilation of women's experiences of sexual assault. It is a project made up of women giving voice to a problem society silences: that of sexual assault as it occurs in our everyday lives. What is the recourse for the woman harassed on the street? Or the high school girl felt up by her boyfriend when she says no? Or the one whose friend doesn't stop his advances even when she keeps turning away? There isn't one-- yet. And so by the time we hit high school we've learned that whatever this experience is, it must not be a big deal. It must just be a part of growing up a girl.

This is what we are fighting through And it was wrong. We submit our stories of anything that happened when someone acted upon our bodies without consideration for what we wanted. We submit our stories, whether they're one line, one page or one dozen pages. We submit our experiences from childhood through adolescence through adulthood. We submit our stories because these experiences have been ignored when they should have been heard. We submit our stories because we recognize the power in our voices, and we will use our voices together to say that this is wrong.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do they end with the words "And it was wrong"?

The stories end with the words "and it was wrong" because it's amazing how often we forget that very basic thing. This common ending also helps us find community in our variety of experiences as we come together to say that these experiences should not have happened. That they were wrong.

What do you do with the stories once they're submitted?

Submitted stories are shared in a variety of ways. Each week, 1-3 new stories are uploaded to this site so that people can access and process them in a space comfortable for them. Submissions are also shared at a variety of in-person venues, including classrooms, speak-outs, and prevention workshops. Eventually, some of the stories may be compiled and published into a book. When submitting a story, the author specifies how they would like their story shared.

Why aren't all submitted stories online? Why only a few a week?

Time is the only reason for this. While not all stories will end up online, it is a goal of And it was wrong to share every submitted story in some venue or another, so please know that your story will be heard.

I submitted my story before they were accessible online. Will my story be posted?

It’s completely up to you. If you submitted a story before February 6th, 2012, your story will not be posted online unless you resubmit it (checking the online box) or email [email protected] describing your submission and saying that you would like it to be posted online.

Why can't I comment on the stories?

This is a space where the only opinion that validates an experience is that of the person telling the story. Even assuming that most of the comments would be supportive, we are trying to reject the notion that others must agree that our violation was in fact a violation in order to make it “real."

We are working on adding a feature to the site where readers can submit general feedback on feelings and how the stories have affected them so that women who have submitted their stories can see the positive impact they’ve made by speaking out. We are also working on a blog, where we will invite interested folks to be guest bloggers. Until then, feel free to email [email protected] with feedback you'd like to share and we will work on getting it out there. You can also write on our facebook wall or tweet at us.

Why is And it was wrong only women's experiences?

People of all genders are sexually assaulted and people of all genders assault, but there is not a “one size fits all” conversation. Experiences of sexual assault against women by men often share commonalities; the sexual assault of women by men is so pervasive in our society that much of the spectrum has become effectively invisible. The sexual objectification, harassment and assault of women by men is encouraged by the media we consume every day and then ignored by society as a whole. With these similarities in mind, it can be helpful to discuss the assaults of women by men en masse.

There should absolutely be a space for conversations about sexual assault as it is experienced by people who've experienced same-sex assaults, folks in the LGBTQ communities, as well as cisgender men, but it would not be treating those groups with the respect they deserve to assume that their experiences can be truly reflected by just adding them on to this particular conversation. It would be great if this project could reflect the commonalities of everyone’s experiences while still validating their differences, however when we try to cover everything we often cover nothing.

It is this project's hope that people whose experiences are not reflected will still find empowerment in reading the stories and will explore the resources page for additional sources of healing and empowerment. Please feel free to contact [email protected] for help locating any additional resources.