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Subjecting Survivors to the World Full of Dangers

empowering survivors with information instead of shielding them from the real world

Forum: CAVNET-Professionals
Date: 01/06/2002

I strongly discourage contact with anyone writing for Cosmopolitan magazine. I was interviewed by a writer for the magazine for an article on 'date rape drugs' several years ago, and completely taken out of context (and in my opinion, miquoted) in very negative ways. The spin on the article, as you can imagine, was not terribly empowering. I thought it would be a good way to reach young women with accurate messages about prevention, but in hindsight I believe I was wrong. I wouldn't want to subject a survivor to such a questionable agenda.

I'm sorry that this happened to you - I also had a similar experience when I went on a radio show in which the commentator demanded to know in detail exactly how I was raped. Needless to say, I refused to answer the questions.

However, I feel that we should be careful not to "shield" survivors from being interviewed by the media, even Cosmo. Survivors should be informed that reporters may have a different agenda, and may not be particularly sensitive - but ultimately we should offer this as an opportunity for survivors to speak their truths, if we believe that our job is not to paternalistically shield survivors from dangers of the real world, but to empower them with resources, support and information so that they can make their own decisions.

Emi Koyama
Community Board Chair, Survivor Project

----- * Putting the Emi back in Feminism since 1975.