To all the men with no faces…

By: Ellison Perkins

To all the men with no faces, I see you. We see you. Too many men and women have been affected by harassment and assault. Last fall I was attacked while attending a party on campus at BYUI. I was assaulted and no one did anything to help. I had no idea what resources to reach out to. I felt alone and scared. Like many others, I did not report my attack when I had the chance. I felt that I had to deal with my trauma all alone. That was not and never will be the case.

I created a workshop here off campus at my school. I invited women from all across campus to come and learn about the resources that they have to overcome assault. I invited guest speakers to come and join our intimate conversation. I am lucky enough to have an amazing friend who is a licensed dating therapist. I invited her to come and talk with me and a group of women and get personal about how to recover after a traumatic event like assault. On our campus alone, too many women have been assaulted and do not know how to handle or cope with the trauma that follows. I have been speaking with women who have felt comfortable sharing their stories and have realized that now more than ever we need access to better resources. Over the past couple of months, I have been putting together a list of resources for women to reach out to and seek help. There is no shame in healing. A big part of healing is learning to move on when the time is right.

We have now had one amazing workshop completed, and I look forward to putting on more in the future. My goal before embarking on this was to bring attention to a subject that sadly most universities try to brush under the rug. I wanted other women to be able to see the many options that they have to use, that I myself did not know were even there.

One of the challenges I faced while creating this workshop was the fear that no one would feel comfortable meetings with other survivors. It took me a long time to be comfortable talking about my experiences, so I had a lot of fear that the turn out would be very scarce. Another challenge I faced was coordinating a date that would be ideal for my speaker and for others on campus. I had a lot of unsteady feelings going into this project. I feared backlash from the school and from my peers. I was nervous about wanting to discuss such a vulnerable topic, but after completing the workshop I was really thankful I did.

The process of completing this workshop involved a lot of tears, blood and sweat. I spent a lot of hours working with my guest speaker and with my mom to get all the input I could. I wanted to make sure that what I was preparing would be as impactful as possible.

This is a sample of the flyer I gave out to all in attendance. I worked hard to find a list of resources who you should reach out to. For me the biggest take away from this workshop was hearing the survivor stories from all those around me. It was such a strengthening experience to hear how strong all these women are. It inspired me to continue to do these workshops.

The biggest take away I had from this experience was being able to see how strong so many of us all are. As women all across campus came together and shared their own experiences and thoughts, it was truly inspiring to see the strength they carried. I think for me one of the biggest goals when creating this workshop was to make sure that no one felt alone. After going through a traumatic incident, it can be easy to feel as if we are alone. I hope that as we all came together in the workshop that everyone was able to feel the love that the Lord has for each one of us.

I know that the Lord will never give us a trial we cannot handle. I hope that the women who I was able to meet with, were able to feel my love for them and the love the Jesus has for them.