How did the idea of «Wings» project emerged?
A year ago, our desire to do something was shaped into a project with a name and a concept. But before that, there were attempts to do something in this direction. There was a project #выжившие #survived
, stories with a voice, a year before the online hashtag campaign #янебоюсьсказать #iamnotafraidtosay
. It was exactly this project that helped me understand why my project does not work. Why do people prefer not to tell their stories?
Well, some do not have an opportunity to tell them, and others - to hear. The hashtag campaign ruined everyone's perceptions of those who were sincere, of those who abstained, and of those who lived in a beautiful world of unicorns and could not even imagine things like that. It destroyed stereotypes, no one stayed untouched. To figure it out for myself, I then interviewed two psychologists, Lina Rozin-Lifshits and Alexander Roitman, asking them about "leaving the closet." And Lina said a simple thing that highlighted a weak point of my project. And what is it?
Thanks to her questions, I understood not only those who participated in the hashtag campaign, but, more importantly, those who did not take part in it. And this means almost everybody. During the #iamnotafraidtosay
campaign, we could observe not even the top, but just a tiny tip of an iceberg. Maybe one percent at most of all the family sexual abuse survivors go to therapy or simply find the strength to talk about it. The rest live with their pain. These memories are mostly hidden deep inside; there are plenty of reasons not to "leave the closet". Moreover, I'm not sure that this makes sense for all the survivors, to do it in such a public way. According to the statistics in Ursula Wirtz's "Incest and Therapy" book, 10 to 30 percent of children (depending on the country) experience sexual abuse in a family. Imagine that Israel is an excellent country, and we have everything at a minimum rate, that is, say, only 10 percent of children. Let's keep counting. We get a school class of about 30 children, that means that 3 children return to their personal hell, when everyone comes back home after classes. And they know exactly what awaits them there. And then they become adults... And how is it possible to help them?
I have no opportunity and competence to reach out these children and adolescents, for many reasons. Of course, I can announce from a TV screen, "Dads (well, or other relatives), stop, it's already enough! This is not just an indecent, but a crime that is legally punishable." Alternatively, to mothers, "Open your eyes; look at the child!" But no one will stop and open their eyes. It makes sense to speak to adults who survived the violence and grew up. The "Wings" project has been created exactly for giving a survivor an opportunity to make a tiny step ahead. In addition, things that seem like no big deal to a regular person are a huge breakthrough for the victims of violence. After all, most of them usually do not even have access to a sense of shame and guilt; they account for about 70% of the survivors. How does your project work?
This is an absolutely secure anonymous platform - a website and an associated mobile application. They are not just anonymous to other users, they are anonymous even for government agencies - they do not have any information, not even IP addresses. (This is not very easy to do, because according to the laws of most countries, if a person reports violence in a family, then the website owner is required to notify the relevant authorities regardless of the fact how many years already passed). What do visitors do? What is their tiny step?
It's just an easy and fun mobile application. Nice layout, anonymous approach. You can leave nothing there. Or download your photo (a photo can be even taken from the back or with cool wings) or an audio file, or text. And you can even escape saving them and not give the permission to publish them. It's not even a step; it's half a step, or just raising a foot. This can lead to a great result or to nothing. What is really important is that a person at least decided to make something. Why exactly wings?
Wings are a symbol of freedom, strength, and independence. Each of us has our own story to leave behind somehow. Have you ever noticed how many people take pictures and tattoos with wings, wear t-shirts with this symbol? Will the consultations by psychologists or other specialists be considered on the website?
No, I want anything like this to be on this website - no psychologists, no slogans, and no calls for revenge. This is not a story about the fact that you need revenge. This is a story about the necessity to continue living since you have survived. And, of course, there is no possibility to leave comments. When will the project be launched?
Now we are collecting money to finish the website and the application.