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It Happens Here

by Bridget Griffin

October 18, 2018 | Arts and Culture

Bui Bao via Unsplash

“A boyfriend can’t rape you, can he?” read the words of one anonymous account, “I was just trying to make him happy.”

‘It Happens Here’, a Dawson project that raises awareness about sexual assault, had its third annual event, ‘Survivor Stories’, on September 12th 2018. This exhibit showcased dozens of victims’ stories in video, auditory, and written format, as well as multiple pieces of artwork about the theme.

‘It Happens Here’ was founded in the winter of 2016, by faculty members Kim Simard, Pat Romano, and librarian Claire Elliott. Though the previous organized events had only been spoken word, the change of format allowed them to display anything from videos and voice recordings of victims telling their stories, to postcards with questions that victims often hear after reporting an assault. Many of the stories come from the ‘It Happens Here’ website, where there is a story archive as well as a map where to indicate locations of assault or harassment. There are currently dozens of submissions of both types and the project is only getting bigger. In order to reach more people, both Atwater Library and John Abbott College are starting to get involved, something that founder Kim Simard is very excited about.

“Hopefully we can start to create a new world where sexual assault is taken seriously.” she said.

If you have a story you wish to share, you can go to and add to the story archive.



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