#SurvivorPrivilege Trends On Twitter After Columnist Says Rape Survivors Lie To Get "Privileges"

The tweets that were sent were powerful and moving.

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In a weekend editorial that ran in the Washington Post and New York Post, columnist George Will caused outrage for writing that being a rape survivor on college campuses is now a “coveted status that confers privileges."

Will's column sparked an outcry on Twitter, and feminist writer and activist Wagatwe Wanjuki started the hashtag #SurvivorPrivilege, with tweeters recounting their own stories of sexual assault and violence. BuzzFeed spoke with Wanjuki about Will's article and what inspired her to start the hashtag.

What was your initial reaction to George Will's article?

Wagatwe Wanjuki: My initial reaction was that of incredulity. I could not understand how someone could ever begin to think that going through the trauma of sexual violence has benefits in any way, shape, or form.

Where's my survivor privilege? Was expelled & have $10,000s of private student loans used to attend school that didn't care I was raped.

Wagatwe Wanjuki@wagatwe

Where's my survivor privilege? Was expelled & have $10,000s of private student loans used to attend school that didn't care I was raped.

5:16 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The #survivorprivilege of being too scared to leave my dorm for fear of running into my perp.

Wagatwe Wanjuki@wagatwe

The #survivorprivilege of being too scared to leave my dorm for fear of running into my perp.

5:18 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Glad George Will showed how my #survivorprivilege of being blamed for my assault & ridiculed for coming forward is coveted.

Wagatwe Wanjuki@wagatwe

Glad George Will showed how my #survivorprivilege of being blamed for my assault & ridiculed for coming forward is coveted.

5:44 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

What inspired you to begin the hashtag, and what do you hope will come from it?

WW: I honestly started the hashtag as a way to share my frustration with the notion that survivors have privilege. It's one of those situations where I felt like I should laugh so I don't cry, so I used my sarcasm to start a conversation about how difficult it is to be a survivor. I hope the hashtag will help highlight the absurdity of George Will's column and that survivors are struggling in the aftermath of sexual violence. No one wants to be the victim of a violent crime.

How do you feel when you see people share their deeply personal stories using the hashtag you began?

WW: I am saddened that so many people have such heartbreaking stories. However, I am happy that people are finding community in something so terrible and showing publicly just how wrong George Will is. It is particularly deplorable that his piece was allowed to be printed considering how many horror stories about the very real, devastating effects of sexual violence have been prominent in the media lately.

All tweets shown here were used with permission. Join the #SurvivorPrivilege conversation on Twitter.

#survivorprivilege is getting op-ed after op-ed in your school's student newspaper revealing unnecessary details of your rape

♥Lana del Bae♥@browniebabydoll

#survivorprivilege is getting op-ed after op-ed in your school's student newspaper revealing unnecessary details of your rape

6:04 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is not wanting to celebrate your birthday because you share the same birthday as your attacker

Anastasia@vociferous_girl

#SurvivorPrivilege is not wanting to celebrate your birthday because you share the same birthday as your attacker

6:31 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I guess #survivorprivilege is when colleges cover up assaults and pretend "that doesn't happen here" in order to appeal prospective students

Sarah B.@SarahAshleigh5

I guess #survivorprivilege is when colleges cover up assaults and pretend "that doesn't happen here" in order to appeal prospective students

8:38 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My #SurvivorPrivilege was being told by my mother I hadn't done enough to "keep myself safe" when talking about my rape.

Ⓐ ‏#GrumpyCuntSec Ⓐ@brazenqueer

My #SurvivorPrivilege was being told by my mother I hadn't done enough to "keep myself safe" when talking about my rape.

8:35 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege means existing in a space where even the person you love can trigger memories of the worst thing that ever happened.

Amy McCarthy@aemccarthy

#SurvivorPrivilege means existing in a space where even the person you love can trigger memories of the worst thing that ever happened.

6:23 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

having to quit your job to get your boss to stop harassing you, but still not feeling safe on campus. #survivorprivilege

Jennifer Selvidge@jenvaljean2

having to quit your job to get your boss to stop harassing you, but still not feeling safe on campus. #survivorprivilege

6:28 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege was losing all my friends when they decided it was easier to remain friends with my rapist than stand with me.

Robyn Swirling@RSwirling

#SurvivorPrivilege was losing all my friends when they decided it was easier to remain friends with my rapist than stand with me.

6:45 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is having to shake your abuser's hand at every family get-together because God forgives and old country secrets stay hid.

Wolfie J. Sugarbear@JaradDewing

#SurvivorPrivilege is having to shake your abuser's hand at every family get-together because God forgives and old country secrets stay hid.

7:44 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is being told I lied because "nobody would do something like that" to a pregnant woman.

Aimee@AimeeRosie

#SurvivorPrivilege is being told I lied because "nobody would do something like that" to a pregnant woman.

7:38 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#survivorprivilege is giving up custody of my daughter for three months while I was experiencing acute forms of PTSD

Carrie May Lucas@CarrieMayLucas

#survivorprivilege is giving up custody of my daughter for three months while I was experiencing acute forms of PTSD

7:19 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

My #survivorprivilege being told that my uncle molesting me was my fault and being threatened to be killed because of it.

Kelly Griffin@kagriffin77

My #survivorprivilege being told that my uncle molesting me was my fault and being threatened to be killed because of it.

7:34 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is being questioned about the details so they can tell if you were "just" assaulted or not.

Andrea Greer@nonsequiteuse

#SurvivorPrivilege is being questioned about the details so they can tell if you were "just" assaulted or not.

6:30 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#survivorprivilege is being scared to report assault because you already know there is little support for survivors

BlackWomenSlay@BiMahogany

#survivorprivilege is being scared to report assault because you already know there is little support for survivors

5:24 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is being told you have to be penetrated to have your sexual assault matter & your anger is pointless.

Cherie L King@sunflwer1975

#SurvivorPrivilege is being told you have to be penetrated to have your sexual assault matter & your anger is pointless.

7:07 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The idea that someone could actually suggest that sexual assault victim is some sort of status symbol is nauseating #SurvivorPrivilege

Sassy McBlonde @vetbarbie

The idea that someone could actually suggest that sexual assault victim is some sort of status symbol is nauseating #SurvivorPrivilege

6:43 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#survivorprivilege is being told you were a moron for drinking on a date because you were then raped while blacked out.

Allison Grant@AllisonGranted

#survivorprivilege is being told you were a moron for drinking on a date because you were then raped while blacked out.

6:33 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

#SurvivorPrivilege is having to explain my triggers to every partner I have had and will have in case I freak out on them.

Katie Klabusich@Katie_Speak

#SurvivorPrivilege is having to explain my triggers to every partner I have had and will have in case I freak out on them.

5:22 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Having PTSD and people telling you you're being dramatic bc you didn't go to war #SurvivorPrivilege

CherBearBlue9@CherBearBlue9

Having PTSD and people telling you you're being dramatic bc you didn't go to war #SurvivorPrivilege

5:41 PM - 09 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite