The We-Speak platform is powered by Our Wave, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building meaningful technology to empower survivors of sexual violence. For more information about our technology, team, or partnership opportunities, please visit our website.
As a platform for healing and self-expression, We-Speak is deeply committed to supporting survivors of sexual violence and creating brave spaces for self-reflection, connection, and learning. At the same time, we draw lines around a few narrowly defined but deeply important categories of content and behaviour that jeopardize survivor wellbeing, threaten our infrastructure, and damage our healing community.
An Invitation to Brave Space
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”—
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow. We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together,
We will work on it side by side.
— Mikey ScottBey Jones
What We-Speak Is For
We-Speak celebrates sexual violence survivorship in all forms. We want you to express yourself freely and use We-Speak to reflect on your experiences, connect with other survivors, and think deeply about what healing means to you. We also want you to be mindful and respectful of differences in survivor experiences and variations in the healing journey.
What We-Speak Is Not For
- Hate Speech. We do not tolerate content that actively blames survivors or encourages violence or hatred. Do not post content for the purpose inciting the hatred or dehumanisation of individuals or groups based on race, ethnic or national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, disability or disease.
- Harm to Minors. While sexual violence occurs across the lifespan, for legal reasons, this platform is only to be used by individuals 18 years or older. We-Speak cannot accept stories from those aged under 18 years', or stories relating to Child Sexual Abuse. If you are under 18 and submit a story, or if your story relates to Child Sexual Abuse, we will be unable to publish it. If Stories submitted contain identifiable information about yourself and/or another person, then we have a duty to report any child protection concern to appropriate authorities, as per the Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017. For more information, see our Terms of Service.
- Promotion or Glorification of Self-Harm. While self-harm most certainly can co-occur with an individual’s survivorship experience, do not post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-harm. This includes content that urges or encourages others to: cut or injure themselves; embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or attempt suicide rather than e.g., seeking counselling or treatment, or joining together in supportive conversation with those suffering or recovering from mental health conditions. Dialogue about these behaviours is incredibly important and online communities can be extraordinarily helpful to people struggling. If you do mention self-harm in your story, a content warning will be used to protect the safety of all survivors engaging with the platform.
- Artwork. In the case that a survivor submits a photography, realistic artwork, or other image depicting an easily identifiable person, we redact identifiable features (e.g. add a redaction blur to the face area). Even if the person’s face is not visible, it may still be necessary to redact other features or clothing of the person if they are particularly identifiable (e.g. unique costumes, name tags, etc.). The goal is to maintain the fidelity and purpose of the media while redacting identifiable components.
- Adult Content. While we give you the ability to upload visual media including artwork, illustrations, and images, be sure you are respecting the healing community we are trying to create by not featuring adult content in these images. Do not upload images that show real-life human genitals or depict sex acts. Certain types of artistic, educational, or political content featuring nudity are fine. The We-Speak team reserves the right to make posting decisions on all media uploaded to the platform.
- Harassment. Do not engage in targeted abuse, bullying, or harassment. Do not engage in the unwanted sexualization or sexual harassment of others. We have a zero tolerance policy for this.
- Violent Content and Threats, Gore and Mutilation. While this platform discusses violence, we do not condone threats or mutilation. Do not post content which includes violent threats toward individuals or groups. This includes threats of theft, property damage, or financial harm. Do not post violent content just to be shocking. Do not showcase the mutilation or torture of human beings, animals (including bestiality), or their remains. Do not post content that encourages or incites violence, or glorifies acts of violence or their perpetrators.
- Stories That are Not Related to Trauma or Abuse. The goal of We-Speak is to intentionally create a community for survivors of sexual violence. We are aware that many types of trauma and abuse can overlap with and be related to sexual trauma. Those stories are okay to post on the platform. We are also aware that not all stories related to survivorship have to do with the details of the harm experienced. Please do not feel that you need to disclose any details you are uncomfortable sharing. Stories that explicitly are not related to trauma or violence survivorship in any way, however, should be posted elsewhere.
- Self-promotion. To protect your privacy and confidentiality, We-Speak is an anonymous platform. This means that any information in story or media submissions that can be identifiable will be redacted before being posted to the platform. Unfortunately, this means that we are unable to link stories to personal blogs, social media pages, books you have authored, or other related initiatives. Stories with the central idea of promoting things you are working on (whether or not they are related to sexual violence survivorship) should be posted elsewhere. That being said, if you are doing something cool in this space and would like to partner with us or have any questions, reach out to either firstname.lastname@example.org or our underlying technology partner Our Wave. We would love to hear from you!
- Defamation. The We-Speak platform is made possible by the anonymity of the stories submitted. This community can only grow and support it each other if all users do so in good faith and are conscious that any breach of anonymity, on another public platform of any kind, could jeopardise the existence of We-Speak into the future. By Irish law, people have a right to their good name. This right is protected by defamation law. Defamation refers to a situation where a comment, statement or publication negatively affects a person’s reputation which can be made online or offline. Contributors to the We-Speak website may also be active on social media. While it is very easy to publicise your own opinions and views on social media, please do not link what you upload to this site to your social media platforms. Think before you post, as you may be affecting somebody else’s reputation. This could in turn have a negative impact on your own life, the life of another and on the We-Speak platform. We trust that you will bear this in mind now and in the future, both on We-Speak and beyond, in order to empower this community to grow. We-Speak reserves the right to remove stories from the site, should we become aware that they are in breach of defamation law, or any of our other policies and guidelines.
- Misattribution or Non-Attribution. If you are posting the artwork or illustrations of others, make sure you always give proper credit or attribution. We’ve included a space for media uploads where you can include the artist’s name, social media handle, etc. This is important, as we want to credit the hard work artists put in to create the art that inspires us.
If we conclude that you are violating these guidelines, your story will not be posted on the We-Speak platform. We do our best to ensure fair outcomes, but in all cases we reserve the right to not post or remove content, for any reason, but particularly to protect survivors and the community we are trying to create. We reserve the right to enforce, or not enforce, these guidelines in our sole discretion, and these guidelines don't create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act in any particular manner. Repeat violations of our Community Guidelines may result in permanent suspension.
You can report violations of these guidelines to us directly by emailing email@example.com You can remove your own content whenever you want, of course, by using the link provided to you in your story posting notification email, or by requesting secure access to your story here. If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us using the email provided above.
Thank you for reading all of this and for being interested in joining the We-Speak community. Welcome! We are so happy you are here. Your story matters and healing is possible.
A note on language: We know that language is important, and people feel differently about the terms used to describe people who have experienced sexual violence. Throughout the We-Speak platform, where space is limited, we will be using ‘survivor’, but we acknowledge that not everyone will identify with this term.
Updated June 12, 2023