WHY it matters
Because worldwide, one in two women and one in five men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives. One in five women are survivors of rape and up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced. Because sexual violence research is so neglected, little to no research exists regarding sexual violence against men and boys, despite its prevalence throughout the world. Because sexual violence has a profound impact on physical and mental health. Because as well as causing physical injury, it is associated with an increased risk of a range of sexual and reproductive health problems, with both immediate and long-term consequences. Because the impact of sexual violence on mental health can be as serious as its physical impact and may be longer lasting. Because many women and men do not report sexual violence, because they are ashamed or fear being blamed, not believed or otherwise mistreated. Because conversation is a catalyst for change. Because survivors and their loves ones need to know that there are others out there who believe them. Because the silence has to stop.
Statistics via NoMore.org
HOW change happens
We believe that in order to make sustainable change, the silence that burdens so many survivors of sexual violence must be alleviated. Honey was founded by a team of individuals who have experienced sexual assault first-hand. We believe that in order for rape culture* to be dismantled, we must, in the words of Lynne Hybels "silence lies with truth . . . and never hesitate to let passion push us, conviction compel us, and righteous anger energize us." We accomplish this through supporting and encouraging survivors of sexual violence to share their stories in whatever medium they choose, with the goal of shedding light on a dark and disregarded reality that pervades societies worldwide.
* ”Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as ‘just the way things are.’
The name Honey emerged for us the way some of the best things do–organically. And we know that the word is used a lot, but we really mean it. We dictionary-definition mean it. Honey came to us organically in that it was truly derived from living matter, from people who want more than anything for themselves and others to feel alive.
Before Honey was Honey, it was frustration. It was a shared pain that kept resurfacing wearing different masks, stinging when we wanted it to the least and debilitating us at times, as we as survivors of sexual assault stumbled again and again in our hope of killing off dark memories. It took a lot of tears, a lot of nerve, and a lot of waking up to realize that the key to release didn't lie in stifling and suppression, but in breathing life into those memories. As counterintuitive as it was, we knew that the only way out was through, and that 'through' for us meant making those memories come as alive as we could possibly make them through the humanization of survivors of one of the most dehumanizing acts the world has known.
Honey and all of its connotations kept resonating for us–at its very best, honey is sweet, natural and pure. At its very worst, honey is messy, tenaciously viscous and even toxic. Honey, in all of its amber allure and exquisiteness, felt synonymous to sexuality. But the magnetism of something so desirable felt like it has been desecrated by our experiences. We developed a distaste for it as it became more of an allergen than an allure. Honey had become its very worst.
And yet honey, with its natural healing properties, also signified a restorative emancipation. Our bodies, minds, spirits were covered in it and it was time to smear it into the limelight–Honey would be on billboards, stages, screens and marquees, and ignorance wouldn't protect the nonbelievers as it had before, because Honey would be inescapable.
Thus begins our journey. It's time to stop the silence.