Pepa Stationary is far from your usual nick nick store consisting of pencils and diaries. Ami, owner of the gorgeous store located in The Arts Centre, is taking the next step in reminding the world to pick up pen and paper, using it to make our mark.
The walls of the space were recently filled for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. With Pepa’s contribution, our readers can now become a part of her initiative by heading to Pepa to write to victims too.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The month was designed to raise visibility and awareness about the realities and prevalence of sexual violence, while combating rape myths and victim-blaming.
A chance to think, and read the uplifting messages left by victims confronts the modern day stigma of remaining silent. Ami brings these issues to our realisation. It’s a conversation no-one really wants to have but if we all stay silent, victims will continue to believe they are alone – if we don’t ‘tell’, sexual violence thrives.
An event held in the stationery store revealed that 1 in 5 women are assaulted – a statistic known only through the number who come forward. When less than 13% of perpetrators are prosecuted, this causes a lesser incentive to do anything about it if something has happened to you.
“There are very few support groups, and very little support from the ‘system’ for victims. It’s a quiet crime. One victim who came along to the event said she wished she hadn’t come forward. Even with all the evidence, the police dissuaded her to proceed as it was unlikely to result in a conviction. It was heartbreaking.”
For the month of April, Pepa are writing to victims of sexual assault. The letters will be placed – to be read – on the wall outside the store.
Pepa wants victims to find comfort in the anonymity of their walls, and want the public to get a better understanding of the issue in order to actively participate in the discussion. The Arts Centre is in full support of the initiative and have graciously allowed the letters to be placed in a very public place.
We have recently visited this display, something we recommend all our readers to visit if you have the opportunity. Take the time to read a couple or all. Messages of hope, messages of stories, no matter how many you read
you too will feel a sense of support. If you begin to show your support, by sharing the word and talking to others, every bit will help.
“Your voice is necessary in changing how we view sexual assault. We want to fill our walls with messages from people who are willing to fight alongside the victims. A conversation is vital to instigate any change.”