An update to the submission system on the Instagram page “St Andrews Survivors” will allow survivors to disclose the name of their perpetrator in order to connect with other survivors who have been sexually assaulted or harassed by the same perpetrators.
St Andrews Survivors was first created on Thursday 2 July 2020. Their Instagram bio now reads “Not University Affiliated. Empowering survivors of sexual violence at the University of St Andrews by amplifying their stories.”
Despite the page only posting stories for the first two days it has been active, the last 20 days has seen the page catch the attention of the student body, the University of St Andrews, along with both national and international media outlets. The page itself, as of Wednesday 22 July 2020, now has over 5,400 followers.
This page has implicated many students as perpetrators of a wide range of sexual misconduct allegations, with the main identifying features of these students being the societies they participate in on campus. Members of the fraternity AEPi were accused in 12 posted submissions.
On Wednesday 22 July 2020, the administrators of St Andrews Survivors announced on their Instagram story that they have “added the option in our new submission form for survivors to disclose the name of their perpetrators.”
They continued, “We always want to support survivors in their healing as best as we can, and one way we hope to do this is by connecting survivors to others who have been hurt by the same perpetrators, or just empowering them with the knowledge that they aren’t the only one.”
“This of course is not something that will be helpful to or wanted by every survivor, and there is no pressure to take part in this. We simply wish to open the channel for any survivors who feel they could benefit from this.
The administrators noted that in doing so, survivors turning to litigation would have greater chances of justice.
Speaking of this, they said, “Naming perpetrators can also help strengthen legal cases or University investigations. In Scotland survivors typically need two pieces of corroborating evidence in order of their perpetrators to be charged. The survivor’s statement is one, and for anyone who does not have forensic evidence or a witness, the identification of the perpetrator as a repeat offender can help the case move forward.”
“If we find another submission mentioning the same name, we will either contact you directly (if you provide contact info) or we will comment on your story post and you can choose whether to message us about it, and potentially be connected with the other survivor, or you can choose to never act on this information.”
Furthermore, the account explained that “this information will never be shared without your explicit consent; the only purpose of collecting perpetrator names is to help YOU.”
Survivors who previously submitted stories will now be able to revise them through the submission form and include a passcode so that they can “anonymously request modifications or removal at any time in the future.”
If you, or someone you know, have been affected by issues highlighted in this article, please visit the following groups for help and advice:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Support Report
Telephone: 01334 462020
Telephone: 01592 642336
Telephone: 08088 01 03 02
Telephone: 01592 644217