SAN ANGELO, TX - A post circulating on social media about an alleged rape shown on another social media platform left many in disbelief. Our Senora Scott found out how common this problem is and what you can do to help.
“Sometimes we can really disconnected on social media and we can forget there's a person in those posts,” Crystal Garcia-Ward, Director of Community Education for Open Arms said.
Sexual assaults are posted on social media more often than you'd think. Recently, a Brady man was arrested on allegations of sexual assault and others commented on a post saying that he bragged about it on snapchat.
"And we just randomly share and share forgetting that that's somebody's story and we are re-victimizing them over and over and over again,” Garcia-Ward said.
While social media can be destructive when pictures or videos of crimes like these are shared, it can also be used as a tool to gather evidence and a proactive way to combat these issues.
The first step if you see someone being assaulted on social media is to call the police. After that, report those videos, pictures, or accounts online. Also, remember that those posts can be used as evidence.
"If they're able to take a screenshot and get those to law enforcement, that's an additional step that someone can take,” Garcia-Ward said.
If someone comes to you or you think someone was hurt, speak up...but remember to let them have control of the situation and just be there to support them.
"If you're concerned about a family or friend, check on them, ask them what they would like you to do rather than just sharing information for them and let them be in charge of how and if they want to share their story on social media,” Garcia-Ward said.
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