Digital platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook and online communities on reddit, are increasingly used by victim-survivors across the world to post about their experiences of sexual violence. Emerging research suggests a variety of reasons why victim-survivors discuss their experiences online. This article contributes to this developing area of research by exploring the underlying motivations for victim-survivors using an online rape survivor community on reddit.
This article questions how and why victim-survivors of sexual violence engage with digital technologies through content analysis of narratives posted to a public rape survivor forum on reddit. Overall, the study found that there are three primary motivators prompting survivors to access online communities: to find a supportive community; to seek advice; and for storytelling. The article uncovers some of the broader implications of online storytelling, suggesting that this is an important framework to consider online disclosures of sexual violence. Online communities like /r/rapecounseling might be conceptualised as spaces where counter-narratives of sexual violence are collectively shared.