Here's How Snapchat Filters Are Helping Survivors Of Sexual Assault

12 July 2016, 12:14 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Snapchat filter
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Absolutely genius.

Think back to a few years ago before you knew what Snapchat was. There was no such thing as a dog filter or a flower crown and the app was a mere twinkle in Evan Spiegel's eye. Fast forward to 2016 and our lives are basically dictated by snap streaks and stories. It's all fun and games, but some Snapchat users in India have figured out a genius way to share their survival stories using one of Snapchat's signature features. 

Gif via Marie Claire

Sexual assault and violence is a huge issue all over the world, but some Snapchat users in India are using the popular app to anonymously tell their stories. Tech editor at Hindustan Times, Yusuf Omar, gave survivors the opportunity to tell their stories with the app, using a filter that completely hid their facial features. 


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Some of the biggest challenges for survivors of sexual violence or abuse is the shame surrounding the event as well as the fear of reprisal for coming forward. This really cool thing Yusuf did is part of an initiative called 'Climb against sexual assault'. This initiative aims to challenge the stigma around sexual assault. 

One comment on the video is a tone deaf declaration that "climbing isn't going to do anything". But, by using this event and this filter, the organization is giving these women an avenue to speak up and showing that there is huge support for their right to have a voice. Yusuf may be triggering a huge shift in the way people think about sexual assault. 

Using Snapchat to help women find their voice and feel comfortable enough to challenge their assailants represents a huge opportunity to welcome Snapchat into the world of social good. YAS, Snapchat. We're so here for this! Next up, let's figure out a way the puppy filter can help dismantle the patriarchy for good.