Surviving in Numbers

Last fall, photographer and rape crisis counselor Ali Safran began reaching out to Massachusetts area colleges with a simple but powerful idea to help survivors of sexual assault share their stories. The project, called Surviving in Numbers, gives survivors a platfrom to anonymously share their stories through the numbers stacked in their stories. This April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the posters created by survivors are being displayed in the various campuses involved.

ASAP hosted Ali at Tufts for an afternoon two weekends ago, where several survivors shared their own stories. Posters from survivors at Tufts and other colleges are now being displayed at the Campus Center. Check out these photos, and the display itself:

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Photos by Ali Safran.

The display will be up until Wednesday, April 17. See more at the Surviving in Numbers website, and read more coverage on Feministing and WBUR.

One thought on “Surviving in Numbers

  1. hi!

    i’ve amended the posters put up in the tufts campus center, and will be sending you an email about them shortly.

    in an act purely from my heart–a wish to assist in preventing further harm, and NOT in creating more of it–i have added some consensual covers for readers of the posters to flip up, as well as some writing concerning my own thoughts about the matter. i have left ample room, and included some pens of my own in the installation, for the purpose of encouraging others to engage with the posters, and with me, and whoever else chooses, in the discussion.

    i’ve walked past these posters a number of times, perhaps a dozen times or more, since they were first installed, and at the beginning I was very, very appreciative of them. It made me happy to see accounts of assault and rape survivors out in the open, and hoped that it was sparking constructive meditation and conversation around the community. today, though, after passing them a few times, i started feeling a little bit uneasy about them. i stopped around noon today to read them all from the beginning, and as i was walking away i couldn’t stop my heart from racing, and from anxiety gripping me. I tried to go do some homework but couldn’t. I considered and discovered that the reason for this was that I kept thinking back to friends of mine who are survivors of rape and assault, and how hard it can be for them sometimes just getting through the day, and even though there’s a quote ‘trigger warning’ on one side (but ONLY on one side!) of the installation, i couldn’t help thinking of them reading it and experiencing flashbacks, both big and small. i am a straight male and have never been raped or sexually assaulted, so i can’t even begin to imagine what such flashbacks are like, but i care very dearly about my friends and wanted to do what i could to make the space for them to get through the day in peace.

    until i looked at this website i didn’t know that these posters were made by survivors–i must admit that i was feeling too anxious and conflicted to go look up the website accurately, though i did try. i hope that these survivors, and anyone else who identifies with their experiences, aren’t offended by my actions. i’m conflicted about what i’ve done, but, that being said, i’ve done what i feel is the most compassionate thing, under the circumstances. if we’re to heal trauma, i feel that we need to make very, very sure, as sure as we can possibly be, that we aren’t causing more of it in the process.

    my email address is i really hope that you’ll contact me and discuss this with me.



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