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Student-led organization Campus Survivors starts GoFundMe for sexual assault survivors

Campus Survivors, an independent organization started by Boston University students, launched a new initiative to help sexual assault survivors with the financial aspects of recovery.

Campus survivors mutual aid gofundme page
The “Student Survivors Mutual Aid Fund” GoFundMe Page. Campus Survivors launched a new initiative on Dec. 30 to help sexual assault survivors with finances for the recovery process. TAYLOR COESTER/DFP STAFF

Student Survivors Mutual Aid Fund” was launched on Dec. 30 on GoFundMe with the aim of providing another resource to survivors, according to Yashica Kataria, one of the organization’s co-founders and BU senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We’ve noticed that when we speak to survivors of sexual assault, they often talk about how hard it is to not only be in recovery but also to have to worry about the financial costs of being in recovery,” she said.

Campus Survivors is an Instagram page primarily used to share anonymous stories of sexual assault via submissions from survivors to the page. Through a Google Form, survivors can submit their own story and which college or university the assault happened at. They also submit a unique password if they want their submissions taken down in the future.

The costs of sexual assault recovery can range from legal assistance to therapy, according to Prisha Sujin Kumar, another co-founder of Campus Survivors and a BU senior in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

“I know a lot of people who don’t go to therapy just because there’s no providers who accept their insurance, and paying out of insurance is ridiculously expensive, especially in areas like Boston,” Sujin Kumar said.

Another hidden cost is housing expenses — especially in cases where the abuser lives in the same accommodation as the abused, but the latter can’t afford to move. Survivors have approached Sujin Kumar expressing uncertainty on what to do in such situations.

“There are a lot of things that in order for survivors to get back on track with their life,” Sujin Kumar said. “A lot of it is financially based, unfortunately, and it can be very taxing.”

Sophia Kim, another co-founder and junior in CAS, said the Student Survivors Mutual Aid Fund has been “in the talks for quite a while now” and believes it is a “really good practical way to help survivors” not only at BU, but around the United States too.

“We get submissions from everywhere in the U.S. and the mutual aid fund really will be used to support people nationwide,” Kataria said.

As of Jan. 11, the GoFundMe page raised over $800 with 31 donations. It aims to raise $5,000 by the time the campaign is over.

“I was very worried just because obviously most of the people who have seen the GoFundMe are students, so they don’t have a lot to donate,” Sujin Kumar said. “Even people who can’t donate, there’s been so many shares, which is just as important.”

The GoFundMe donation cycle will end Jan. 30 and applications for aid will open Feb. 1, according to an announcement post on Campus Survivors’ Instagram page.

“We’ve already heard from some survivors who’ve said that they are really grateful that this will be something in place at least for the near future,” Sujin Kumar said.

The Campus Survivors co-founders hope that students will continue to support the organization’s efforts moving forward as it strives to make its community a “safe space” where survivors feel like “they’re not alone,” according to Kim.

“I hope people know that this will always be there for them,” Kim said.






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