#YesAllWomen: Men, Women Combat Domestic Violence after Elliot Rodger's Isla Vista UCSB Shooting

( [email protected] ) May 26, 2014 03:04 PM EDT
Men and women alike seek to raise awareness and combat domestic violence (AP)

While citizens of Isla Vista mourn the loss of six students murdered in a shooting rampage last week, people from around the country are taking to social media to raise awareness concerning domestic violence against women.

Using the hashtag #YesAllWomen, Twitter and Facebook users describe feelings of being vulnerable to violence.

"500,000 women in the military have endured sexual assault. Yes. Half a Million. #YesAllWomen," posted a user.

Many women reveal violent encounters they had experienced personally with men.

"When i was picked up by the throat and thrown down the stairs, responding officers told ME to apologize to HIM for crying #YesAllWomen," wrote one woman.

The LA Times says that part of the reason for the hashtag's popularity was due to the message the Isla Vista suspect had broadcast before Friday night's rampage.

22 year old Elliot Rodger had announced in a manifesto and in a YouTube video that he intended to kill women for rejecting him, and the initial stages of his attack reflected the plan that he laid out: First, he killed three people at his apartment building, then tried to attack a sorority before he targeted passersby, police say.

He ultimately killed six people and wounded 13 before his own death Friday night near UC Santa Barbara.

While events like the Santa Barbara-area attack are uncommon, violence against women is far too commonplace, happening across the U.S. on a daily basis.

In 2012, an average of more than seven women was killed daily, and according to the most recent available federal statistics, American women usually know their attacker -- who is usually male.

Women and girls are five times more likely than men to be violently attacked by an intimate partner, and women are also more than twice as likely as men to be killed by a partner.

The user who created the hashtag has declined to talk to reporters, tweeting Sunday that "Twitter does not feel like a safe or happy person [sic] for me right now" and that she did not want the media spotlight. But she added that the spirit of the hashtag was for discussing "what 'not all men' might do, but women must fear."

However, it's not just women who speaking out against abuse. Many men commented as well, expressing anger and disgust.

"Misogyny shouldn't just be bad when it happens to your mom, sister, or other loved one, its bad when it happens to any women . #YesAllWomen," tweeted a male user.

Victims of domestic violence can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, and victims of sexual assault can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.