Maria Ruiz an activist who resides in Miami FL was outraged much like countless others, when Emily Doe detailed her experience in a california hospital after being sexually assaulted by former Stanford college student Brock Turner.
The change.org petition has drawn over 1.3 million in the 3 short months since it’s creation. The signers are people who felt compelled by Emily Doe’s statement to Brock Turner, her rapist. Maria states she is adamant about impeachment being the most rational option to remove Judge Aaron Persky.
In an exclusive statement Maria tells the media “Impeachment isn’t like recall, we do not have to wait for an election, the assembly can start proceedings right now, no waiting until 2017, no counting on voters to go to the polls and vote in favor. This needs to be done now, this judge cannot be allowed to preside over civil cases and further victimize survivors in the court system”
Maria teamed up with Social media personality and PR Sharika Soal and together they began to pave the way to create meaningful action and encourage supporters to participate in the movement.. Awareness is an important first step. Evolving that awareness into real change takes organization and the passion to convince the public to sign the petition and share their personal experiences, donate and attend protests. A monumental task, Bringing a focus to a cause that highlights survivors has proved to be Ruiz’s strong point and with Sharika Soal’s help the two have created a platform virtually overnight.
In response to the Assembly’s inaction Ruiz and Soal launched a hashtag campaign #solidarity4survivors late in August. Maria and Sharika’s hopes are that the assembly will no longer ignore the faces and stories of the victim’s like those of Perksy. The movement was quickly met with an astonishing amount of support from people all over the world from celebrities to politicians. The short list includes Nickelodeon’s Angelique Bates actress best known for the hit 90’s show “All That” who was recently in the media after a video of her was published where she revealed to the public that she was abused by her mother on the set of the popular kids TV network. In a petition update made by Ruiz and Soal, Bates reveals that she is also a rape survivor.
Django Unchained actress Daniele Watts also visibly joined the movement in a separate update. Since then other celebs like Bobby Trendy, Anna Nicole Smiths interior designer and Reality TV star along with Courtney Stodden’s mother, Krista Stodden, who both appeared on Lifetime’s Celebrity Mother Daughter Experiment.
In addition to the hashtag movement Ruiz and Soal launched a blog SilenceHelpsNoOne.com in an effort to raise awareness an open platform for survivors to submit their stories anonymously. The website serves to empower survivors by allowing them a safe place to be heard. The blog features many gut wrenching stories from anonymous survivors including one who is being prosecuted for a false report in response to reporting her rape.
Maria Ruiz and Sharika Soal might be onto something big here. If the petition is any indication, one could only assume.