Image Source: Getty / Bundit Binsuk / EyeEm
Content warning: The following story contains descriptions of sexual assault.
While most TikTok trends are created to be funny or get views for entertainment purposes, the latest one on everyone's For You Page is far from humorous.
In response to the horrific Supreme Court draft detailing that Roe v. Wade will likely be overturned, people are using the social media platform to share their traumatic sexual experiences to advocate for abortion access.
Over the sound of Kendrick Lamar's voice rapping, "Have you ever been punched in your motherf*cking face? What you say? Oh, you haven't? Alright, wait, b*tch," from the song "Vent" by Baby Keem, the trend starts with people sharing a story about a nonconsensual sexual experience.
Then, once the beat drops in the song, the content creator seemingly steps on their phone, which brings the video to a dark black background with the words "Keep Your Laws Off Our Bodies" in all capital letters. You can see an example of the trend in the video below.
I told my boyfriend I wanted to wait until marriage, but instead he held the camera during the abuse. I'm lucky the morning after pill worked. #keepsupporting #keepyourlawsoffmybody #feminist #prochoicewithheart #womenpower #prochoiceisprowomen #independent♬ vent - Baby Keem
In one video, which has 2.7 million views already, one woman writes, "Have you ever been roofied to wake up and find out the whole baseball team took turns on you while you were blacked out?"
In another, one woman asks, "Have you ever been trapped in a basement with 2 men while their friends laughed about it upstairs?"
Per the app, the song has already been used in almost 22,000 TikTok videos posted — and though they may not all use the song for this trend specifically, the amount of videos you'll find detailing these traumatic sexual experiences is alarming.
In fact, one TikTok user used the sound to point out how painful it is to see all of these shared experiences. She wrote, "have you ever scrolled through this audio?" while showing herself in tears, drawing attention to how horrifically graphic some of the stories are.
While I'm certainly glad that these content creators are finding comfort and community in sharing their stories and stirring up conversations, people should not have to retell their sexual-assault experiences in order to raise attention to the implications of overturning Roe v. Wade. Because really, the Roe v. Wade news leak should've sparked enough outrage as is.
Within these tens of thousands of videos and millions of views, these content creators are reiterating how circumstances cannot always be controlled and unexpected pregnancies happen — in some cases, nonconsensually. And while, of course, these stories prove just how important it is to have access to abortions, let us be clear: abortion access isn't only necessary for instances where someone has been sexually assaulted.
People should not have to retell their sexual-assault experiences in order to raise attention to the implications of overturning Roe v. Wade.
The right to choose and have ownership over your body is necessary for any pregnant person, and having that right ensures every individual can make an informed decision. Because, after all, as we know by now, ruling abortions as "illegal" does not prevent them from happening. It just prevents safe abortions from happening.
If there's one silver lining to those sharing their stories to this sound, it's that there's strength in numbers. A comment under one of these viral videos says: "More women are opening up, and it's empowering. I'm here for it. We need to stick together, and my heart goes out to them all." Speaking up about your individual experiences if you feel comfortable sharing can help, but it also shouldn't be necessary in order to make people realize how terrible a future of overturning Roe v. Wade looks.
That said, if you're looking for other ways to also make a difference, you can make sure to register to vote in the midterm elections to elect a candidate who will fight to protect your right to choose. You can also reach out to your current state representatives by phone, email, or mail to express concern for the future overturning of Roe v. Wade.
If you or someone you know would like to speak with someone who is trained to assist sexual-assault survivors, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.