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Follow Uplift- Online Communities Against Sexual Violence:

Uplift is dedicated to combating sexual abuse in online communities through education and advocacy. We work to ensure that these flourishing communities are safe for the millions of people who connect through them.
With over one billion users, most of us have seen a YouTube video.

But not everyone has the enthusiasm to be a member of the YouTube community. Within the YouTube community, fans connect with one another, they laugh over the same videos, they become friends, they create stories, and arts, and crafts and they explore their identities with each other.

Millions have connected this way, creating a passionate network of people both on and offline. The YouTube community is generally very positive. But every community is vulnerable to abusive and harmful behaviors at the hands of a small group of individuals.

The YouTube community isn't any exception. In March of 2014, a young woman disclosed the details of her abusive relationship with a prominent YouTube creator. She was the first in a wave of young people who shared that they too had been abused by prominent creators online.

When people in the YouTube community heard about this, they were desperate to do something. But what they found was that there was an utter lack of resources available to them. Sexual violence that took place online was not being addressed by the existing body of sexual violence organizations.

And these people needed help. It was clear that there was a serious and immediate need for community level intervention. Uplift established itself to serve that need with a mission of combating sexual violence within online communities through education and advocacy.

Though we initially focused on the YouTube community, we expanded our focus since then; addressing issues on Vine, on Tumblr, and within fandoms that we see online. Over the past couple years, we've created resources to educate people about what online sexual violence really is both with our video series Engage by Uplift and with written resources that we've distributed online and at fan conventions. We've begun conversations with community leaders and with platforms and with organizations that have been addressing and preventing sexual violence for years.

We're so proud of the work that we've managed to do in the past couple years,. But we're the first to admit that there's so much more that needs to be done. We want to increase the presence that we've have at conventions we've been to in the past by creating more resources and leading more programs.

And we want to make sure that we're able to attend more conventions to provide these resources for people. We want to train convention staff so they know how to intervene if someone comes forward and says they are being harassed or mistreated by another attendee or by a guest. And we want to start conversations with the platforms that are behind these communities and teach them what they can do to make their websites a safer place for everyone involved.

Each person on Uplift's team is involved in this cause because we know the beautiful thing that these online communities can be. They're where we've made our friends, they're where we've grown into the people that we are today. And more importantly we've seen first hand what these communities can do when they see that something needs to change.

So please, join Uplift as we make these communities into the beautiful, safe, and inviting places that we know that they can be. Thanks in advance and we'll see you on IndieGoGo.