- Participants write daily reports for 30 consecutive days of their experiences with patriarchy, gender-based violence, rape culture, sexism, and other related forms of discrimination and harassment. Read through our About page if you are confused by what we mean by gender-based violence.
- At the end of each week (after the participant has written 7 daily observations), participants email all of their entries for that week in bulk to email@example.com. Participants can also choose to submit all 30 days of observations at once.
- The collected responses will be posted in the Daily Observations section of the BOPM website.
- Participants who have access to the Internet and a computer and who speak English are encouraged to work with someone who does not in order to help them share their stories.
- You should sign up to participate only if you are ready to commit to recording observations every day for a significant period of time, if not for 30 days then at least for 2 weeks. However, we understand that it can be taxing to record experiences with gender-based violence every day, and we want participants to do what they need to maintain their wellbeing, including dropping out or shortening the length of time for their participation. We only want people to sign up if this sounds like an experience they would enjoy or find fulfillment in, and we understand that this experience is not something that everyone would want to do.
- We want to create a space where people feel safe to share their experiences, so there will not be a comments section on the website.
- We will ask you how you wish to be identified when we publish your stories, and we promise to honor your wishes. We hope to publish a diverse array of stories on the website, so we would like to be able to provide some information about how your identity and your location impacts your experiences with GBV. You will always have the option to remain completely anonymous.
- Volunteer to participate by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know in your message that you wish to be a "daily observer".
- The suggested word limit for each daily entry is 200-250 words. Please keep it short and poignant!
- Daily observations should focus only on what you experience in a single day. Longer stories can be featured as a blog post or article to be published in another location on the website.
- Please proofread your work or have someone else proofread it before you submit it to us.
- Describe in detail what kinds of GBV you experience each day, the context of each event or setting, and how the events made you feel emotionally, physically, and mentally. You can choose to explain how you reacted to the perpetrator if you wish, but what's most important is for you to communicate a list of all of the instances of GBV that you experience.
- Keep in mind that word "violence" within the term "gender-based violence" is a very general word to mean any experience that makes you feel devalued, unsafe, excluded or disrespected, that was nonconsensual, or that reflects a larger system of unfairness or injustice.
- If you do not encounter any GBV on a given day, your daily observation for that day might simply say something like, "I did not experience any GBV today because I stayed inside all day". Since the purpose of BOPM is to capture the feeling of the relentlessness of GBV, not just individual instances of GBV, is it important that you write something for each of the 30 days, even if "I experienced nothing" is all you have to say about a given day.
- Since each person experiences gender-based violence and discrimination differently, we strongly encourage participants to write about their experiences with racism, classism, heterosexism, homophobia, or any other experience that feels relevant.
- Keep in mind that our common goal for The Burden of Proof Movement is to end the normalization of gender-based violence by building empathy for the daily grind of living in a patriarchal society. Participants should aim to engender empathy and to speak about their experiences with thoughtful consideration. Participants can think of BOPM as a supportive community where you can be open about your thoughts and experiences.
For a lot of us, we cope with the frustration, anxiety, and fear of GBV by ignoring it and intentionally or unintentionally forgetting it. Thus, choosing to deliberately remember and then record our daily experiences of GBV can be difficult and taxing. At BOPM, we believe that speaking publicly about our own experiences with GBV has the potential to feel healing and empowering. We hope that by offering a platform to share daily experiences of GBV, we are not asking anyone to dwell on negativity, but rather we are help people exercise the muscles that are required to see a type of violence that is so normalized that it’s often invisible, which has the potential to feel really powerful. We hope that, as a BOPM volunteer, you will feel excited to participate. It's not something that everyone will have an interest in doing, and we want to ensure that only those who are comfortable with participating are doing so.
Please take good care of yourself always, but in particular during your 30 days of observation. As you record your observations, we encourage you to reach out to the BOPM community on Facebook for support, as well as the communities and resources that you regularly rely on for support, whether it's a hotline, friends, family, online group, or a therapist. Practice self-care in whatever ways you know best. This might include eating your favorite foods, exercising in whatever ways you prefer, chatting with your friends, watching your favorite TV shows, spending time in nature, making arts and crafts, seeing a therapist, or whatever else helps you feel healthy, powerful, peaceful, safe, and taken care of. Check out the self-care how-to guides below for additional ideas for support.