Talking for Teal: A Sophomore Warrior Using Her Voice

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Emelia Fernandes

Raising Awareness: To create greater awareness about the threats that young women face with sexual assault, sophomore Olivia Granot helped found a group called Talking for Teal. Among other activities, the group posts information on Instagram to help people be aware of the threats and about resources for help.

Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Every nine minutes, a child becomes a victim. Sexual abuse is a problem most are aware of, yet it is a topic most will avoid. North Atlanta sophomore Olivia Granot decided that it was time to speak up and start the conversation about sexual assault, one that is crucial for us to have. Alongside her friend Anne-Lise Vonwismar, a senior at Holy Innocents, Granot started a non-profit organization called Talking for Teal in hopes of educating and spreading awareness about sexual abuse and its impact on teenagers.

Talking for Teal – the name being a reference to the teal ribbon that symbolizes sexual assault awareness and prevention – became an idea when Granot and Vonwismar first shared with each other their personal experiences with childhood sexual assualt. The realization that there was a scarce amount of resources to deal with the issue of sexual assault made both Granot and Vonwismar take action to help. “At our lunch break we discussed how frustrating it was that there are very limited resources for survivors like us,” said Granot.

Just days later, the inspired idea of two teenage girls became a reality, as Talking for Teal was created. Their main source of outreach is through their Instagram page, where they post donation opportunities and information, while providing support and encouragement for victims. “The idea behind starting Talking for Teal was to create a way to bring awareness to the topic and help others feel less alone,” said Granot.

Right after the page was started, the support for Talking for Teal came quickly. Over $1,500 was raised for RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network) within the first five days. Weeks later, the support for the non-profit organization has remained strong. For Granot and Vonwismar, it became clear how important the topic of sexual assault is to so many people. “It was amazing to see everyone come together and share our page and support us,” said Granot. “We definitely did not expect this.”

Talking for Teal is commited to helping end the stigma of keeping quiet about sexual abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse or assault could have countless reasons why they keep their stories to themselves, and every reason is valid. Being vulnerable and sharing such a personal experience is much easier said than done. The advice Granot would give to survivors is to not be afraid to speak up and say something. The more we talk about this problem, the better it will get. “For me personally, telling my family and friends has been really vital to my healing journey,” said Granot. “No matter what you’re going through, a support system can never hurt.”

Sexual abuse dates far back. There may have never been a time when it wasn’t an issue. These days, however, people are finally beginning to realize that opening up, speaking up, and sharing their stories is the only way to address the problem. Doing so empowers others who may feel isolated and confused after their own experiences, and helps break the stigma that causes people to shy away from such a serious topic. 

Support Talking for Teal on Instagram and Tiktok: @talkingforteal