They are two young ladies living in two different areas in the country, but together they are using the internet and Twitter in particular to raise awareness about a very important topic: rape. Taylor Cole,15, of Texas and Halea Filley,13, of Missouri co-run "Let's Stop Rape" on Twitter (www.twitter.com/letsstoprape), using the social network to share important facts about rape as well as uniting a coalition to help spread the word.
In this conversation* Taylor and Halea share how the "Let's Stop Rape" campaign began, what they hope to share with the world, and how they hope the work they are doing inspires other young people to get involved in worthwhile causes as well.
Why did you start the organization Let's Stop Rape?
T. C.: I started this organization because I was so shocked when I heard the statistics, and I wanted to make people more aware and help them keep safe.
You seem quite young to be tackling such an important yet powerful subject. How did you decide this was something you wanted to do?
T. C. : I found out about some rape that had been going on in my family, even as young as five, and I didn't want anyone else to have to go through that.
What are the statistics that you want us to be aware of when it comes to rape?
T. C.: A woman is raped every two minutes in the US. I think thats terrible. You never really know how often it happens!
What's been the response from the public?
T.C.: The response from the public has been really really great. We have alot of supporters who are willing to help us spread the word.
H.F.: The people on Twitter really appreciate what we're doing, alot of people thank us for having it on Twitter!
How have social networking sites like Twitter helped you get the word out?
T.C.: Twitter has been our biggest help here. If we get one person to follow us, then they can tell their followers and more and more people find out. Its really awesome.
H.F.: We get to interact with people from all over the world, and they are different ages too, and Twitter allows us to tweet them, and to post stats about rape.
What do you hope comes from your organization?
T.C.: You know, I'm not sure just yet. I just know that if I can make a difference in the life of even just one person, I've met my goal. I just wanna help people!
H.F.: I hope that people see Taylor and I as people who really want to make a difference, because thats what we're aiming for!
Any advice from other young people who would like to use their lives to make a difference like you have?
T. C.: If you find something that you feel strongly about, go out and really raise awareness. You'd be surprised how good it makes you feel. It's the best feeling in the world.
H.F.: That no matter who tells you you're too young to make a difference, don't believe them, because anyone can make a difference no matter where your from, or how old you are. Just believe in yourself, and you'll go a long way.
Congratulations on everything that you all are doing to raise awareness of this important topic. How can our readers find out more information about you online?
T.C.: They can check us out on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LetsStopRape) , Facebook, or visit www.letsstoprape.webs.com.
* Listen to Taylor and Halea's interview on Conversations LIVE with Cyrus Webb here: http://tobtr.com/s/1458265