Female ‘blackout’ on Facebook to raise awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence

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YORK, Pa. --  Scrolling through Facebook, pictures which once showed smiling faces, vacations, and family photos, now replaced by darkness.

The 'blackout' isn't related to Facebook's recent security breach or spam.

It's a social media movement aimed at raising awareness.

"I think I turned my Facebook in solidarity with all women and abuse victims," explained Colleen Dwyer of York.

"What steps do men take everyday to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted? Really think about that... and then, think about what women have to do everyday, things that are just ingrained into us," Shannah Danielson of York.

Users like Colleen Dwyer and Shanna Danielson turned their photos to black hoping to send a message to the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

"We stand next to our victims and that we empower the victims to speak up," added Dwyer.

It all started because of a message shared on the website, saying the 'blackout' is a movement to show what the world might be like without women.

It quickly drew some criticism.

One twitter user saying quote, "Why should women #black out their #Facebook profile pictures and go silent tomorrow? Haven't women been silent and ignored enough?"

These ladies say the opposite, believing the blackout continues a dialogue about violence against women

"It's a prompt right? and it's a way to say, 'if you don't understand what it is, don't just scroll past it. Stop. Black Facebook page is nothing there, and if you don't ask any of the questions it's still going to be nothing," explained Christy Brooks.

They say it's a conversation decades in the making, continuing once again over the past several months.

"Not even about this Supreme Court seat, but about what happens in the Catholic Church, and what happens in schools, and just places everywhere, and I don't want the conversations to end just because someone makes it onto a seat or doesn't or if it's out of the headlines for a day or two," explained Danielson.

The blackout was meant to end earlier tonight, but some women say they're going to keep their photos as is.

They say they want to continue to show support for the survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse and to continue an important dialogue.

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