About the Project

This is an organic and evolving project; a platform for survivors of sexual assault, abuse, domestic violence, and harassment.  This safe space is here to bring awareness and the shared reality of how violence has affected so many lives. With your permission, your story will be published anonymously and shared on the 1 in 5 site.  This is a healing space; a place for cathartic expression to share your lived experience, with the hope of helping others to find their voice and speak their truth. 

1 out of every 5 women is a survivor of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime in the USA. 9 out of 10 survivors of rape are female. (National Sexual Assault Hotline) Sexual violence is notoriously difficult to measure as there is no single source of data that provides a complete picture of the crime.

Many survivors are reluctant to share or report their assault; and there are many reasons why. Each time a story is shared, the survivor is re-victimized. Many times survivors are made to feel that they caused their assault, and are partially responsible for the attack. They are questioned about how much they had to drink or what they were wearing when the assault occurred; as if this is cause or justification for rape, violence, or assault. In the criminal justice system, perpetrators of sexual assault and domestic violence leave the courtroom with little or NO consequences. We witness athletes who are protected from prosecution, and are instead rewarded with multi-million dollar contracts to keep them in the game. In the USA, the majority of rapists and sexual assaulters are given minimal sentencing or provided with the option of completing several hours of community service work; while the survivor is made to feel ashamed and humiliated for having shared their assault. What does this teach our society about how women are valued? It makes sense why so many are unwilling to share.

Your story may be incorporated into a greater “1 in 5 that’s my Story” project that will help to provide  a script for a play, education and awareness campaigns, and/or become part of a documentary about violence against women.


Safe Harbor Shelter, Richmond, VA  http://safeharborshelter.com/

24 Hour Help Hotline (Richmond, Va) 804.612.6126

The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)

National Dating Abuse Helpline


Mission Statement:

1 in 5 seeks to provide a platform for survivors to identify and expose sexual assault in the USA by sharing our stories.  We believe that the healing process begins when we are willing to share our lived experience with others.


You can share your story anonymously, using your first name, or an alias, or by providing your full name. Your story will only be used with your permission when your story is published. When sharing your story, please be as detailed as you can, and try to provide times and places where the assault(s) took place. We also ask that you share how you felt, what you did after the assault, if you reported or shared the assault with anyone; and how you are affected now because of your experience.  We understand that sharing your story can cause a “trigger” in you that will bring the memory of your assault back; and we appreciate your willingness to do this for others. Sexual assault, rape, violence and harassment is never justified! Each time we SPEAK OUT, we can HELP to end the cycle of abuse. Your personal experience, whether you believe it to be egregious or minor, is a lived experience and it is important to the success of the 1 in 5 project. Please accept the terms and conditions for sharing your story, so that it can be a part of the dialogue to expose and end sexual assault! We BELIEVE you and your story!

See Full Terms & Conditions

About the founder:  Leslie Rubio

I am passionate about women’s rights, and I am not afraid to stand in solidarity with other women to protect our autonomy. I speak out and speak to my elected officials, both in the board room and in legislative committees in my state’s General Assembly. I am dedicated to educating others about sexual assault, and the impact that it has on our lives.

This is my catalyst for the creation of the“1 in 5 that’s my Story” project.  The research and work to create 1in5thatsmystory.org began in 2014 and the site itself became a living reality in 2016.

I too am a survivor of sexual assault. I know that, my experience as a young teenager, has impacted the way I look at things, how I say things, and how I react in certain situations. This experience has led me to help others, and has created an avenue for me to express myself politically, and in ways that I never knew I could. 

As a first responder and volunteer for an organization that provides shelter, aid,  counseling, and legal assistance to survivors of sexual assault; I realize how important sharing our lived experiences with one another is. Many times when I meet with survivors at the hospital, I am their only advocate. I understand the pain, guilt, sadness, and hopelessness that a survivor feels, and I know that I am making a difference; not only by sharing the commitment of my time, but also by allowing myself to become vulnerable by sharing my own story.

I am hopeful that you are willing to share your story. I believe when we share together, we share in our own healing, and in the healing of others. I believe you. 

About this Painting

Click the map to enlarge.

This painting is a collaborative effort by 10 artists who have never met.  I am 1 of the 10 women living in the United States who participated in this traveling painting project. (Please see the map that shows the painting’s journey)  The original photograph titled “14 Year Old Striker, Fola La Follette, and Rose Livingston” circa 1910-1915 is located in the Library of Congress, and can be found on their website.  The image itself was transferred from a copy of the original photograph on to a prepared surface, and was gridded off into squares.  Each of the 10 artists who participated in this project were tasked with painting 7 squares, and upon completion, were provided with detailed instructions of who and where to ship the painting next.  This idea was the brainchild of Carrie Joy Byrnes, an artist and painter residing in North Carolina.  I met Carrie Joy in November of 2010 through art blogging.  Seven years later, I contacted Carrie Joy to see where the painting had ultimately landed.   When I told her about the 1 in 5 project; she graciously sent the painting to me to use as the image for this site.  I am proud to say that the painting hangs prominently in my home and I am grateful to have use of it for the creation of this project that I care so deeply about.