BRB Gone Viral, Pop Culture

#YouOkSis re-emerges to highlight stories of intimate partner violence

The hashtag, #YouOKSis started by activist Feminista Jones in 2014 was trending again in the wake of the shooting of a teacher and her student in San Bernardino

On Monday, a man walked in to a classroom in San Bernardino California and shot a teacher and a student. They both died. In the wake of the shooting, police and the public were puzzled about the motivation for the shooting. Soon, investigation uncovered that the man was the ex-husband of the woman who had been shot. As the investigation continued, it was discovered that the man had previously been arrested to for domestic violence.

The shooting sparked a conversation of how domestic abuse is linked to escalating violence. Domestic violence is a predictor of murder. One in five murders are committed by an intimate partner, and two out of three of those killed by intimate partners are women. In 70 to 80 percent of the cases where a woman is murdered by her intimate partner, domestic violence had occurred prior to the murder.

Twitter responded to the incident by using the hashtag #YouOkSis. The hashtag was originally started in 2014 by activist Feminista Jones as a way for women of color to share their stories of street harassment. Since then, the hashtag has periodically re-emerged to share experiences of harassment and violence against women. The hashtag’s primary focus is education about the violence, both physical and verbal, that women endure constantly.

Here are some of the best tweets from the resurgence of #YouOkSis

1. Women highlighted the misunderstanding of abusive relationships

2. They shared devastating statistics

3. Women explained why they can’t just leave

4. They reminded us that women with disabilities are even more at risk

5. Women called out the link between domestic violence and mass shootings

6. Women started sharing heartbreaking stories



9. Women shared what it feels like to be in an abusive relationship

10. Women highlighted how violence is community problem

11. And the importance of helping women in toxic relationships

12. Women shared information to educate

13. Women shared stories of fighting back


15. They confirmed that we are not, in fact, OK

16. They asked about who is taking care of black women

17. They pointed out the link between male entitlement and violence

18. Women shared their heartbreak

19. Women talked about how domestic violence particularly impacts black women

20. Women shared the reality of disbelieving victims

21. And women reminded us that domestic violent disproportionately impacts black women

22. Women shared experiences of verbal violence, because threats are abuse too

23. Women shared their own writing to process their feelings

24. Women said STOP

25. Women used the hashtag to call out harassers

26. Women pointed out that this is, unfortunately, not an isolated incident

27. Women expressed their despair at the endless nature of the problem

28. Women shared how grateful they were to be safe after years of abuse

29. Women reminded us to look for the warning signs of violence

30. We were reminded that three women die every day as a result of domestic violence

31. One true male feminist reminded us that it’s not on women to leave, it’s on men not to kill

32. We were reminded that domestic violence effects other gender identities too

33. This startling statistic was shared

34. We were reminded that leaving can be more dangerous than staying when women don’t have protection

35. And that leaving doesn’t always mean you’re safe

We need to keep having these honest conversations about domestic violence. And we need to keep talking about how domestic violence is often a precursor to murder. Women who are in abusive relationships are in very dangerous situations and the danger does not stop when they leave those relationships. We need to provide women with the resources they need to be able to get out of violent relationships and stay safe and alive after they’ve left.

  • Robin Zabiegalski

    Robin Zabiegalski is a full time writer and editor. Her work has been published on The Tempest, xoJane, The Talko, The Bolde, and Kinkly. She also writes fiction and her work has been published in an anthology called "Fermenting Feminism" and in "Adelaide Magazine." Robin has a BA in Professional Studies from Johnson State College and she is passionate about feminism, body image, writing, snowboarding, and backpacking.