Dakota Johnson launches podcast to share sexual assault survivors’ stories

‘These are real stories from real people around the world’

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 01 October 2019 15:22
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Actor Dakota Johnson has launched a podcast to share the stories of survivors of sexual assault and harassment.

On Monday, Johnson shared a post on Instagram unveiling the logo and name of her new podcast, titled The Left Ear.

The 50 Shades of Grey star explained in the post’s caption that one year ago, she asked women and girls around the world to call a phone number (which she shared on Instagram) and leave voicemails “telling their stories of sexual violence, harassment, and gender-based inequalities”.

The voicemails the 29-year-old received have now been turned into the podcast, with the only form of editing being the alteration of the subjects' voices to safeguard their identities.

“I didn’t want to speak on their behalf, I wanted to listen to them,” Johnson wrote in the Instagram caption.

“To protect anonymity the voices have been slightly pitched, and any identifiers have been removed. Other than that, they have not been edited.

“These are real stories from real people around the world.”

Johnson explained that listening to the stories on the podcast “can feel very intense”, urging any listeners to “take care” of themselves if they choose to listen to them.

“In this podcast, I want to create a space where the listener is listening just as honestly and bravely as the speakers who had the courage to call,” she said.

Johnson also explained the thought process behind the name of the podcast, stating that the left ear is the closest to the heart.

“And by listening with your heart, you can save someone even just a little bit,” the actor added.

The first episode of The Left Ear is available to listen to now, with subsequent episodes due to be released every Monday from 7 October.

Several Instagram users praised Johnson over the creation of the podcast.

“I love this Dakota. Thank you!” commented actor Natalie Portman, who has been a vocal supporter of the Time’s Up movement.

“Thank you for doing this,” another Instagram user wrote.

The only two posts currently visible on Johnson’s Instagram account are the post from a year ago, where she posted her phone number, and the recent post announcing the podcast.

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Earlier this year, Emma Watson helped to launch a free legal advice helpline for women who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

The helpline was launched with the backing of the Time's Up UP Justice and Equality Fund and is managed by Rosa, a charitable fund which supports initiatives for girls and women in the UK.

You can contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, and the Rape Crisis national helpline on 0808 802 9999 (open from 12pm to 2.30pm and from 7pm to 9.30pm every day).

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