Hanging with Maeve McAuley

What inspired you to step forward and start SLUP?

"Share. Learn. Understand. Protect." (SLUP)started as a class project. In my Holocaust and Human Behaviors class, we were prompted to choose an injustice in our community and find a way to spread awareness/address the topic. I chose to address sexual violence because, in the spring of 2017, I saw a lot of chatter surrounding the topic of sexual assault in Hingham, surrounding "SLUT" the play. After the play, that talk seemed to cease, and I was left realizing that many people did not think that sexual violence is an issue everywhere, including Hingham. I thought that it was important to show our community that just because it is not talked about, does not mean it does not happen, and I wanted to show the community that many of our neighbors are hiding in silence. My partner, Fiona Pierce, also agreed that this issue needed to addressed and the community needed to be aware that sexual violence does in fact happen in Hingham, and everywhere, so together we created "Share. Learn. Understand. Protect.".

How has social media impacted your campaign?

Without social media, getting the word out about this website would have been very difficult. We used Facebook as our main advertising platform. We posted the site on our personal Facebook pages, as well as groups like Hingham Pinboard, Hingham Discussion Pinboard, Hingham High School Event Pinboard, and the Facebook groups for each class at the high school. That is also how we reached out to students to take our survey, in order to get data on the frequency of assault at Hingham High. Students took the survey, that was shared via their class Facebook groups, on their own time. We also used Twitter and Instagram to spread the word, but Facebook was most impactful. Within the first 24 hours on Facebook, the site had over 2,000 views. Without social media, it would have been hard to reach such a large amount of people so fast.

What type of impact has SLUP had on the Hingham High School community?

Our goal was to make the town and school an environment where people are not afraid to seek help and do not need to fear judgement if they seek help. I believe "S.L.U.P" did help the high school in achieving this. The play "SLUT" definitely got the ball rolling, and we just tried to continue the conversation. During the creation of the website, we discovered a club in the school called "PEERs" which was also created after the play to spread awareness on sexual assault. We teamed up with "PEERs" and did presentation to groups of freshmen on sexual violence and how our culture sometimes supports it. This was all in an effort to make the school a more understanding and open place.

Now that you are on to college, what do you want your legacy at Hingham High to be? What do you want to be remembered for?

I hope to leave "S.L.U.P." as my legacy at the high school. I am sick of silence surrounding this issue, and I hope that through this website the conversation does not cease, this issue is confronted, and people no longer have to hide in silence. My younger sister, Kerry, has offered to continue to work with PEERs to keep the conversation at Hingham High, and I hope to introduce my own college campus to the website. If I am remembered for being even a small stepping stone in addressing and ending this issue, then I would be extremely happy.

When presented with two choices, when did you make a decision that totally changed the course of your life?

- I think a decision that definitely changed my life for the better, and was also a driving factor behind "S.L.U.P.", was my decision years ago to reach out for help. I had been hurt for many years, and I hid it and kept it to myself. For years of my life I suffered in silence because I believed what happened to me was my fault. I was young and afraid, and the guilt took its toll on me both physically and mentally. I don't know where I'd be today, if I never told my parents, who immediately got me help. Eventually, I was able to accept the fact that I had nothing to feel guilty about and know that what happened to me was not my fault.

What do you love most about Hingham?

What I love most about Hingham is that it is right on the water. As a rower, I spent much of my time in high school on the harbor, and there is nothing better. I love being able to get a smoothie or a coffee and sit by the beach. I don't think I could live anywhere that isn't walking distance to the ocean.

Favorite local spot in Hingham?

My favorite local spot is definitely World's End. It is the perfect place to go for a run, walk my dogs, have a picnic, or just watch the sunset. My coaches always loved using it as the location for hill sprints, but that's not what I would typically choose to do there. World's End is one of the most beautiful and most peaceful places in this town.

What is one thing on your bucket list?

Something on my bucket list, for sure, is to travel Europe. When I'm in school, I hope to study abroad and work in different bakeries in Europe. I know some Johnson and Wales students have worked in bakeries in places like Italy and the Swiss Alps, so that is definitely a dream of mine.

What is a favorite place you have traveled to?

My favorite place that I've traveled to is Ireland. It was the only time I'd been out of the country, so it was really different from what I was used to, which is why I liked it. I loved the open green fields and all the live music.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I wouldn't call this much of a hidden talent because many people know about it, but I do love to bake. I have my own little business and make desserts for people around town.

When you’re not in school or working on SLUP , what do you love to do?

When I am not in school or working on SLUP, I love to spend time with my friends or family around town. I also love to play fetch with my dogs at the high school fields. You can also find me working at Sadie Maes or rowing at Hingham Maritime.

What's one thing people may not know about you?

One thing not many people know about me is that I love Irish step. I have danced for the Wood's School for the last ten years, and I also teach some classes.

Maeve McAuley is a rising freshman at Johnson and Wales University where she will be studying Baking and Pastry Arts. Maeve has lived in Hingham her whole life, with her her parents and seven siblings. In Hingham, she rowed for Hingham High School, danced for The Woods School of Irish Dance and had a freelance baking business. Most importantly, Maeve started "Share. Learn. Understand. Protect." (SLUP) at Hingham High School as a way to spread awareness about sexual violence.

Hingham, meet Maeve.


1 thought on “Hanging with Maeve McAuley”

  1. This is the most amazing, beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing this story about Maeve!! And Maeve, thank you for your courage, compassion and communication skills in creating a format of support for victims of sexual assault and for others to be made aware this awful crisis!


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