Imagine you walk into your favorite museum and all the objects are missing. Labels are barely hanging on the walls or are strewn across the floor. Some things are broken, intentionally or not. Your lovely favorite place is now chaos, a mesh of things that doesn’t quite make sense but still looks familiar.

That is what happened to us on International Women’s Day — March 8, 2018.

As millions celebrated and advocated for females around the world, we descended into chaos. About mid-day, we were alerted that something was wrong: our website was not showing up.

By evening, our team was scrambling with tech support, thinking it must just be a small database error.

Forty-eight hours later, the truth came crashing down: on a day meant to celebrate, advocate, and bring about positive change, someone had invaded, brutalized, and shut down our site – our home. They closed our doors and prevented our followers, new and old, from seeing all of the progress and content we have made over the past nine years.

It was a stab to our heart. The second major hack in two years, both coincidentally on days meant to celebrate and advocate for girls.

As of the time I write this, the hackers remain faceless; we do not know where they came from or why they chose to attack us. We continue to work with our developers and team to bring the site back to full functionality. We do not know if it is actually possible to restore what we had – or if we will have to rebuild it from scratch.

No matter what, we will rebuild.

Our site is secure. Your presence here is secure. We continue making improvements to ensure security for all who come through our virtual doors. But we are not able to instill hope and positivity and self-confidence in girls because their unique history, accomplishments, and triumphs are now silenced in our halls.

No girl should be silenced. No organization that supports making the world better should be attacked. But the hackers remain. They will likely go unpunished. A silent victory for them, perhaps a paid one.

It sickens me. It sickens all of our team. Yet I remain positive. Why?

Because once our team knew, all of them jumped into action – offering whatever help they could, reaching out to friends and colleagues who might be able to help, and quickly ensuring that what was operational marched forward.

Because once our members knew, they began reaching out to offer their unique skills and expertise to get us back online. They also began donating, helping to raise funds for us to restore our museum back to its optimistically feminist glow.

Because we rallied together. We marched on. We continued fighting. And that is what we are about, what we hope to inspire and be and do.

Want to help? Please consider donating to our website fund on JustGiving, to support greater security enhancements and professional help in restoring the first and only museum for girls to its full, shining glory. Your investment in us is an investment in inspiration, community-building, and advocacy for girls around the world.

You can make an investment — in us, in our future — here.

-Tiffany Rhoades
Program Developer
Girl Museum Inc.

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