Scrolling through Facebook, like I always do, I come across the usual – funny cat videos, an insanely cute kid dressed as a chicken nugget for halloween… and then a video. It wasn’t like the others, this one was by BuzzFeed Australia entitled: My #MeToo experience.
I’ll give you a link to the video here but, in summary, the girl in it uses the mattress she was raped on to write “Me Too” and encouraged others to write their experiences. Whether it be cat calling, sexual assault or just even knowing a story someone told you. Regardless, she was speaking out.
I think everyone always gets a chill when they hear the word “rape”, well, I do anyway. I think it’s taught from a young age that rape is a man in an alleyway with a stained white shirt who threatens your life in exchange for something he wants. It’s a shame we don’t talk about other realities, like the lover you’ve been with for 10 years or the girlfriend whose a few years younger and, heaven forbid, did you know boys get raped too?
Unfortunately school doesn’t teach you realities.
The #MeToo movement is ballsy, in a way that hundred of thousands of survivors have never uttered a word for months, maybe even years. However, this movement is changing that. Men and woman, boys and girls are finding the strength within a hashtag to send a big ‘F U’ to their assailants.
For once survivors are not worried about their attackers finding out, the dirty looks they will get given, the shame of their parents finding out. Instead, they have an army of internet soldiers crowding around them. They have never met them, but my God there is such a sense of power in seeing that you are not alone.
I am not alone.
I will not bore you of the gory details, but I am a victim of sexual assault. But I was in a relationship so it doesn’t count, right? How could my lover rape me, we were in love? It doesn’t matter that he tried 10 times to take my virginity when I wasn’t ready, each ‘no’ just seemed to spur him on more until I stopped resisting. Or the time I threatened to wake his sibling in the room next door because I was scared of him.
It does matter. It always has and it always will.
It’s taken me a very long time to acknowledge that.
Writing this blog post, I’m struggling to find what category to put this under. You see, rape doesn’t really fit in a category does it? For the sake of this post I am renaming my “Lifestyle” category to “Life”. Because, all though it shouldn’t be a part of life but it is. Rape happens. It shouldn’t, but it does.
I have an influence on these platforms, albeit not a very big one, but somewhere there may be a girl or boy reading this blog. Scrubbing their skin raw in shame or crying themselves to sleep, and they need to realise. You are not alone. Speak out against your attacker, whether it breaks families or friendships or not. Go to the police, go to the newspapers, do whatever you have to do to stop this rape culture – even if it’s just as simple as sharing a tweet. Teach your sons and daughters not to cat call, not to use derogatory words for someone’s body, teach them not to rape. It all starts at home.
So here I am, declaring for all the world to see. Guess what?