I have been putting off writing this piece for a long time; partly because it’s an experience I’d like to pretend never happened, and I can’t seem to find words to match. Needless to say, my thoughts have been nagging for an outlet again and again. Also, this topic has been trending, and you know what they say:
One woman steps forward, then another and another…until you have a movement.
So here I am with a slight headache, dry eyes, and hoping to finally organize something that would resonate with anybody who cares enough to read this. Who needs to read this?…I don’t know, but this is my way of saying: I don’t want to be silent anymore.Let me bring you, my reader, up to speed with what I’m trying to communicate. According to statistics, only 1 out of 20 rape victims report the cases. ONLY 1!!! The remaining 19 choose to remain silent about the encounter. This could be due to a number of reasons best known to the victim. Choosing to remain silent of course solves nothing, but in my country, speaking up does very little as well: 80% of the time the rapist slithers scot free.
Speaking up isn’t just the better option because of justice matters, but because staying silent only leads to louder…
I’m not going to put my experience to detail, or any other person’s for that matter; the internet has archived enough of those and it still hasn’t helped deal with the elephant.Most girls can relate to sitting down with a girlfriend, listening to her cry about an awful experience, sympathizing with her, but not really empathizing. You often leave the room sad or angry, but thinking;
‘that can never happen to me, I can’t imagine, I’m somewhat immune, I’m careful, I’m modest, yada yada…’
Until the day, God forbid, you find yourself on the weeping end. You now understand why her world appeared to crumple that day while everyone else thought she was a dramatic-attention seeker, why she couldn’t forget, why she changed, why she couldn’t move on despite your motivational quotes, solidarity in hate and good listening skills…
People fail to understand that an experience like that changes you in more ways than one. Infact, only someone who has gone through the same can really empathize. You are constantly beating yourself up on how powerless you were (you couldn’t even keep an intruder from invading your OWN body) ,how hopeless and helpless a fellow human made you feel (can we really refer to them as humans?), and how your choice to such an intimate act was taken away. When the rapist is not brought to justice, then fear gets in line with shame, guilt, and hatred. The only thing left to do is grasp at straws for any semblance of normalcy.I came to an understanding that the society we live in is a diseased one, and is not about to change any time soon: I’m saving this for another blog though.Women often choose to play the victimhood game, complain about society, protest on social media, and demonize men and the police force. That, however, won’t stop the next sex preditor from abusing someone, or the police from dutifully looking the other way. It’s about time we took responsibility for ourselves, empower each other, equip, and fight back because no one out there is coming to the rescue.
We are under the illusion that people actually care when in real sense: nobody does.
This blog is a collaboration between me and my good friend Melissa Siya (IG handle @melissa_siya). We will do a second part which we hope will take you from the victim’s role to someone who takes action.