It seems that every couple of months a celebrity is in the public eye for a shameful crime of sexual assault or rape. And when this celebrity is in the medias focus more victims come forward and report offences, usually historic, and then a media frenzy begins of pointing blame not only at the perpetrator but at the victims too.
More recently, Producer Harvey Weinstein is under the public gaze and media scrutiny for a string of sexual assault allegations.
Concurrently, Alyssa Milano reignited the ‘#MeToo’ campaign. For those of you that haven’t seen/heard of it it is a campaign originally started many years ago to raise awareness and show the extent of sexual assaults amongst women. The aim was to highlight that most, if not all, women will have experienced some form of sexual assault in their life. The flaw with this campaign is rather than being focussed on the victims it was about gender.
In a society surrounded by social media, not a lot in our lives remain private. I personally don’t chose to publicly discuss or share my experience of being raped. When I have discussed this incredibly personal and sensitive issue I find it makes the other person uncomfortable and in turn makes me feel embarrassed and even more uncomfortable. So instead I raise awareness my own way; by writing an anonymous blog to portray my feelings, my trauma, my recovery and hopefully one day my survival.
May 2017, I was raped. In a daze I took myself to the sexual violence referral clinic and the reporting process began. Five months later I have no real update and feel like I am falling back into the widely reported feeling of being disbelieved, ashamed and embarrassed.
I think every single woman, and man, that has shared the #metoo message is brave. I respect their right to share their story in what ever way they feel is appropriate to then.
However, I also feel that victims of sexual assault and rape should not have to publicly share their experiences in order for them to be taken seriously. Many of us do not want to tell the world what we have been through; I for one don’t want the pitying eyes of my friends, my family or my colleagues. I don’t want to be known as a victim, I want them to know me as me.
Not to mention I am still fearful of people’s judgements. People’s disbelief and the pointing fingers and placement of victim blaming. And it’s no surprise when this week I have seen to much hate on social media for the many victims of abuse that have come forward in the wake of the Weinstein’s investigation. Some of These women have come forward to report their abuse and have been met with hate, verbal attacks and disbelief. Regardless of your views, and your preference in sharing those views, it is always important to remember it is never the victims fault. Believe me when I say most of us will already blaming ourselves, we don’t need your finger pointing too!