Telling and being open about being a rape survivor has always been seen as a taboo. It still is. I've told people about what I've been through. Whilst many have been very kind and supportive, a lot have also expressed puzzlement about me being so open.
"Why would you want to expose yourself like that?"
"Aren't you worried about the way people will see you?"
"Are you sure you could handle the exposure?"
"No one's really that open about it - are you sure you should be?"
I think I've proven my point just from the fact people have to ask these questions. I appreciate the concern I'm sure they have. Here's my response: I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Why should I remain quiet whilst thousands... No, millions of women are attacked in this vile and disgusting manner around the world? Many of them are shamed wrongly in the name of supposed honour or religion. Many are frightened into keeping quiet. We are expected to be quiet because it's the general expectation of a patriarchal global society.
I refuse to be quiet. If not just for myself and the people I love then for all the survivors who go through their daily lives with their trauma buried deep within. I will stand and be counted. I won't rest or stop campaigning for changes until the changes come. I want to live in a world where women don't feel scared to venture alone. I want to live in a world where the rapists get found and punished under the harsh hand of justice under the law.
Don't get me wrong - I still deal with feelings of shame, despair, anger, fear, upset and anguish. My anxiety, depression and PTSD are pretty damn severe. I have a long way to go in my own journey to healing and peace. I haven't dealt with it in the most perfect manner. I just want my story to help others and awaken the general population to not only the fact there is a problem with sexual violence but just how difficult it is to be at the receiving end so that something can finally be done about it.
Check out my JustGiving page if you feel like donating to the cause. It won't be long now.
Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX