Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An Open Letter to Sam Pepper & his fans (that he & they will probably never read)

Hi,

I know the liklihood of this being read is incredibly small but I feel so motivated by the events that have unfolded recently with Sam Pepper's abhorrent videos that I think I have to say something if only for the benefit of the people who regularly read my blog.

I came across the disgusting "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank." video on YouTube and I also came across several of the 'humourous' videos that have some consistent themes to them: sexually assaulting women for sick amusement whether it's with a fake hand or a lasso. Suffice to say not only a woman but as a survivor of rape and sexual assault I was beyond disgusted. I still am now. Sexual assault is not a laughing matter regardless of what point you're trying to make. Making a joke out of an issue that affects millions across the UK, let alone the world, is a poor choice to say the least.

I'm not alone in my disgust. Many people have taken to Twitter and Facebook to express their disgust, some of which (including a friend of mine) have ended up in debates with supporters who seem very keen to threaten violence against people who express disdain. Some YouTubers have signed an open letter asking that these videos should stop being made and taken down.

The response? A ridiculous and insincere video known as 'reveals' defending the pranks. There was a claim to want to shine a light on domestic abuse and I must give small credit for putting links to abuse information. However the video only talked about men being at the receiving end of abuse and men being the victims of assault as if that's the bigger problem. Yes, it's a problem too and yes it's bad HOWEVER there is a much, much bigger problem with women being sexually assaulted, raped and abused. In the UK alone 85,000 women are raped every year and 850,000 women are sexually assaulted. Women are targetted on an everyday basis. Both male and women-targetted abuse is something feminism wants to stop because funnily enough, unity is what feminism wants. Something that is not being understood by a certain Sam Pepper.

On a simple and serious brief point - what the bloody hell does domestic violence against men have anything to do with the videos of your fake hand touching arses or using a lasso to 'ensnare' women? Just asking.

Mr Pepper, you said yourself that you don't understand what it's like to be a woman whose been assaulted. Allow me to enlighten you as a survivor of both sexual assault and rape. It's abhorrent, extremely frightening and an isolating experience. You feel dirty, invaded and that feeling doesn't go away. It sticks and you feel like the world is an evil, glaring place. In the times where there are witnesses, they've either laughed or done nothing. My experiences have left me incredibly scarred. I'm struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I sometimes cannot sleep for not only repeated flashbacks that scare the shit out of me but also for the fact that I was drugged and realised I was being raped whilst regaining consciousness. I have major issues with trust, intimacy and many other things. Sometimes I feel so scared and alone that I can't bear to get out from under my covers to venture out of my bedroom, let alone my house.

Is my pain funny? Are my experiences to be used for cheap comedy? Apparently so judging by the content of Sam Pepper's videos. You take delight in insighting misery upon women by assaulting and pressuring them. Clearly you find what I've gone through a source of amusement. Congratulations for catering to the sick demographic of internet users who are rape culture enablers.

I have one challenge for Sam Pepper and anybody who endorse what he did or think that making rape/sexual assault jokes - say it to my face. Come out of hiding from your keyboard and fake-bravado personas and tell me that my experiences are to be ridiculed and laughed at. I dare Sam Pepper to look at me in the eye and tell me the experiences of myself and many other survivors should be laughed at for enduring what we've had to endure. I bet he won't. Not because he's repentant because he isn't but because he's too cowardly. So are his supporters.

Many thanks for reading,

P.S. #WeSupportYouDottie

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