I have been a victim. Take a moment, let that sink in.
#AmINext is a hashtag that is currently raising awareness about the reality of life as a women in South Africa.
The thing about being a victim, is the blame that you’re faced with, when opening up about the situation. The first questions you’re asked is, are you sure you said No? What were you wearing? What were you thinking? Who were you with?
Are these really the questions we should be asked following the incident?
It’s a sad reality but the truth.
It’s heartbreaking to live in a world where girls are blamed for making themselves a target, rather than people focusing on the real problem at hand.
Looking back at the situation now, it makes me sick to think that a man who bought me a coffee thought that it was his right to take advantage of my body.
The only way I could describe the after feeling, is like a scar, it becomes a part of your life and a memory you’re most likely, never to forget.
I have never opened up about what I went through because it’s a scar that I live with, one that I choose to keep to myself although with that being said, Today I am choosing to stand up and support the movement #AmINext.
As if the situation in itself is not frightening enough, how many of you of aware of the after math? It doesn’t end there, after going through such a traumatic event, you don’t only require trauma counselling to deal with the situation at hand but for the anxiety and trust issues too and a medical check is most certainly advised, and 9/10 times antibiotics of some sort, if not a treatment plan depending on the outcome of these results
The sad part about all of this is that not all girls are so lucky to even get that far following the incident, not all girls have access to such services.
I know I am not alone, and I encourage all girls who have gone through it to reach out, seek support and more importantly to please understand that it was not your fault.
I pray that we reach a place where we understand that we do not need to educate women about the topic but rather educate men that it is not okay to commit such acts.
To any of you out there who have been a victim, just know that your loved ones are here to support you, and it’s easier said than done, but sometimes talking about it may alleviate some of the anxiety that you’re going through and may assist you in beginning the healing process.
Let’s all raise awareness to enable us a community to reach a turning point where #AmINext ceases to exist.