I’m lying on the daybed, in my underwear, eating crisps and trying to finish House of Cards. But I’m struggling to focus.
Because rape has been all over my timeline today. Violence against women is at an all time high and women have less support than ever. Rape is always our fault, or so the messages go. Don’t wear mini skirts, don’t turn men on, don’t draw attention to yourselves. Don’t be provocative, don’t flirt, don’t don’t don’t…
Instead of saying to men – Stop. Don’t do it. Contain yourselves. Control yourselves.
Women are victim blamed. Women are shamed.
Right now Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape is on shutdown. Students at the University have been protesting, demanding reform on the rape policy. All too many rape cases are brushed under the carpet. Ignored. Glossed over. While the perpetrators walk free.
And this time, instead of rapists being held accountable, the women have been shot at with rubber bullets. By police.
The women have become the targets.
It’s not just women, I must add. There are many men who are in support and want to help. And male sexual assault is also all too often not taken seriously.
What is wrong with our country, our police force and our systems, when rapists walk free and victims are thrown into the back of police vans?
What has gone so badly wrong that the very people we expect to protect us, do the opposite?
The doorbell has just rung. I’m switching off House of Cards. I’m going to throw on some clothes before I open up. It shouldn’t have to be like that. I should feel safe to open the door in underwear. Whether I choose to or not, or whether you think it’s okay or not, I should be able to.
I am not.
What if the person on the other side just cannot contain himself? What if he rapes me?
Will it be because of what I was wearing?
And will anyone protect me?
Do me a fucking favour. Something has to change.
Respect to all those taking part in the Anti Rape Campaign Chapter 212. Brave young souls.