Violeta M. Bagia
An ode to the Survivor
Oh, they’re just kidding. No. What they are, is; tactless. Oblivious. Tone deaf.
A lot of it can be attributed to ignorance, lack of understanding or being uninformed.
But I call bullshit.
In 2019 in a society where people need to be told to look up and away from their phones when they’re crossing the road for fear of being hit by a car, there’s no excuse to be ignorant or uninformed.
In a society where we were so addicted to utter rubbish like Married at First Sight or what the next Kardashian is wearing to announce her baby daddy, we have absolutely no right to say we’re uninformed. None.
In the average Australian household, we have access to a phone, a tablet, a computer, a laptop, a smart watch, a gaming console, the list goes on.
Most importantly, we have internet.
And unless you’re living in a cave, you would have come across the #metoo movement, you would have seen the push in mainstream media to
stop the misinformation and the silencing of victims and their stories and you would have heard by now that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted in this country.
That’s 20% of women.
Girls you walk by on the street, women you work with, sales assistants selling you shoes, the barista making your coffee.
20% of women whose story you’ll probably never know.
20% of women who have had their choice taken from them.
And because the rate of reported assaults is so small, many go unnoticed, many suffer in silence and many never share their story because of the ridicule they receive, because of not being believed, because of insensitive people and feeling shamed.
Let that number sink in.
Let the reality of those figures register.
So, in 2019, where we have access to a device connected to the internet, virtually strapped to our person at any one time. To make pathetic and tasteless jokes about rape, regardless of their origin, is not okay.
It’s not even worth talking about how wrong and depraved it is.
It’s beyond words. It’s beyond comprehension that this is still happening.
And furthermore, to make no attempt to understand what affected parties may be feeling is even more laughable.
For too long women who have been living with the burden of their rape, or their assault, have been silenced, enough is enough.
We’re not going to be silenced anymore.
We’re not going to stay quiet because it makes you uncomfortable.
We’re not going to hide away because it’s too hard.
Not in 2019, not when we have so many great ambassadors standing up and fighting an often-unwinnable battle, not when we have so many
brave women taking the mic and sharing their experience so that others don’t have to walk the path alone.
Not when we have finally learned how to get our own voices back.
There will be no more silence. Your discomfort and bliss in ignorance will not stop us.
We’re coming back.