*TRIGGER WARNING* This story does mention sexual assault. If this is triggering please contact 1800 RESPECT.
- TEGAN -
Right now my social media is a minefield of triggers as I scroll and scroll from one post to another.
I am angry, an anger that I have felt bubbling from my very depths for weeks building and building.
I hate the word victim, it is a label I do not like to put on myself.
The connotations our society puts on the word “victim” is that of weakness and pity.
I am not weak and I do not want your pity.
What I want is for you to listen.
Not just to me but to the countless other sexual assault survivors.
I want you to listen to those that have a raised their voice and to those that are just starting to.
When Grace Tame was announced as our Australian of the Year I was so happy because I thought it meant that finally we were being heard.
Yet in these past few weeks seeing the way in which our government and officials at the highest level, including the Prime Minister, respond not only to Brittany Higgin’s assault but to the allegations made against Christian Porter has left me seething.
What message does this send to those that are yet to find their voice?
To those that at this very moment are living in their worst moment.
To those that have PTSD and now battle anxiety and depression.
To the families of those that lost their battle and are no longer here.
I stayed silent for so many years after my sexual assault because I was scared no one would believe me.
I was scared I would not be taken seriously because I was the one that opened the door and let him into my house.
I was scared that I would be made out to be the crazy girl trying to ruin the rest of his life.
I am not scared of those things anymore.
Instead, now I find myself fighting to stop myself from screaming his name for all to hear.
To name him for the rapist that he is.
Since I shared the story of my sexual assault I had so many women share with me their own.
Women I have known most of my life, women that I have not spoken to in years and women I have only known for a short amount of time.
And yet all these women and I share a similar story.
To you reading this, how many women do you know that have a sexual assault story?
I assure you there are more stories from more women that you know that just are not being spoken yet.
All I know is that tonight I am angry.
Tonight, I want to scream.
Tonight, I want to be heard.
Tonight, I want other survivors of sexual assault to not feel alone.
Tonight, I want survivors to be believed.
Tonight, I want abusers held accountable.
Tonight, I want us to do better.
Tonight, I want to scream.
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