It’s so fantastic that NZ is having a louder conversation about our country’s rape culture. I’m sure – like me – there are thousands of people who are thinking and feeling about their abuse experiences more than ever as a result of this conversation. I wish we could all rock up to the authorities this week and officially make complaints about our abusers. Now that would be a shock for the whole world – there wouldn’t be enough Police to even take down our stories. It would be such a shocker that future abusers might stop and think. But this rape culture holds so many of us silent.
I was digitally raped when I was nine. I was staying at my best friend’s house and her older teen brother came into the room in the middle of the night to molest me. I pretended to be asleep – rolling my body away and muttering “no”, “stop”. Over the next few hours three of her older brothers took turns coming in. Over and over. I’m sure my friend knew as I got louder in my protestations. Finally, in a break, I woke her and said I wanted to go home; that I’d had a nightmare. She was petrified. I woke her parents and said “I’ve had a nightmare”. I called my parents who both came over at 3am to collect me. I never breathed a word. “it was a scary witch”, “I know I’m silly”, “I’m sorry I woke you”. Thank god they came. I spent the next few months waiting to see if I was pregnant. Nine. Ugh.
The other stories of strangers interacting with me out in the community are too numerous to count – men flashing me pre-teen, being chased by a man with a knife, hassled by groups of men, groped and verbally assaulted, lewd comments – what is wrong with our communities?! I’m so lucky I had a loving, safe home life .. unlike so many of the incredible people sharing their stories on this site.
In my early 20s I was overseas and talking with a woman who was from Dunedin too. She disclosed to me that her and her sisters were constantly sexually molested over a very long period of time by her teen male babysitter. It haunts her and her sisters (and they have never spoken of it). Turns out it was one of the brothers that abused me – he went on to abuse them. I am so upset that I didn’t tell someone at the time of my abuse; then my friend and her sisters wouldn’t have been hurt. So tempted to do something about it now though, 30 years later ….. Our voices are growing abusers – be afraid.