Trigger Warning: Sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Twitter court opened up for another day of serving unconventional justice and the crime being called out …violence towards women. Now I’m gonna try not to cry whilst writing this blog but the bravery that was demonstrated by the young women on the TL is something that filled me with pride and I have so much praise for those who spoke their truth. Topics like these can trigger many unwanted memories and emotions, but people mustn’t feel obliged to step forward if they don’t wish to– so to the survivors who didn’t come forward, I see you, I’m sending you light and a sista hug.
In Twitter-verse fashion however many took their fingers to type hate towards the online movement of women reclaiming the power that their abusers tried to strip from them. Shame on you! Shame on you for questioning how one should go about receiving justice for themselves when they have been violated! Shame on you for not being able to realise the systematic failure of the police and Crown prosecution service when it comes to charging and convicting abusers! The same rotten system that disproportionately imprisons Black and Brown men, is the same system that fails to bring about justice for womxn who have been abused. The system not only holds up racism but also patriarchy, so if you are reading this blog and sharing those stated views…GOOGLE THE WORK!
In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men). (ONS,2019)
Having survived physical and sexual abuse I understand the crippling fear of reporting your abuser. It’s a feeling that captures your breath,your ability to move and mental capacity to make rational decisions. It is a state of anxiety I wish on no one. Police were involved twice to deal with my abuser and each time I felt powerless and undeserving of justice despite my body being the scene of the crime. The psychological damage that is gifted onto you by abuse is something I’m still navigating but have forgiven myself for. Through therapy and a support system I now know the shame of abuse was never mine to carry.The difficulty in reporting sexual and physical abuse isn’t a notion plucked from the air.
Rape charges presented by the CPS fell 38% in 2018-19 despite figures of people reporting rape to the police significantly increasing…the maths isn’t adding up. The CPS report also highlights the success rate of convictions fell by 11%,further demonstrating the lack of justice that is being brought about. You have to ask yourself why are these cases not ending in convictions despite having a strong enough case to see court. The culture and attitude of institutions surrounding victims of abuse are just as violent as the act,subjecting the innocent to stand trial thus preventing justice being served.
May I add that the country has been in lock-down for three months,abuse figures during this time have overwhelmingly increased and the fact that CPS Domestic abuse reports are conducted on a quarterly basis means the next set of figures will be grossly heartbreaking. Refuge reported a 700% increase of phone calls in one day back in April…the beginning of national quarantine.
So if a sister wants to snatch back power by putting forward an actual abuser,let her have that because the complexity of reporting and winning a conviction isn’t as clear and simple as these TL lawyers are claiming it to be.
Now to the people who made the list public after being told NOT to,fuck you! Fuck you for the next 365 days. You placed these brave womxns well being and safety under threat,when all they were doing is speaking their truth anonymously ! Exposing the list invited the risk of these women becoming a victim all over again.
To whomever lied and placed an innocent person on that list…God is watching you,truly it’s him you will have to answer to. Weaponizing grievances in such a way that smears an innocent person, simultaneously taints the validity of current and future survivors stories when they speak out.
To the abuse apologists and women in particular who shield violent men,you can stub a toe and bite your tongue. You are complicit in enabling the cycle of abuse and sexual violence to continue manifesting itself in womxns lives. You are just as violent and guilty as the soul who commits the sin.
To the men who deem themselves superior to women,inflicting gender specific crimes,fuck you! Fuck Jeffery Epstein,Robert Kelly,Wilson Roserie,Harvey Wienstien and abusers around the world,may conviction find you.
To the Black womxn who stood in solidarity and strength to bring this list about,big up you! Thank you for offering a voice and holding a hand,a sisterhood has been created. Young women didn’t feel alone or exposed but empowered and for that thank you.
Abuse and sexual assault has been incredibly normalised within society,the normalisation of violence against women needs to be addressed without shame being flung onto the victim. A woman’s body ins’t for anyone’s sexual pleasure. We are not containers for men to come and ejaculate their frustrations in to. we are bold dynamic beings who offer more than what the male gaze bargains for. Our limits are unmeasurable. our bodies belong to us!
Whether we be a sex worker,housewife,Transgender woman,mature or immigrant woman our body is not for anyones consumption! No longer should men feel entitled to inflict violence onto us,voices of solidarity must begin to rise to ensure the future safety of womxns! Dangerous narratives that subject womxn to interpersonal and systematic violence need to be be revoked! From the root in homes to Houses of Parliament, this is a collective fight to ensure Womxn can live in peace and flourish!
To the Queens and Kings who have or haven’t come forward big up you,because you’re here living life! Everyday you rise it is a testament to the life you are destined to live,so face the sun and bask in the rays beloved! Cry if you need to cry just know after the dark,light is always promised so take your time,be gentle with yourself! You are a survivor and worthy of the infinite positive possibilities this life has to offer,that is my affirmation for you if your eyes find this post!
HELP LINES & RESOURCES
Here are a few numbers and websites where you or someone you love can access help! All numbers listed are FREE to call,referral centres and refuges are still running despite COVID19. In an emergency do dial 999, press 55 when prompted if you can’t speak. You matter,always!
Refuge – 0808 2000 247 (National Domestic Abuse Helpline)
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428 (Ran by Galop)
Rape Crisis- 0808 802 9999
Samaritans – 116 123 (24/7 service)
NHS advice on what steps to consider if you have experienced SA can be found here.
Locate Sexual assault and Rape referral centres here.