Thursday, 18 August 2011

On rape

I will say as little as possible here. A remarkable woman, Sarah, who I have been contacted by via Twitter, has done a survey on the reality of rape, sexual violence and other types of violence in women's lives. Women who care about women, men who care about women, parents who do not want their children to grow up in this kind of world, deniers, excusers, rape apologists, survivors, judges, police, jurors, Ken Clarke, read it and weep.

Mumsnet rape and sexual assault survey result and reactions.

As a lifelong women's advocate I - we - have tried everything. Rage, wit, sorrow, entreaty, rhetoric, statistics, events, pie charts, festivals, conferences, petitions, demonstrations, articles, activities, education, campaigns, art. We have given our life's energy to achieve one simple thing: we want to be believed. The only thing I can think of to do now is beg. We are not liars. We have never been liars. We have not made a mistake. We didn't misread the signs. We are not confused. We are not overreacting. We are not vengeful. We are not malicious. We want justice - and more than that, we seek a world without violence or the threat of violence.

We have a bravery and a strength that enables us to survive even in this world. There are billions of us. We stand as one. We are telling the truth about what happens to us. Now what are you going to do about it? Don't blame the victims, blame the perpetrators. It is their choice, their fault, their action, their responsibility, their shame and their dishonour.