Archive for May 2014

The 4th International Conference on Survivors of Rape: Rape, survivors, policies and Support Systems a European Challenge   Leave a comment

I was excited to receive an invitation to The 4th International Conference on Survivors of Rape: Rape, survivors, policies and Support Systems a European Challenge.

My excitement was quelled when I noticed the ‘on’ in the sentence, my first reading was ‘of’ or ‘for’ Survivors of Rape.  Of course the conference is ‘for’ survivors of rape, but it is not ‘of’ survivors of rape.

It has been a frustration of mine for many years that Rape Crisis offers individual counselling, pivotally important to me and many other survivors, but no network or group support for survivors to speak together.  I have asked individual counsellors why this is the case and I can’t really remember what they replied.  Maybe it was something along the lines, ‘people surviving rape want to keep their experience private’.

If rape survivors are denied a public space, a place in the public realm then our pain will continue to be individualised and privatised. The very reason we need counselling is because we cannot speak publically, our pariah status is reinforced.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why our support professionals need to congregate and and how effective they can be in placing the issue on the public arena and on the agenda of policy makers.

What irks me is that community development goals are not applied to the issue, those goals of empowering communities to find their own voice.  I do not speak for a community, I know one or two other women who have been raped but I do not speak for them, I am a single survivor trying to ‘voice’ my experience.

So what is it about rape survivors that we are not a community of interest?  Is it the same for survivors of domestic violence?

What I would ask of our sisters and brothers in the professional and public sphere is – are we to be forever confined to the status of ‘client’?, are we to be to be forever confined to the role of service user? Do we not have a role in the shaping of policy other than that of raw material –  like the politician needs the voter to become elected- is that our place in the rape survival sphere?

If the conference really wants to know what we want, I would argue that what I want is locally based networks of rape surviviors who, if they wish, can organise regional and national fora to influence public policy.  These local fora would be accessible, affordable and survivor led.  That is what I want – if anyone is interested.

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ICSOR conference in Lisbon, Portugal   Leave a comment

I have just found out about a conference for survivors in Portugal.

I don’t know how I am going to afford the trip but this is something that I will go to if I can.

It seems like an apt way to celebrate my 25th Anniversary.

 

Posted May 16, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Anniversary Waltz versus Belizean Alarm Call.   Leave a comment

raperelatedposttraumaticstress

It is 25 years ago on 25th June since I was raped at gunpoint in Belize.

TWENTY FIVE years, i’m shouting.  TWENTY FIVE YEARS……..I will survive.

Almost since it happened I have referred to it as the Belizean Alarm Call…..because they woke us from our sleep, shouting and yielding shotguns.

I wonder where they are now? Those men who stole my body, probably other women’s bodies too.  Are they sleeping soundly? Are they guilt free? My best guess is that they are dead and buried, at times my imagination has done everything possible to annihilate them, you really don’t want to know the nasty video games that go on in my head, lets just say it would break all censorship laws on violence.

Don’t know how I am going to celebrate yet.  I am going to celebrate. BIG TIME.

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Posted May 14, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized

Anniversary Waltz versus Belizean Alarm Call.   1 comment

It is 25 years ago on 25th June since I was raped at gunpoint in Belize.

TWENTY FIVE years, i’m shouting.  TWENTY FIVE YEARS……..I will survive.

Almost since it happened I have referred to it as the Belizean Alarm Call…..because they woke us from our sleep, shouting and yielding shotguns.

I wonder where they are now? Those men who stole my body, probably other women’s bodies too.  Are they sleeping soundly? Are they guilt free? My best guess is that they are dead and buried, at times my imagination has done everything possible to annihilate them, you really don’t want to know the nasty video games that go on in my head, lets just say it would break all censorship laws on violence.

 

Don’t know how I am going to celebrate yet.  I am going to celebrate. BIG TIME.

 

 

Posted May 14, 2014 by raperelatedptsdsurvivor in Uncategorized