Friday, August 26, 2016

Why do Sexual Assault Survivors Feel Shame? A Cartoon Sums it Up.

Almost every survivor of sexual assault or abuse will at one point think, "It was my fault." What many of us don't know is WHY survivors feel shame and guilt or why others around them might blame them instead of the perpetrator. The following cartoon breaks down the reasons why.

To all the survivors out there who are blaming themselves for what happened, here's the psychology behind why you might feel so guilty. I'm crossing my fingers that at least a couple of you will read this and finally feel some solace.

And for anyone who has ever asked, "Why didn't she run away?" or "Why didn't he scream?" — this one's for you, too.

This article was curled from Upworthy and created by Nina Burrowes.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Why Every Hour Matters for Post-Rape Care: The Story of Maureen Phiri

Photo above: Ambassador Catherine Russell and Maureen Phiri
“I was raped, got HIV from the rape, and when I tried to tell my family, they told me to shut my mouth.”
Those chilling words were spoken by 20-year-old Maureen Phiri from Lilongwe, Malawi. As one of the speakers at Together for Girls’ (TfG) “Every Hour Matters for Post-Rape Care” event, which was in collaboration with the World Health Organization at the United Nations Women’s Commission on the Status of Women in March, Phiri courageously spoke about her sexual assault at age 11 and her advocacy to end sexual violence in Malawi and beyond. Sitting alongside representatives from various governmental and UN agencies including Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Children, Disability, and Social Welfare, the Honorable Patricia Kaliati and United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell, Phiri told the audience that the man who assaulted her took advantage of her because her family was poor.
“Madame Minister [Kaliati], that man took advantage of me because my family was not well-doing”, she said, her voice breaking, as she was overcome with emotion.
“I was only 11 years old, Madame Minister, only 11,” Phiri said. “He would buy my family food, and I lived with him and his wife, but when she would leave, he raped and harassed me.”
“I kept it to myself, and did not tell anyone but then I was found living with HIV,” she said. “I did not get HIV anywhere else but through rape.”
After telling the audience the horrific details of her experience, Phiri was met with a standing ovation; her story moving many in the room to tears, with Minister Kaliati rising to hug Phiri in a comforting and emotional embrace.
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