In 2014 this hashtag became viral on Twitter. I recently found out, because I don’t have twitter. Let me first say that I think it’s a good thing this went viral. I feel this issue doesn’t have enough attention within our governments/police etc. But it is so important that the law/procedures will change, so more rapists/abusers can get caught. I already wrote about this before. Sometimes it feels to me as if the current procedure is like an invitation for the perps. You don’t get caught, so why not do it if you’re a pervert? This hashtag can apply to both men and women.
Despite this being a good thing, it might not be suited for your situation to join in. At first glance I didn’t realize this, but if I had twitter I shouldn’t have done this. The stigma is too big. There are people who know (partially) about my history of being sexually abused. Mainly professionals. Sometimes I regret I told it, because of the way they put it in your (medical/psychological) file. Such a big secret and it is right there on the first page of my first gynaecologist consultation. But overall it helps that some people know about it. Especially that my partner knows it, because he helps me tremendously with it and overall the burden became less. It also helps when doctors know I have PTSD (they usually don’t know why), because they might understand my behaviour better and why I only want women and don’t like being touched. This does depend on the person though, not everyone can deal with it/me.
However, putting it on twitter means basically everyone can read it, google it forever, and it’s under your name. This might have negative consequences, although it shouldn’t be this way. For example: e told the best friend of my partner I was raped, since he was having contact with one of my rapists and we wanted him to know why we couldn’t attend parties. But he didn’t believe me and spread the rumour among other people, such as people at school. I’m still having negative consequences because of that, which made me cautious. This information is now on a more strict need-to-know basis.
It helps me to read the stories and advice of other people. I also have this urge to help other people. To share my story, so maybe it won’t happen to other people or maybe if it already happened it makes the burden slightly less. To make myself a bit less vulnerable I blog anonymously. It doesn’t feel anonymous to me though. I talk about everything and I don’t change facts. I’m very open. All you don’t know is my adress and my full name. If someone who knows me, finds my blog, he/she will immediately know it’s me. I hope this is a good solution, despite all the articles on blogging who state you should never do it anonymously. Just because it is anonymous, doesn’t mean it isn’t true or not personal.
[Picture with the text: We believe you #beenrapedneverreported.]
I sincerely hope this hashtag doesn’t apply to you. If it does I hope you can find some solace in for example online communities such as blogs. Do what is best for you and your situation, general guidelines don’t have to apply to you (in my experience they usually don’t).