I spent four years at college in the US. It was common understanding amongst all the students, mostly females, that it wasn’t safe to wander around campus at night on your own. The school had safety buttons located within every few 100 metres but it still wasn’t going to be enough to make you feel totally safe. At least I didn’t.
Like most college campuses, there were stories of rape. None that were necessarily proven. Mostly because everyone knew it was hard to prove and although this sounds crazy, I think it would have been easier to stay quiet than to go through the humiliation and relive the horror to only watch the perpetrator go free. We all knew how it worked.
The recent Stanford University rape case struck a nerve for a lot of people, and not just those in the US. The perpetrator, Brock Turner, was charged and proven guilty but he only received six months for his crime but for once, the victim was being heard through the power of social media. Yes, there were those sick humans that blamed her for being so drunk…but mostly, people heard HER story and supported her.
Yana Mazurveck, a photographer from Belarus, was inspired to put this series of images together after the Stanford University rape case. The victim’s letter that circulated on social media struck a cord with her and she felt compelled to tackle rape victim blaming.
The images show women holding up statements that show the kinds of things sexual assault victims hear that intend to diminish their experience. They are powerful, breathtaking, sad and absolutely necessary.
It is NEVER the victims fault, no matter how drunk, how friendly, or how short her dress is. And yes, women should be able to walk outside alone at night time. Yes, they should. We need to share and create more content like this so women aren’t silenced by fear.