When it comes to being a victim, I am a rapist’s delight.
I am wonderfully naïve and even a little obliging. I walk myself up the stairs and through the doors you intend to lock behind me. When the time to struggle comes, I am weak enough not to put up much of a fight, having been blessed with a petite frame and little-to-no upper body strength. Once it’s over, I will drive myself home. At home, I will wash myself in a scolding hot bath and scrub until my skin is raw. And then… Then I will tell no one.
I will not say a word until all the traces of your transgression has been washed away ten thousand times over. By the time I eventually gain the courage to tell someone, years will have passed. The right amount of time to ensure that I cannot lay a charge in court. And naturally, I wouldn’t want to press charges. Not me.
I am the perfect rape victim. A relative amount of attractive so that there’s no struggle to get aroused, with the correct dose of complacent so your actions go unpunished. And I’m appealing to you, the past, present and future rapists of South Africa, to pick me, choose me, rape me.
Rape me, rather than the 80-year-old grandmother resting in her bedroom in the afternoon. She’s the mother of a generation, the mother of men like you, and she should be left to live out the rest of her days in peace, free from fear of hands that tear and clutch at her skin, her breasts, her dignity.
Rape me, rather than the 15-month old baby resting in its crib between feeds at its mother’s breast. She’s the future of our country, the daughter of men like you, and should be left to live her formative years free from the fear of hands that tear and clutch at her nappy, her delicate soft skin, her potential.
Rape me, rather than the lesbian couple walking hand-in-hand from the bar where they’ve shared a few drinks. A good fucking won’t ‘correct’ them, and they should be left to live out their relationship free from the fear of hands that tear and clutch at their clothes, their bodies, their love.
So, rape me. Because, next time, I will not keep quiet. I will fight. I will kick. I will scream. And I will wage war. For these women, these lovers and mothers, babies and gogos, who cannot do so for themselves.
By Robyn Porteous, 25
If you are rape survivor and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to call the ‘Stop Gender Violence‘ helpline at 0800 150 150.
Note: Rape myths abound after the Vavi rape accusation was brought to light. These myths hurt all rape survivors – and if you ever experience sexual violence, these myths will hurt you too. The most common myth I’ve seen is the fallacy that if you don’t report to the police, it didn’t happen. (See here.) I put out a call on Twitter for survivors who didn’t report to send me their story. To follow the series, see here.
If you would like to include your story in this conversation, please email me: michelle at journoactivist dot com. I will assume anonymity for all submissions unless specified otherwise.