‘This is not a male thing or a female thing. It is not a Hollywood thing or a political thing. It is a human thing.’ – Ellen DeGeneres
I was 10 years old. My dad was working full-time in order to pay the bills whilst my mum was in hospital having treatment for breast cancer. My grandparents were taking care of us – they would pick my siblings and I up from school and take us back to their house where they would let us watch Disney Channel and play with their doll house and eat chicken nuggets and chips for dinner. Once a week, they would drive me straight from school to my music lesson where I would stay for half an hour before returning to theirs for dinner.
But what I learnt in that class wasn’t about chords or the right order in which to press the keys to play Edelweiss. Instead I learnt about how it felt to have someone else’s hands in places no one had ever touched before, places that you never asked them to touch. I learnt what it feels like to know something is wrong but not knowing why or how to tell anyone. Because after all, who wants to tell a 10 year old girl about paedophilia.
I wish I could say that it stopped there. That I quit music lessons and suddenly my consent was always sought before a wandering hand laid itself upon my skin. But it didn’t. And for so many others, it didn’t stop at a wandering hand. I was lucky in that respect. But I shouldn’t have to say I was lucky because I wasn’t raped. It should be a human right not to have someone force themselves upon you when you have not consented. No means no, no matter the circumstances.
No matter who you are, no matter what you were wearing or how long it was before you told them no, it was not your fault. It is never your fault. They are and always will be, a rapist, and you are a survivor.
Till It Happens To You: https://youtu.be/ZmWBrN7QV6Y