I want to come on here today to say thank you to all of you, male or female, recognising that sexual abuse within schools is very much present and overlooked; I want to say thank you for finally taking a long hard stare at the ugly truth that is found within the casual culture of institutions.
I want to say thank you to the strong survivors for having the unfathomable courage to make their voices heard, for taking a bold stance against the oppression they had to suffer after being violated by those they were forced to see afterwards, as if nothing had ever happened. You are incredible.
I want to say thank you to the men who are acknowledging the issue, asking how they can help, and taking active steps in doing so, this is how change will come about.
The stories that are emerging from the lonely dark are bringing together strong, beautiful and courageous women and girls who have suffered at the hands of toxic masculinity and casualised rape culture found within their own schools, and social circles, where they’re meant to be safe and cared for. Having to push down something that completely consumes your whole being, physically and mentally, is an injustice in itself, but actively speaking about it and then having it be deemed as ‘not that serious’ or ‘a drunken mistake’ is a gross response that has diminished the self-worth of survivors. The people who do this are providing a space for this vile culture to inhabit and thrive, which needs to end now.
I firmly believe that in order to root this out we need to see an implementation in academic curriculums across the country, teaching children from year nine not just about consent, but also about rape culture in itself, how it has existed and how it needs to be stamped out. By addressing it directly, the discomfort of the situation will be a harsh slap in the face and stick with those learning, how derogatory and feral this culture is. The discomfort will make this work, no one will forget, and it’ll be extremely difficult to question the topic.
Every woman has a story, and in light of Sarah Everard and the account @everyonesinvited, the ferocious response of the strong women and girls has been truly admirable and provides a genuine hope to anyone who felt that they didn’t have a chance of vindication.
We will not be silenced, we will be heard, and we will not stop until those at the top face the ugly truth of the system they celebrate, ignoring the significance of the issues at hand with a shitty email will not make this problem go away.
Change is finally here.