Monday, 24 June 2013

Change Listen Educate Transcript

I am Tracy.

I am a teacher.

I am a Guide Leader.

I am a sister, a daughter, a friend, a clutz and, most importantly, I am a human being.

I am exactly like you... Except eight years ago, I was raped.

I lived in Germany at the time, and I was abandoned by my friends, laughed at by the police and ridiculed by my own mother.

Why? Because I don't fit the idea of a rape victim. Or survivor. Or whatever word you want to use, I'm just not it. I'm not pretty, not innocent, not delicate, shy or retiring.

But that doesn't change the truth.

The list of myths surrounding rape is horrendous and never-ending. Every day, the media tells women that they can help themselves by wearing the right clothes, by not drinking too much. Every day, the media implies that only young, pretty girls get raped. Every day, we are told that rape is about sex. It's not. It's about power.

I have repeatedly been asked why I can't just let go of the past, why I hold onto it so tightly. The truth is that I can't let what happened to me become insignificant. because it wasn't. It changed my life forever. Yes, I'm continuing and I'm battling through, but that doesn't make my experience any less painful.

I can't let what happened to me become insignificant, but I'm going to use the pain to fight and to speak out for those who can't. Instead of letting it become insignificant, I'm going to let it become important. Incredibly important.

According to the AVA project, 25% of teenage girls experience physical violence in their relationships. 1 in 3 is abused sexually. In fact, 40% of girls between the ages of 16 and 18 have been pressured into sex against their will.

But teenagers say their voice is not being heard.

We need to change this.

We need to educate young people - not just girls - about the truth of gender-based violence. They need to know the truth about consent, about what rape actually is. They need to know that it happens to women of all ages, of all backgrounds and in all communities. They need to know the support that's available to them. The need to know that it is NEVER their fault.

We need to educate the general public. We need to show them that young people are empowered citizens with a voice, who care about their communities and their sisters. We need to smash stereotypes.

We need to educate the game changers. We need to prove to them that rape matters. That ALL violence matters and that we will not sit and take it anymore. That men care just as much as women.

And we need to listen. Listen to what the women are telling us. Listen to the whispers as well as the screams. We need to become a compassionate society that supports rather than blames, that is inspired to act for change.

This is my story. This is my passion. And this is my wish...

We need to change.
We need to listen.
We need to educate.

Again, if you would like to vote for me, please click here

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