Crying with rape victims at #THiNK2013. But what after the tears?
To cry with the victim is the most natural thing in the world. But can most of us actually imagine being raped? It’s a situation in which empathy is hard and yet very much in action. Partly it is because we know it’s terribly unjust to be abused, to be violated in your body for no reason and no fault of yours. But we can’t really understand what it must feel like, what must go through your mind, what sort of paralysis or correction your brain has to do to survive something as horrific as rape.
Suzette, infamously and callously called the Park Street rape victim, told her story in a way that I could possibly look into her mind a little. What struck me hugely was how she sort if blamed herself for not seeng the signs, for trusting her very human instinct to be social and engage with strangers. To be fooled by normalcy, by acts of chivalry, overtures of professional association, etc etc. “It’s in human nature to trust. I have to go home. I don’t know the taxi man either I have to trust someone,” she said, referring to how society reacted to her rape charges and resorted to victim blaming. It’s so true. Everyday, we need to trust so many people to get through our day. The only retort to this is paranoia! Do us women now go around suspecting everyone of being a potential rapist, abuser, sociopath?
No. That is not the answer, clearly. There has to be a better way to deal with this than seeking refuges of safety by simply not living life. Suzette, Harish, Sadhna, Manisha, their stories were real in that they show the range of how humans react, adapt, fight, move on, how we come to terms with trauma and how we try to make sense of our lives with the acceptance of reality.
My takeaway- the most vital thing is to stand up for who you are, unapologetic.