Amber Amour: Woman who 'live blogged' her rape explains why she did it

'I was, telling survivors every single day that they should speak up… I knew I had to practice what I preached'

Emma Henderson
Sunday 10 January 2016 17:50
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The 27-year-old has 20,000 followers on social media
The 27-year-old has 20,000 followers on social media

A feminist campaigner who claims she was raped by a man in a shower at a hostel in South Africa and went on to “live blog” the immediate aftermath, has spoken out about her decision to share her trauma so graphically.

Speaking to Marie Claire, 27-year-old Amber Amour said she turned to social media for support in order to break the social norms of feeling ashamed after being sexually assaulted.

The activist started her “Stop Rape. Educate” campaign in September 2014 after she says she was sexually assaulted by her roommate in New York City.

 

My view of the rape kit. Thank you all for being so loving & supportive during this time. Your messages pushed me to take action and to stand up for myself and for all rape survivors. For those who wish to BLAME ME or any other survivor out there, I want you to know that you are the very reason that I am so brutally honest. I could have hidden details. I could have kept some info to myself, but NO. You need to know the truth and to see the reality of the situation. No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape. It doesn't matter if I kissed him. It doesn't matter if he was drunk. It doesn't matter if I said yes to a shower. I never said he could get violent with me. I never said he could make me bleed. I never said he could rape me. But still, that's how the scene went down. I don't need to explain myself but if you're wondering WHY I took a shower with him, it was written in the text, I'd been sick with food poisoning for 2 days and needed to sweat it out. My current place of residence has only cold water (third world problems are real!) and it seemed like a miracle to be offered a hot shower. That's not what he was there for though, because as soon as he got a chance, he threw me to the ground and had his way. Dealing with rape is hard enough but the aftermath is often even more traumatic but I did this for you and I did this for me. The US Embassy and the South African police are super supportive and he may be arrested as soon as this week. Thank you for the love. And for the victim blamers, I send love, peace, and enlightenment to you so that you may be a beacon of light for us, too. #StopRapeEducate #AmberAmour #AmberTheActivist #SouthAfrica #humanitarian #healing #education #africa #survivor #sexualassault #recovery #victimblaming #overcome #rapeculture #staystrong

A photo posted by Amber Amour (@ambertheactivist) on

The alleged second assault happened while on her Stop Rape. Educate World Tour.

She said: “I immediately couldn’t keep what had happened a secret. Here I was, telling survivors every single day that they should speak up… I knew I had to practice what I preached.

“So the first thing I did was take a picture and write a post, describing what had happened.

“I told the story truthfully. There were definitely details I could have left out – there were definitely details I wanted to leave out."

Ms Amour received many messages of support from her followers, but also thousands of negative comments on her posts, which she says she was not expecting and led her to take a break from social media.

“Speaking up is one of the best ways to fight back," she added.

"When we start telling each other about what has happened to us – be if face-to face, over the phone or on social media – it creates a sense of shame.

"But this time, it’s placed on those who are actually at fault. And that’ the way it should be."

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