Despite being the victim, we are the ones who are blamed for whatever happens to us.
Trigger Warning: This story talks about sexual assault which may be disturbing to readers.
Growing up, I was always told by my parents to make it back home before the street lights went on. Even if I were a minute or two late, my mom would be out on the lawn, pacing up and down with a worried look on her face. Back then, I was too young to even process what was happening, but as I got older, I understood why she was always concerned about my whereabouts.
Whenever there was some news about a woman being attacked, assaulted, or abducted, my mom used to tell me that I should always be safe and never go out alone in the dark. Because that's when bad things happen to unsuspecting women, she said.
For years, I paid heed to her advice. I made sure to be back home in time. However, that went for a toss once I started working. However, I was privileged enough to have someone with me at all times, making sure I got back home safe and sound.
Following incidents of gender based violence- the conversation needs to change. Here's why: pic.twitter.com/60UzAOYwFN— Bianca Nobilo (@bianca_nobilo) October 27, 2021
But, the other day, I found myself walking back home from a friend's place, alone. It was about 10 in the night, and the roads weren't that crowded. There probably wasn't anyone following me, but my mind was convinced otherwise. I hastened my steps before breaking out into a sprint. All I cared about was making it home safe.
As soon as I opened my door and got in, it took me a long time to gather myself and calm down. This was the first time I'd experienced something like this and I couldn't process it.
See, I had friends and family who made sure I always sent them my locations. I had a pepper spray and a whistle on me at all times. But despite it all, I was scared for my life. The truth is, I'm not the only woman that feels this way. Every single woman I know or have met during the course of my life is always terrified of the dark because that's when bad things happen.
#BreaksOurHearts our Sisters all over the planet are being subjugated and constantly traumatised; this is saddening and depressing. Raise your voices, my Sisters you deserve better. Your brothers will stand beside you once you rise above and beyond hate.— BizDevBDG (@BusinessDevBDG) October 29, 2021
We're not just scared for our lives, we're also scared about being blamed for what may happen, despite us being the victims. "Why were you out at that time of the night?" or "Why were you in such short clothes?" would be some of the several insulting questions that would come a victim's way.
In fact, there was a survey done by CNN that was shared by Seattle Medium that sheds light on the sheer number of questions a woman has to answer, despite being the victim.
Why does a woman always have to make sacrifices just to stay safe? But the real question is, can we ever get over the fear of being assaulted? Perhaps, the outlook will change once the narrative changes, shifting the onus from women. Until then, we may just have to keep hoping for and working towards a better, safer tomorrow.
The sad part here is how #woman have to change who they are and what they do, so they won’t be assaulted. Instead of maybe 🤔 just maybe makin men accountable for their actions and giving harder consequences for the disgusting behavior.— ASecondChanceAround 💋 🦢 (@ASecondChance) October 28, 2021
Cover Image Source (Representative): Getty Images | Erik Witsoe | EyeEm