TW: domestic violence, rape, rape culture
I took this picture and wrote this whilst sweaty and tired post SlutWalk Melbourne earlier this year. I never posted it, I was too shy. I've still only spoken about my history with domestic violence a handful of times in public, and never online. But today is International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, and this Sunday I'll be MCing another beautiful positive protest, The Hands Down Project (details at the bottom), so today felt like a good day to share.
WHY I WALK
I walk because 1 in 4 Australian women are victims of partner violence.
I walk because I am one of them.
I walk for all the sex I've had but didn't want.
I walk for the punches I've had thrown through my halo, and into the wall behind it.
I walk for the years it took me to find the word "rape" and to utter it aloud as a description of my own experience.
I walk because I stayed.
I stayed because I thought that sex was a thing that men did to women.
I walk because I refuse to be a statistic, but instead to be seen with scars and barred teeth and the humanness of my whole self.
And I walk because my experiences are so terrifyingly far from remarkable.
The Hands Down Project is an afternoon celebration of women's talent banding together to raise funds and awareness for the important work of the Domestic Violence Resource Center of Victoria. Featuring performances by Banoffee and Sui Zhen and prizes from the cream of the Melbourne designer crop. Graciously and fiercely organised by PER-TIM, As Is Projects and LISTEN.
This Sunday, Nov 29, 4-8pm, XO Studios, Brunswick East.