Wow! What a week that was! All of my business teachers and mentors told me that publicity was like winning the lottery…. So, I guess I’ve already won the lottery. I don’t care how greedy it is, I want more lottery wins.
It wasn’t just luck though. It was also timing, and seizing the day…
On the Friday, I saw that Eastenders had a storyline that meant I should watch. On the Saturday, I felt resentful that my ‘business sense’ head was telling me I should watch, and that I should write. I knew there was an opportunity to grasp, and I didn’t feel ready to grasp it. My ‘perfectionist’ head was saying, no, there is more ground-work to be done before trying for publicity, publicity is hard-work. My ‘fearful of rejection’ head was telling me it wasn’t going to work anyway, there was more, other, work to do on the weekend, and anyway it was a weekend. On the Sunday, I took control, I buckled down, threw caution to the wind, watched it, knew I had to write it, wrote it.
And whilst writing, I knew why I hadn’t wanted to. All the other reasons were just smokescreens. I didn’t want to watch because I didn’t want to be confronted with the reality, again. I know I’ve chosen to make my work about rape, and helping rape survivors live their ReConnected Life, but I also still have scars that itch sometimes. And the denial of justice is one that still feels raw.
But it’s not about me. If it were just about me, then I could’ve decided not to watch. If it were just about me, then I could’ve decided not to write. And if it were just about me, then I could’ve decided not to try to make what I wrote go wider. It’s about the mission, my mission, to help survivors, to speak for survivors, to make the conversation louder, to confront the myths, and to make the rest of society understand.
24 hours later, I was featured in the Metro. The next day, in Huffington Post. The day after that, front page of the Huffington Post. And then I found out I was to be on local and online TV. And then I was. And that’s the timeline, one Friday, to the next. A lot can happen in a week.
I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to raise the profile of the victim’s point of view. I’m so grateful that as a result the Community group is growing, and more women are finding support. And I’ve been so blown away by the thanks I’ve received.
“It’s so rare that the victim is the focus and it was great to see you giving all of us a voice…”
“It feels like your words come from my head…”
“Thank you for speaking up for all of us…”
London Live asked me, why have I chosen to waive my right to anonymity? Well, simply, I couldn’t do this work if I were doing it from behind a cloak of anonymity. But, also, I can speak up; I feel no shame for what happened. The only shame I feel is on behalf of society that tells us to stay ashamed.
It’s been a whirl, odd feelings seeing my name in print, my photograph, being on TV… Expect more, a lot more, because there is more to say.
In solidarity xxx.
The Metro story was originally published at 6pm on Monday 22 August and at the time of writing has had 787 shares.
Huffington Post originally published my blog at 5pm on Tuesday 23 August, and it made their ‘front page’ on Wednesday 24 August.
I featured on London Live on Friday 26 August, interviewed by Vanessa Baffoe. This is an edited clip.
Silence hurts. It eats us from the inside. It traps us, making sure we feel isolated and alone.
In talking there is a taking back of control. In talking we find that we are not alone, that there are others, that others have healed, that healing is possible, that there is hope. In talking we find community.
In talking there is power. Talk hard.
Take the first step