Silent No More

Portia Smart

Triggers. Triggers everywhere. So many survivors must have experienced something similar to me when faced with the media over the last twelve months. Historical cases are of sexual violence and abuse are everywhere it seems: Men in the public eye arrested for child rape, charged with rape, guilty of sexual assault….. I have been overwhelmed and amazed by these stories – not because they have revealed institutional abuse and the prevalence of male violence. My amazement is in that so many survivors have spoken out. Not only that, these survivors have been believed.

Because we rarely speak out. Even in the 21st century, the idea of sharing our experience of rape and abuse is frightening and disempowering. Responses include more violence, blame, shame, minimising, humiliation, degradation, disbelief, disinterest and silencing.

As a child, I had a recurring nightmare. It always started the same: I’m in my bedroom and I…

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