A feminist campaigner has live-blogged her rape ordeal, in the hope of encouraging and giving “other victims the courage to speak out.”
27-year-old Amber Amour, who is originally from New York, but currently living in South Africa, uploaded a series of harrowing posts to her account, following an alleged attack in the bathroom of a youth hostel. In a horrible twist of irony, the campaigner was visiting South Africa as part of the #StopRapeEducate tour, and has been tirelessly campaigning to stop the blame culture associated with rape.
A previous victim of sexual violence – she was attacked both at age 12 and by her room mate in New York – Amber recounted on her Instagram account the moment when a man named Shakir raped her after she agreed to shower with him. Talking to Marie Claire magazine, she said:
“I immediately knew that I 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 practise what I preached. So the first thing I did was take a picture and write a post… I had to tell the whole story, exactly the way it happened.”
So she posted the below picture, putting the brutal story in the caption:
*WARNING: Graphic content that some readers may find distressing*
It was only a few minutes ago but sometimes these things happen so fast it’s hard to remember all the details…. I’ve been sick for the past 2 days and today was my first day out. I went back to my old hostel to leave a note for a friend, Nick. There was another guy there, Shakir, who was desperately trying to get with me. I kissed him once but he seemed drunk so I told him it was bad timing, I had already met someone. Before heading out, I went upstairs to say hi to one more friend, Clyde from the states. Shakir followed me upstairs and said he was going to take a shower. He invited me to join. I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after 2 days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower. As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees. I said “stop!” but he just got more violent. He lifted me up and put his penis in my vagina. I asked him to stop, again, as I began to cry. When he shoved it in my ass, that’s when I passed out. I woke up a few minutes later and saw him trying to creep out the door. When he saw that I was awake, he came back to finish me off in the shower. I have all those fucked up feelings that we get after rape…shame, disgust, suffering. I’m here, alone, and any DNA has been wiped away in the shower. The South African police will just roll their eyes when I walk in. Feeling sicker than ever now. Needless today, I’m going to disappear for a bit. Just need to enjoy the freaking sun and call my friends and family in the states. Love you guys. Thank you for always being there for me. All the more reason to continue @stoprapeeducate but not today. Today, I need rest. #StopRapeEducate
In the six weeks since it’s happened, she says it has obviously been tough, “Not everyone got the message. Some of my followers were totally supportive, but a lot of people weren’t”, but she’s continued to Instagram her experience because, as she says, “speaking up is one of the best ways to fight back”:
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
@stoprapeeducate, we’ve come so far. I started this organization after getting raped last year in NYC and I honestly never thought it would happen to me again, and certainly not during the #StopRapeEducate World Tour…. There’s a smile on my face in this photo but my heart is broken because tomorrow I’m supposed to leave to continue the tour in Australia, New Caledonia, Los Angeles, and San Francisco but I unfortunately have to stay here in South Africa to put the man who raped me behind bars. I know that people around the world are counting on me and I’m sorry to disappoint. I do know, however, that this is an opportunity for us to grow even stronger as a community, to own our power, and radiate self-love as depicted in this picture. Thank you ALL for being so supportive! We shall overcome. We can do anything. We are infinite! ⭐️ Go follow @natnatperez the woman behind the camera a fabulous feminist photographer. ????????????????????? #StopRapeEducate #ambertheactivist #AmberAmour #feminism #feminist #womensrights #humanrights #equality #queer #model #modeling #SouthAfrica #girlswithdreads #loveandlight #love #selflove #namaste #art #CapeTown #bodypositive #girlpower #girlboss #overcome #survivor #peace #happyhippie #positivity #revolution
Since I got raped last month, I’ve been spending more time naked in public with strangers. (Yes, you heard that right!) ? Not only do I enjoy the freedom I feel being nude in nature, but it’s also to prove the point that nudity does not equate to sex or rape. I skinny dipped in a few waterfalls and swam naked at night in the Indian Ocean. I was with men & women from different backgrounds and ages and GUESS WHAT? I didn’t get raped. ? This proves the point that clothing/nudity do not cause rape, only rapists do!! The man who attacked me would have done so regardless. I didn’t even take my clothes off to take the shower, he destroyed them leaving them bloodied. ? So to answer the question “What kind of woman takes a shower with a guy who is not her boyfriend?” (Stop assuming I’m straight, btw.) The answer is I DO! I’m a liberated, body positive naturist. If I want to swim or shower with a stranger, that’s exactly what I’ll do! Most people are not rapists. Most people have self control. I’m not putting myself in “dangerous situations” I’m being the change I wish to see in the world: a world where women are safe and free to live how they please! By exposing the female body in a non-sexual way, we systematically desexualize it. So, I’m gonna keep rocking birthday suit which reminds me: My birthday is in 3 days!! ? Photo by @nateynukez ??????????????? #AmberAmour #AmberTheActivist #nature #nudism #model #modeling #feminism #feminist #yesallwomen #humanrights #freethefuckingnipple #girlswithdreads #CreatingConsentCulture #bodypositive #bodypositivity #effyourbeautystandards #birthdaysuit #girlpower #goddess #naturelovers #naturism #wildwoman #skinnydipping #freedom #StopRapeEducate
A photo posted by Amber Amour (@ambertheactivist) on
Amber is working hard to enforce the message that “no matter what somebody does, it is never an invitation to rape.”
What a brave lady.
If you, or anyone close to you, has been a victim of sexual violence you can seek confidential help from Rape Crisis or Freephone 0808 802 9999.