Don't shame live-blogging rape survivor - Powa

2016-01-08 16:38
(Picture via Instagram)

(Picture via Instagram)

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Cape Town – South Africans should not judge the American woman who posted a live blog on Instagram about her rape in Cape Town, People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) said on Friday.

"Women are not homogenous and deal differently with trauma," Powa executive director Nonhlanhla Mokwena told News24 on Friday.

"If it was healing for her, we cannot judge her and say that people should only see a social worker and psychologist. If she feels she has to share it with the world, it’s fine."

Mokwena said people should be focusing their anger on perpetrators, rather than blaming survivors.

Amber Amour, 27, claimed an acquaintance raped her in Cape Town six weeks ago while she was promoting her campaign "Stop Rape. Educate".

She said on Thursday that she needed to go public because it was the only way she would get justice.

The activist lodged a complaint with police, but said she shared the experience with her thousands of followers because she did not believe officers would take her case seriously.

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said a man was arrested on November 30. He was granted bail in the Cape Town Regional Court and officers were investigating further.

It was not immediately clear when he would return to court.

On her Instagram account, Amour said she was raped while sharing a shower with a friend.

She told News24 she had received hate mail by the thousands. People had blamed her and told her she deserved what happened.

Mokwena said the upside of sharing such sensitive details publicly was that people could learn from the experience. She said in Amour’s case, the lesson was that not all friends could be trusted.

"The disadvantage of going public is that many people judge you, whether it’s family, society, or your colleagues. We also get complaints that police officers ask those questions. Rape survivors can get secondary traumatisation."

She said society should applaud and support those who were brave enough to speak out.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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