'Rape survivor' on why she live-blogged her SA ordeal

Silhouette of a woman
Silhouette of a woman

Johannesburg – The American woman who claims she was raped in South Africa and posted a live blog about the ordeal on Instagram, said she needed to go public because it was the only way she would get “justice”.

Instagram is a social networking site where users post photographs and captions.

Amber Amour, 27, claims she was raped by an acquaintance in Cape Town six weeks ago while promoting her campaign, ‘Stop Rape. Educate'.

She has since lodged a complaint with the police.

Amour said her alleged rapist has since been arrested but was presently out on R1 000 bail.

But the social activist said she did not believe that her case would be taken seriously and decided to share her harrowing experience with her more than 20 000 Instagram followers at the time instead.

Her Instagram account contains graphic details of her ordeal as well as photographs of her – one which was apparently taken after the alleged rape and another where she is seemingly in a hospital room after a rape kit was used on her. Amour is presently still in Cape Town and has decided to continue with her campaign.

Speaking to News24, Amour said she knew that by sharing the ordeal with her followers, she would be part of a “community”.

“I decided to document what happened to me because it was my way of seeking justice,"she said.

"I didn’t know what was going to happen with the police. I didn’t trust that I would get justice. I had 20 000 followers on Instagram at that time and I knew that I had a community that would support me." 

Amour said her experience of crime in South Africa justified her doubts about the country.

“I think the only reason they even followed up on my case was because the US embassy was involved. They had the rapist's details, his phone number and full names but it took weeks for them to follow up. I am not satisfied at all with their investigation,” she said.

In her Instagram account, Amour shares that she was raped by a friend while sharing a shower.

She said her blog was also about practicing what she preached.

On her account, she wrote: “I tell you guys to speak up every single day and I know that I need to practice what I preach. It is so incredibly hard, though, but having you all here for me makes all the difference. I know that this may not go anywhere and I know that I may face ridicule by the police but I will take a shot at 'justice' anyway."

Not everyone has offered a sympathetic ear. Amour said she had since received hate mail in the thousands.

“I got thousands of people blaming me and telling me I deserved it. It’s so messed up because if you have been through rape the last thing you want to hear is that it’s your fault. Some people ask why did you agree to take a shower with him. It’s just been vicious hate mail."

Amour was visiting the country as part of her world tour for her initiative, 'Stop Rape, Educate'. According to the Stop Rape, Educate website, the awareness campaign aims to end sexual violence against women, men, and children by educating the public on rape culture, consent, and healthy boundaries.

The police could not be reached for comment.

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