End Rape Culture and Victim Blaming!

Today I need to write about something I feel very strongly about. Of course, as I am a big activist and feminist, I have lots of topics to choose from, but the first one that came to mind was the problem with victim blaming and rape culture. Throughout this article, I am going to be explaining what problems our society has with victim blaming, going into my own and others stories of why we don’t speak out, and why there’s so much stigma around being sexually assaulted. This is quite a heavy-hitting topic so a trigger warning for anyone who is sensitive towards sexual abuse and the topic as a whole. Stay safe, I love you all, and let’s raise awareness about our shitty society! This article took me a super long time, researching, putting all my thoughts into words and making those words actually make sense. This is probably one of my favourite blog articles because I’m so proud of it so please let me know if you prefer articles like this which are more structured and informative 🙂

How can we get rid of #RapeCulture ? - Forum - Know My Rights Clothing Co.

What Is Victim Blaming and Why Is It Bad?

For anyone who doesn’t know, victim blaming is, quite simply, putting the blame of what happened onto the victim instead of the perpetrator. In the UK, only 15% of people who have been assaulted reported it to the police. There are many reasons why people don’t say anything and why the #MeToo movement was ground breaking as it showed that lots of people have suffered from abuse without speaking out. As you can see in the image above, those are some of the most common reasons that people are afraid to speak out. The world we life in presents such a stigma around being sexually assaulted, that rape culture and victim blaming is a common thing.

After my story was reported, I had lots of people ask me extremely personal questions, and try to put the blame on me. this is not ok. This promotes the fact we live in a society which sexualises people for what they wear, claiming that “if you wear a skirt that short, you are clearly asking for the attention” which is total bullshit. Wear whatever you want, do whatever you want, as I always say, as long as you’re not harming yourself or others in any way, go wild, do whatever you want. If it makes you happy, do it!! It’s despicable the amount of victims who haven’t been taken seriously because of what they were wearing, their alcohol intake at the time, and if they were flirting or not.

Some Photos To Think About:

Vancouver student Rosea Lake's photo etitled "Judgement" has gone viral, with more than 280,000 people liking and re-blogging it on Tumblr.
"Não meça o valor de uma mulher por suas roupas"
"Não meça o valor de uma mulher por suas roupas"

The way we dress doesn’t mean yes!

Literally every single woman, ever.

Those Who Assault and Why Many People Don’t Come Forward

Unfortunately, being assaulted is something you have to constantly be cautious about. If you are a female, I’m pretty sure you’ll know the fear you get when you walk alone anywhere. If I even hear so much as a patter of footsteps, I completely freak out and my brain goes full panic mode. The most worrying fact is I’m no longer fazed by catcallers and people yelling out to me, it’s an occurrence I’ve being mostly desensitised to. In the recent years, people (mostly men) who have either yelled abuse, cat-called me or said/done something inappropriate to me – a minor – is staggeringly high. It’s gotten to such a bad stage that when my friends see something like that, they freak out in situations I just shrug off. I used to love walking alone, putting in my headphones, listening to Taylor Swift, feeling like I was in some sort of music video, but now my friends (bless their little overprotective hearts) always make sure I’m not walking alone, or that if I am, that I message them once I’m home. They like being there to protect me and, even though I’d never admit it to them, I feel a lot safer with them around.

However, in many ways, being catcalled by someone who you have never met before is so much better than being sexualised or made uncomfortable by someone you know. You know that society has a problem when I have to choose one of those to nightmarish situations as a “preference”. God our world is f*cked. Statistics show that 90% of victims knew the perpetrator prior to the abuse. (Leaving all links to my info at the bottom of this so you all know I didn’t pull these percentages out of thin air). This is one of the reasons that I didn’t report as I was afraid I would be seen as provoking him. That’s the problem with being abused by your childhood friend, no-one will believe you because you still act as if everything is fine and dandy because you’re just so desperate to go back to how things were, even though you know there is no hope of that ever happening.

After My Story Was Told – My Experiences

I remember the entire day that everything came out like it was yesterday. I’ve spoken about it multiple times now and if you’re new around here, welcome and you can check out all of that here. As you know, the case never got convicted, which is a very common occurrence. Conviction rates for rape and sexual abuse are so much lower than other cases, with only 5.7% reported rape cases ending in conviction. We can’t expect to be taken seriously when almost all cases are acquitted before they’re even opened.

Something else which my abuser did after he started abusing me is he claimed to be gay. God, the poor LGBTQ community, you get enough hate as it is. He claimed to be gay two months after the abuse began, and continued to be vocal about “how hard it is to be homosexual” – when he’s… ya know, not. I learnt something the other day when I was watching stand up comedy which honestly made me laugh so, so much. Now I’m writing this I’m still laughing because it makes me sick and I can’t deal with it any other way. I found out that Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein – two of the most notorious Hollywood sex offenders – decided they were now also gay because their lawyers were failing them. I have no issue with famous actors and actresses who are gay, but when they fake it so they can avoid sexual assault charges? Oh, sweetie, someone will be getting hurt and it’s not going to be me.

Why I’m Still Shouting This From The Rooftops – Statistics Which Make Me Shudder

A third of people believe women who flirt are partially responsible for being raped (Amnesty, 2005)

Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men (aged 16 – 59) experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 of the most serious sexual offences (of adults alone) every hour. 

Approximately 70 women commit suicide every day in the US following an act of sexual violence.

During 2019, 13% of all women in California were victims of rape.

A quarter of male victims of sexual assault were under 10 years of age.

Infographic showing the number of people victimized in one year. Number broken down by inmates (80,600), children (61,000), general public (284,000), and military (18,900).

Take This Away:

If you take anything at all away from this article please bare this image in mind…

I snapped 🌪🌬 – Daddy's little angel

Remember: It’s not your fault, it never was, you shouldn’t have to be held accountable for someone else’s actions.


Information:

https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-informed/about-sexual-violence/statistics-sexual-violence/

https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem

“You’re peng but…” What Someone Told Me That I’ll Never Forget

I have a feeling this is meant to be positive and heart-warming, but who has time for that crap? I’m fuelled by insults and hate, it’s what makes me rise up and grow stronger.

One day, someone said to me – pre warning this may make you feel very uncomfortable because it’s sexualising a minor – and I quote

“Tati, you’re hot, peng and you have great tits [something which he has never seen, considering he’s only seen me in my school uniform]. But, the only way I’d date you is if you shut up about your opinions and let the men talk. Also if you dressed less like a whore then people may feel more sorry for you when you say you were sexually assaulted by different guys.”

I remember exactly who said this to me, what had caused them to say this, where I was when they said this, how I responded and why I never forgot it. So, without further ado, let’s delve in and analyse this quote!

Who: Of course I won’t expose this person by name because that’s not what I do. It just promotes more hate and fuels the cancel culture this society feeds off. However, we shall call this person… [brb currently looking up random names which don’t have any relation to me] Kronos! Kronos was someone I knew from school who added me on Snapchat to ask for help with schoolwork.

Where and When? This time last year ironically! It was the start of the summer holidays (after the sexual assault allegations surfaced) in 2019, just after I’d finished my year ten exams.

What caused Kronos to say this? We were on the phone just chatting, as I do with many of my friends, and I was jokingly complaining about how no-one likes me and that I’m going to die alone. [I swear to be overdramatic and true too Taylor!] So, of course, Kronos decided to be “helpful” and give me this lovely… boost in self-confidence? Constructive criticism? Just plain insult? Who knows?!

How did I respond to this? At the time, as ashamed as I am to admit it, I pretty much just said “oh, okay” because I didn’t really know what to say. However, it’s safe to say I cut off almost all contact with Kronos because he made me so uncomfortable. If he said this to me now though, I’d most likely roundhouse kick him into another dimension.

Why I never forgot. As a 14 year-old, vulnerable girl, I should not have just shrugged it off like I did. However, as bad as it is, it’s just part of the job description when you’re a girl. You have to deal with boys saying things which make you squirm, as wrong as it is. Even though I will never ever stop fighting the good fight of pressing on with my feminist agenda, I have begun to accept this sort of thing as a part of life, which is just so wrong. Please take this into account before you open your mouth and say something which involves making someone upset, degrading, telling them what to do, sexualising them or even simply calling them peng.

Thanks for reading this light-hearted but kinda important feminist article. I’m going to be cheeky and pretend it’s a Friday so I can say it’s a Feminist Friday post! Love you peng people, xo baby, Tati xoxo

becoming tatiana.

When I began this blog, I created a character of sorts. Her name was Tatiana and she was everything I wanted to be in life and more.

A sarcastic voice of reason, Tati was an outspoken girl in a man’s world. She wasn’t simply an alter ego to me, she was the person that I was afraid of being all those years.

I was a very shy person, constantly worried about what people thought of me and how I was portrayed in this big wide world. That changed when I started this blog. Tati was confident, bubbly, overall a teenage girl who appeared to be completely at peace with herself. As time progressed, I began transforming into this person I’d always dreamed of being. I was relaxed, didn’t really care what people would say about me – and trust me, they said a lot. I wasn’t just transforming in real life, I was transforming here to. I became very honest with my readers, explaining to them what had happened in my past and how it shaped me to be who I am today. Totally Tatiana wasn’t just a creative outlet anymore, it was a place I could go, a safe haven where I felt understood and not judged.

I’ve began writing about anything and everything. I’m not doing this for the “greater good”, I’m doing this for me, because I am Tatiana. I act like a queen because I am a queen. I’m so happy that this blog has helped different people, but it has helped me too.

I’m doing better than I ever was, the nightmares and PTSD are practically non-existent, my meds are working super well, I don’t need therapy as much any more, I feel safe and secure and overall content with how everything has turned out.

This time last year I was a hot mess, this year, I’m still a hot mess, but I own that shit now. I’m Tatiana and I am strong and powerful and I have finally become at peace with myself.

The world’s given me some pretty bad situations, but I keep on fighting and rising higher. Bring it on.

I’ll see you at the top. T xx

Mental Health Check – How I’m Doing

This is another mental health awareness post.  This time I’m here to show you how my life has been recently, kind of like a general update so you know why my posts have been so sporadic recently.  It’s a relatively personal post but that’s not too different to usual.  As always, my life has been a roller-coaster of emotions, feelings and experiences and I’ve been facing the highest of highs but also the lowest of lows.  So, here’s a general update on how I’m doing.

TW// eating disorders, self-harm, PTSD, sexual assault.

Recently I have been struggling lots with an array of things.  I wish I could say that everything’s perfect, but things have been difficult and coming to terms with that is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.  Feeling like you should be feeling so much better than you are is something I’ve struggled with lots but recently I’ve found it near impossible.  There are loads of different reasons as to why I am struggling lots, all with different causes and triggers.  I can’t stay in lessons for the whole 75 minutes without taking some time out of the class just to collect my thoughts and calm down.  On the rare occasions where I can stay in the class, my focus just leaves me, and I am unable to do work.  Panic attacks are a daily occurrence and I can’t go a day without getting flashbacks or PTSD.  I’m getting constantly slut-shamed by people I don’t know and people who claim to be my friends and I can’t go anywhere alone as I am scared that I’ll get harassed as that has happened many times before.  My self-confidence deteriorates by the day and I’ve developed a toxic relationship with food.  I can’t stand people touching my stomach and only close friends and family members can hug me.  I struggle to sleep and when I do, I get nightmares and I can only go to sleep if there is some background noise like a YouTube video.  I accidentally end up in toxic friendships and find it harder to let people in and make friends then ever before.  Finally, I’ve lost friends who mean the world to me, who, before this year, I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  This may be a part of growing up, but it doesn’t make it any easier for you to let them go.

However, luckily for me, it’s not all doom and gloom.  He may be strong, but I am stronger.  Whatever he tries to throw at me, I can dodge it and it’ll bounce back or reflect onto him.  I’m honestly just very happy I have positives in my life which are what keep me going day in day out.  They can be small things like me managing to (mostly) keep on top of schoolwork.  Or one of my favourite compliments I’ve been receiving recently which is “But you seem so happy!   I’d never expect you to be depressed.”  I’m in a specialist therapy to help with the trauma – called EMDR – and it’s been working quick well! (I’ll write a blog article on it when I finally leave it) my anti-depressants are working well which is amazing – I may be 50mg away from the highest dosage but if it works it works.  I haven’t self-harmed since the 26th June 2019 no matter how close I’ve been to relapsing which is quite impressive.  I have a boyfriend who I really like and care about and it shows “I can trust another individual enough and let them into my life in a romantic way” – my therapists’ words.  My friends and family also like him (other than my big and little brother being slightly jealous that there’s another man in my life – sorry guys)  and he also reads this blog straight away and is supportive of everything I do – he’s a keeper, what more can I say.  I’m slowly getting better with physical contact and I don’t always freak out as much as I once did when people touch certain areas of my body.  I’m making a difference in my community and the people in it, helping people through things, raising awareness about what’s important to me etc.  I have an amazing tight-knit group of friends who – when we’re together – are all completely off the scale crazy but I wouldn’t have them any other way.  We have so many inside jokes and we’re all just one crazy mismatched family who support each other no matter what, no matter how crazy the idea is.  Speaking of families, my biological family have been – as always – the most supportive people you will ever meet.  My Grandparents read my blog and always message me about it, saying how good it is and how brave I am, my parents deal with my emotions day in day out and are always there for me when I need them most.  Even my aunts and uncles who – I think – don’t know what’s going on are still always so kind and loving (and they cook the best food, honestly, they do).  Finally, I’m mentally stronger than ever before.  Physically I may have the strength of a new-born baby who just got shoved out the womb but mentally I am Superman.  I may still have days which are my Kryptonite but overall, the good outweighs the bad and that’s all I have ever wanted.

So, there you have it!   That’s what’s been going on in my life for the past couple of months!

Thank you so much for reading, I love you all, stay safe and I’ll see you soon!

xo baby, Tati xoxo

Here’s a toast to my real friends that didn’t care about the he said she said

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Taylor Swift

An Overview of My Life Since 2018

So, quite simply and bluntly, I was sexually assaulted for around a year in total by someone who I considered a close friend before this.  I will be raising awareness for this and I will be writing articles to try end stigma around assault in general – particularly with teens and young adults.  Due to the fact I’ll be writing about it so much, I feel it’ll help if you read a general overview about the whole situation and it saves me from having to write an essay before I can get into the actual article and I don’t do clickbait.  Although, please read with the reminder this may not be suitable if you get triggered by reading about sexual assault, depression and suicidal thoughts.  I won’t go into the horrific details, as I find that still hard to talk about myself but just remember these themes will be involved throughout the article.  Stay safe and I love you all x

After the sexual assault began (for a timescale it began spring half term 2018 – when I was in year nine.), my mood began deteriorating extremely quickly.  My best friend who’s been my rock – Thumper – began noticing and one night I explained to him about what had been happening with this individual.  Thumper was so supportive and gradually encouraged me to tell the friends I’ve had since I was about six. 

Around six months later, my parents noticed I wasn’t acting like myself; I was more closed off, wouldn’t talk as much, and I was not motivated to get out the house.  My parents – the amazing people they are – took me to see a psychiatrist to review my mental health (I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 11 but this seemed different).  I didn’t tell her about the sexual assault and so she diagnosed me with having a depressive episode – no real trigger points known.

Fast forward to September 2018 – I began Year 10, my mental health totally unstable and taking a turn for the worse and the abuse still occurring.  I didn’t go to any lessons because I didn’t see the point – I wasn’t going to have a future anyway.  By the time it got t Spring Half Term 2019, I was on 150mg of Sertraline, I was avoiding him at all costs, and I was going to therapy.  Then, I met this guy.  He was nice, he was cool, we hit it off, we started dating and life was going okay – except for the constant low moods and suicidal thoughts.  I had a boyfriend and I found a new group of friends and I felt slightly better (spoiler alert yet again: they were bad news but what I needed to get away from my abuser)

Fast forward to May 2019 – I had been dating this guy for about a month and one night I felt like I confided in him about how I was getting sexually assaulted by someone for eight-ish months and he promised me that he wouldn’t tell anyone unless it happened again.  Just so my explanation makes sense, I need to clear something up: my boyfriend doesn’t live near me, but his friends do and they go to my school.  This will make sense shortly. 

So, a few weeks went past and my boyfriend told no one about the assault but then one Wednesday afternoon, I decided to walk home from school with a few of my friends.  One of the “friends” who was there was the assaulter himself.  Now, before you jump to conclusions, nothing had happened since around October 2018 and I missed my friendship with him – I’ve known him since I was 5 for God’s sake!  I’ll explain more about the manipulation I faced with him another time.  So, as I was walking back with my friends – there were four of us in total – it was fun and there were a lot of laughs.  As my friends dropped off one by one, it left me and the abuser.  I won’t go into detail, but he did it again.

I ran straight home and phoned my boyfriend straight away – I felt so guilty!  Even though it was non-consensual, it still felt as though I cheated on him and I felt dirty, disgusting and gross.  My boyfriend leapt into action right away, contacted his friend straight away who planned to report it to school the following day.  I freaked out, I didn’t want anyone to know how weak I was, I didn’t want my parents to find out and there were so many other reasons I didn’t want anyone to find out.  I went to sleep that night feeling panicked, stressed and depressed.

The following day (fun fact it was my Dad’s birthday so guessed who ruined that for him…  Sorry – I’ll make it up to you next year I promise J) I had my final end of year exam and my boyfriend’s friend came up to me promising he wouldn’t report it to the school – to say the least I was so relieved.  I felt like I didn’t have to worry about it ever coming out.  However, as happy as I felt, I felt as though something wasn’t right – I just couldn’t work out what it was.

By the end of the test, I got let out of the exam hall and I waited around for some of my friends.  Suddenly, my boyfriend’s friend came up to me and told me he was reporting the whole situation to our safeguarding teacher and there was nothing I could do to stop him.  I was gobsmacked.  I felt as though he betrayed my trust, didn’t care about how I felt whatsoever, and I didn’t know whether to scream at the top of my lungs or just curl into a ball and cry.  Of course, I now know he did it because he was looking out for me and wanted me to be safe – I appreciate that majorly.

A school day had never gone slower for me, each time someone came into my classroom, I froze and had a panic attack.  I couldn’t deal with the stress or tension I was feeling.  Finally, at the near end of an agonising day, I was told to go to one of the many safeguarding offices in my school, and I found out this wasn’t just a school issue and that the police had been informed and were coming over to my house later on that evening.  The school would contact me the following Monday to discuss what I should do about school going forwards.  Once I got home, the police spoke to me and told me I had to make a statement.  Then, the school called and said I wasn’t allowed to go into school until further notice for my own “safety” which was honestly even more ridiculous than when I found out Donald Trump was going to be president of the US (yes, I am getting political).

That following week was the total definition of bittersweet, sometimes I felt higher than the clouds but then other times I felt lower than the lowest I thought I could feel.  Although there were some good things which came out of that week, for example, I managed to speak about things I thought I was going to take to the grave, I found out I have the most supportive family in the history of the world (thanks Mum and Dad) and that I had the most amazing friends I’ve ever wished for.

Of course, I was bound to crash back into reality after being in Neverland for so long and I crashed when I had to go back to school.  I had people forcing me to answer questions I didn’t feel comfortable with, had people turn against me, had people corner me in the halls, had people ask me to do unspeakable things for them and so much more.  But I somehow miraculously got through it.  I also got through the last few weeks of year ten feeling kickass with some newfound support.  Of course, it was still extremely difficult to have to see him in school every day, but I wasn’t ever going to give up that easily, I’d come so far and the summer holidays were just around the corner.

The summer holidays were truly amazing, they were the break I desperately needed from school.  I went back to school in year 11, ready to run the world.  I hadn’t heard anything from the police but then out of the blue, on a Sunday night, my parents got a phone call which said the police have decided to drop the case due to lack of evidence.  I was mortified, it felt as though all the work I’d put in, the hell I’d gone through had all been for nothing.  I got no closure, no satisfaction, nothing.  I became completely numb.  But thank God for my lord and saviour that horrific evening – my friend came over straight away and managed to help me through the storm and I don’t know where I’d be without her.  The biggest positive about the case being dropped though is that I now have a platform.  A platform to spread the word about how stuff like this does happen and how cases get dropped almost daily.  They say we should speak up when all they do is silence us.  But anyone who knows me will know I don’t do silence.  If someone tells me to be quiet, I’ll shout it from the rooftops and even though I’ve had so many people try to shut me up, they’ve not succeeded, and I have no plans for that to stop anytime soon.

See you all soon, stay kickass and don’t conform with what society pushes upon you.  Fight back – viva la résistance!

xo baby,

Tati xx

Girl Love

Tina Fey once said “You have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores” and that’s one of my mantras in life. Girls are always so well known for being two-faced, shady and just plain mean – even my Mum has said to me since I was younger that people are mean, but girls can be the worst. I’m not here to tell you to love all and Hakuna Matata your way through all your issues but I am here to try get you to love and support your peers.

With everything going on in the media in the past years, with the #MeToo movement and the abortion laws changing across the world to name a few, us girls should stick together now more than ever. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. I’ve had my fair share of girlfriends who’ve left me in my times of need, called me an “attention seeker” when they learnt I was depressed, said I was “asking for it” behind my back when I said to them about how I’ve been sexually assulted by someone. I just want to make it clear: as horrible as what they’re saying is, you are strong, beautiful and powerful and you can change the world. These girls are idiotic and it’s clear there is nothing going on in their sad little lives so they decide to take it out on you. That doesn’t make it any less horrible or mean and that won’t change how you feel about them, but time can heal these wounds.

I’m not saying we should love the people who screwed you over in life just because they’re females – at the end of the day they did screw you over. What I am saying though, is you shouldn’t spread gossip about someone just because you’ve fallen out with them, it’s totally unneeded and rude. However, I do want to encorage girl love: give compliments to other girls, tell them what you think, bring them up not down. If a girl seems upset, go speak to her and try help, you never know, you could make a new friend. If you hear gossip or anything mean about someone that’s painfully untrue – call the people who are talking about it out! Tell them what they’re spouting is total rubbish and totally unneeded. These are just a few ideas but you’re all imaginative and unique so I’m sure you have other plans on how to show girl love.

Just remember, you are strong, you are brave and you can rise above it all. Go out there and kick ass, take the high road, it’ll look better on you in the long run and it won’t impact your mental health as negatively – more details about what negatively impacts your mental health soon!

xo baby,

Tati xx