Picture a new age parent- the one who packs lunch for her toddler for a one hour church service, who allows retail staff to baby sit while she muses over Guess or Levis and who will threaten Little Tommy, warning that his Xbox will be taken away for two days if he doesn’t behave. He smirks as she wags her manicured finger in his face and you wish, almost get up so you could slip off your pump and beat Little Tommy yourself.
This mother disciplines through empty threats and Tommy knows that although there may be shouting and he may have Zimbabwe-like sanctions imposed on him, he just needs to wait out the storm and life will go back to the way it was.
My heart bleeds, as much and as powerful as Oprah’s tears and when I see a cause being fought by a lone, brave soldier. So when that cause creates mass awareness, people join the movement and promise to put all their resources behind it, I’m ecstatic. It is every activists dream: recognition that your hurt, your suffering is important.
I cry for you. You in a way were one of the lucky ones. Out of hundreds of rapes that happen on a daily basis, someone recognised that what happened to you was not okay- an entire nation was supporting you- voicing their disgust and outrage.
PSA’s were created in your memory to STOP RAPE; there was plenty of finger wagging in rapist’s directions.
But this month, Anene, when you needed people to fight for you the most, the conviction of your named rapist fell through. He walked away while you lay cold and incomplete under the ground.
And you continue to lay there, with no more finger wagging, no outrage on your behalf. Your suffering equated to no more than a couple of RTs to make media feel like they were doing their jobs and being effective.
Your court case was synonymous with a hit and run driver whose famous brother may or may not have intended to shoot his girlfriend who sat defenceless in a windowless bathroom.
What was supposed to be a movement of hope, transitioned into indifference. Anene, they grew tired. Tired of fighting for you. Tired of the struggle us women face on a daily basis. It’s not okay though, from the prosecution that messed up, to the media and political watchdogs who silently allowed there to be little fall out. What happened to UN condemning this horror, our president speaking out against sexual violence? We as activists cannot afford to tire. Our support for you and other Anenes’ will continue to be relentless. Those of us who were lucky to survive are cursed with the burden of continuing your battles.
You are important.
All of us are important.
I hear you. I feel you.
You are not alone.