Amber Amour, a 27 year old feminist campaigner opened up on her rape, which she claimed happened in the shower of her hostel and which she live-blogged on her Instagram account minutes after the incident.
Originally from New York, the Instagram account of Amber describes her as a “Humanitarian in South Africa” and she uploaded a string of distressing photos, describing her traumatic experience. She was in Cape Town, promoting her “Stop Rape, Educate” campaign when she was raped.
She’d spent two days being sick and “just really wanted a hot shower”, so she agreed to shower with a man, who forced her to her knees. “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. Feel sicker than ever now”, she wrote with a photograph of her still sitting na-ked on the bathroom floor with tears rolling out her eyes.
She uploaded two more photographs, one with angel cards which she drew and other with a rape kit. She described her time with police as “tough” and that the ra-pe kit was “the last thing I want- tools and metal instruments and combs all up in my private parts”.
Although the ra-pe happened about a month ago, she opened up recently on why she chose to live-blog her ra-pe, an act that was criticised by many over the internet. In an interview to the magazine, she blogged it “to give other victims the courage to speak out”. She wanted to practice what she preached.
Terming her live-blogging as “intuitive thing”, she empathized with the rape victims and said the rape victims shouldn’t be called victims but survivors. She also had a message for her criticisers and those who wished to blame her, whom she regarded as “the very reason” behind her being brutally honest.
She added that they needed 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 ra-pe me”, was her concluding message.
Amber’s rapist, whom she identified by the name “Shakir”, was arrested but was released on a bail for 1000 Rand (about 4100) on 1st January. But she refuses to be the victim, and believes that Karma will serve her justice, although she has little hope of the same from the South African system.
While in our country, there are numerous rape survivors scared to speak out against the perpetrators, Amber here is not just an inspiration but also a lesson for those who still blame the woman for her rape. We need to understand the situation of the girl and instead of blaming them, we should change ourselves. As far as Amber is concerned, we wish her strength in the life and pray that justice is served to her swiftly.