Last month, a feminist activist named Amber Amour was allegedly sexually assaulted in South Africa, where she traveled to in order to promote her “Stop Rape. Educate” campaign. Immediately after the assault, and throughout the medical process immediately following it, she posted live updates to Instagram to promote the idea that other victims shouldn’t be afraid to speak out or take a stand against their attackers. The first post came just minutes after the attack, with tears still streaming down Amour’s face and a corresponding message.
It was only a few minutes ago but sometimes these things happen so fast it’s hard to remember all the details…. I’ve been sick for the past 2 days and today was my first day out. I went back to my old hostel to leave a note for a friend, Nick. There was another guy there, Shakir, who was desperately trying to get with me. I kissed him once but he seemed drunk so I told him it was bad timing, I had already met someone. Before heading out, I went upstairs to say hi to one more friend, Clyde from the states. Shakir followed me upstairs and said he was going to take a shower. He invited me to join. I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after 2 days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower. As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees. I said “stop!” but he just got more violent. He lifted me up and put his penis in my vagina. I asked him to stop, again, as I began to cry. When he shoved it in my ass, that’s when I passed out. I woke up a few minutes later and saw him trying to creep out the door. When he saw that I was awake, he came back to finish me off in the shower. I have all those fucked up feelings that we get after rape…shame, disgust, suffering. 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. Feeling sicker than ever now. Needless today, I’m going to disappear for a bit. Just need to enjoy the freaking sun and call my friends and family in the states. Love you guys. Thank you for always being there for me. All the more reason to continue @stoprapeeducate but not today. Today, I need rest. #StopRapeEducate
Amour followed that upload with a picture of the angel cards she drew on her way to the hospital, then uploaded a third post from a hospital room, where she was having a rape kid done.
My view of the rape kit. Thank you all for being so loving & supportive during this time. Your messages pushed me to take action and to stand up for myself and for all rape survivors. For those who wish to BLAME ME or any other survivor out there, I want you to know that you are the very reason that I am so brutally honest. I could have hidden details. I could have kept some info to myself, but NO. You need 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 rape me. But still, that’s how the scene went down. I don’t need to explain myself but if you’re wondering WHY I took a shower with him, it was written in the text, I’d been sick with food poisoning for 2 days and needed to sweat it out. My current place of residence has only cold water (third world problems are real!) and it seemed like a miracle to be offered a hot shower. That’s not what he was there for though, because as soon as he got a chance, he threw me to the ground and had his way. Dealing with rape is hard enough but the aftermath is often even more traumatic but I did this for you and I did this for me. The US Embassy and the South African police are super supportive and he may be arrested as soon as this week. Thank you for the love. And for the victim blamers, I send love, peace, and enlightenment to you so that you may be a beacon of light for us, too. #StopRapeEducate #AmberAmour #AmberTheActivist #SouthAfrica #humanitarian #healing #education #africa #survivor #sexualassault #recovery #victimblaming #overcome #rapeculture #staystrong
A photo posted by Amber Amour (@ambertheactivist) on
If you look at Amour’s Instagram before and after the time of the attack, you can see her promoting her #StopRapeEducate campaign, and purposely allowing hair on her armpits and stomach to grow to help promote women being comfortable with their bodies, regardless of whatever societal standard they’re ignoring. She continues to use her Instagram–where she has over 20,000 followers–as a platform to spread enlightenment to women everywhere, especially those that have been victims of sexual assault. In an interview with Marie Claire following the attack, she stressed how real the ordeal was for her, and the pressure she felt to share it as part of her message. “It was almost an intuitive thing. I was still in the bathroom – in the crime scene. I don’t even think I’d stood up. I just typed and typed.”