3 Minute Stories

3 Minute Stories

on individuals, initiatives & institutions

This girl reads out a poem for her rapist, and it’s beautiful.

This is the first 3MS (technically, a little over six minutes 🙂 ) where I didn’t shoot anything. Climb Against Sexual Abuse (CLIMB), a global non profit, organizes climbing expeditions for survivors of sexual abuse, across the globe. They provided me with the footage from one such climb in South Africa (courtesy eNCA.com). At the end of this expedition, one of the survivors recited a beautiful poem that she had written. Listening to it will make you feel powerful.

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Above: a snapshot from the video where a rape survivors reciters her poem.

This video story is obviously beyond her poem. It’s more about the need for more and more survivors to come out in open and speak up about what happened to them, without any shame or taboo. Yes, it’s not easy to speak up but it’s a viscous cycle – if the survivors don’t speak up every time they go through this, it will help sustain the existing rape / sexual violence culture and that will keep making it more difficult for the next batch of abuse victims. This is why, the cycle has to be broken. And that’s what CLIMB does.

If the survivors don’t speak up every time they go through this, it will help sustain the existing rape / sexual violence culture.

The idea to organize climbing expeditions is to give back to the abuse survivors, a sense of ownership of their own bodies, which can help them open up. When they are not organizing climbs, the members of this non-profit (spread across the globe – mostly young folks who also have their day jobs) help find survivors and then encourage them to share their stories (via blogposts, videos, workshops, talk sessions etc).

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If you are a sexual abuse survivor, please share your story with CLIMB – info@climbagainstsexualabuse.com . If you were lucky enough to never suffer abuse yourself, do remember that statistically one in every 3 women suffers sexual abuse once in her lifetime (men too; don’t have the statistics with me right now) – so may be if you share this story, some of your friends might get inspired to do the right thing – share their story (in spite of the societal conditions where victim-blaming, gender policing, false notion of manliness and several other factors make it so difficult for them to do so). And you might be so surprised, how many people around you have stories to share!

You could also go to the CLIMB site and donate for the next expedition that they are planning (Mt. Kilimanjaro).

If you run a site and want to embed this video there, give me a buzz (amrit.vatsa@gmail.com and I will share the embed link – without which the video might not appear on your site because of its privacy settings; I will also let you know how to offer credits).

Video footage acknowledgements: CNN and eNCA.

I should also thank Poonam, the co-founder of CLIMB, who patiently answered my questions (which I sent to her over email) and her husband who recorded it so that I could use some of the footage, to create this story. CLIMB needs all the support they can – go for it!

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