Flash mob against silencing abuse gathers momentum in Ukrainian Facebook segment
A flash mob against silencing abuse gathers momentum in Ukrainian Facebook segment.
The action was launched by social activist, journalist Anastasiya Melnychenko. She published her personal stories related to abuse and harassment by men and called on other women to publish their similar experience under a hashtag #яНеБоюсьСказати (I am not afraid to tell).
“I do not want us to find excuses like ‘I was walking down the street in my trainers but I was, nevertheless, caught.’ We do not have to find excuses. We are not guilty, a rapist is ALWAYS guilty,” Melnychenko wrote.
Later, Anastasiya also urged men, who were victims of abuse, to join a flash mob.
The first story is the story of Melnychenko herself:
“I was 6-12 years old. A relative comes to us. He likes to put me on his lap. Once, when I became a teenager, he wants to kiss me on my lips. I run away.
…. I am 13 years old. I walk along Khreshchatyk Street, downtown Kyiv. Suddenly, a man, who is coming towards me, sharply changes the trajectory and snaps between my legs from behind. He grabs me and picks up on his arms. I am in such a shock that I just do not know how to react. A man let me go and continues walking.
I’m 21 years old. I broke up with a psychopath (a real, clinical), but forgot an embroidered shirt of my grandfather at his apartment, which he borrowed. I went to his home. He grabbed me, stripped me by force and tied to the bed. He did not rape me. He “simply” hurt me physically. I felt helplessly as I cannot change the situation. He took photos of me and threatened to put them on the Internet. I’m afraid of talking about what he did to me for a long time because I’m afraid of pictures on the internet…. “
“Sometimes, we should make private public to change social norms,” Melnychenko wrote.
In comments below her post and in individual publications, girls told stories of strange people and friends who raped them; teachers, neighbors and relatives who showed their genitals; classmates who mocked them; colleagues and chiefs at work who harassed them.
“I was 8 years old. I was returning home, a boy of 25 years old joined me in the elevator. Under the pretext of a so-called check that should have taken place at school, he got me to the last floor of the house where we lived, took to the attic and raped there,” the flash mob participant wrote.
“I graduated from the university (Poltava University of Economics and Trade) and stayed there to work. I was a young professor of 22 years old. I went to head of my department (Marketing Department) and my thesis supervisor Vasyl Perebyinis who was in his sixties. He listened to some of my questions, and then suddenly grabbed, closed the door and began to kiss me. I ran away. I was crying for long time. A couple of weeks later, I decided to speak with senior management. They said: ‘you have such beautiful breasts we themselves would like to touch them.’ I did not write my thesis...” another woman told.
“A neighbor, showing his penis, and I, 4-years-old child, who climbed up to the window and closed the curtains to hide. I was studying in the second grade when a man ran into the house entrance and grabbed me between the legs. A surgeon who was to examine the injured tailbone, but he seemed to decide to play a gynecologist and examined me vaginally, hands without gloves, without nurses, for 15 minutes… An old moron, who was trying to rape me in the train compartment all night long; another neighbor in the compartment who climbed on my shelf and tried to get into all the places; a friend, whom I had known for many years, I stayed at his apartment for a night after a party and he decided to have a friendly sex with me… In all cases when the men claimed on me, I was most struck by their self-confidence as if I should have been happy they raping me,” another girl shared.
The men also gave their examples of abuse.
“I am a man, I’m 37 years old. When I was 11, an old man tried to seduce me. He lied in my bed to sleep with me. I ran away when he started to touch me. Sex did not happen. Molestation of children is disgusting, sex coercion is unworthy. Not only women can suffer. A woman can be a victim and a rapist. Or an accomplice,” a man wrote.
“I have been harassed since my childhood. When I was 5 years old, a man in St. Petersburg dragged me into the house entrance, stripped, touched, but not raped, apparently he failed, the entrance was next to our house. I put my clothes on and returned home, but said nothing, I was ashamed.
A similar thing happened when I was 11 years old, in a car with older guys. They showed their penises, threatened, but were overexcited and frightened, I was safe again. Further sex life was not good again, with real psychological violence.
While I was searching for work, an older woman offered me to have sex in exchange for a job. I agreed. Then her husband came to the office in a wrong time,” another man told.