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New website – “I am someone”

Written By: - Date published: 3:49 pm, November 14th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: crime, john key, police, Social issues, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Looks like some of my friends are getting serious about making sure that having dickheads around like the duo of JT and Willie, prevaricators like John Key  and the incredibly slack police response get a better idea about what is at stake…

This press statement on scoop

Stories of Harassment and Sexual Violence Go Live On Web

A social media campaign to raise awareness about rape culture in New Zealand has led to the creation of I AM SOMEONE, a website for people’s experiences of harassment or abuse. It was the victim blaming in some of the coverage of the ‘roastbusters’ rape allegations that spurred the social media campaign, set to happen this Friday, where people will take to twitter, Facebook and blogs to share their stories.

The aim of I AM SOMEONE is to raise awareness of how wide-spread harassment, objectification and sexual violence are and to give voice to the people who’ve had these experiences.

Organiser Meg Bates says when she spoke with friends about the recent rape allegations several of them had ‘near miss’ stories or spoke of others they knew who had been affected by sexual violence. “I wanted people to understand it’s not about what we wear or if we’re drunk. It’s about a culture that says it’s ok to objectify people sexually and not take consent seriously. We need to change that culture.”

As people joined I AM SOMEONE the demand for a more permanent record of their stories became apparent and here Jasmine Gray stepped up to help. “This is a topic I care very deeply about. My own story is on the website and I wanted to make sure other survivors have a space to share if they feel able. We are strong and together we can change victim blaming rape-culture.”

For further information the facebook event can be found here https://www.facebook.com/events/1422866911263436/1423480917868702/?notif_t=like

And the website is www.IamSomeonenz.wordpress.com *TRIGGER WARNING*

H/T  Meg

48 comments on “New website – “I am someone” ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Thsnks for this lyn

  2. Roy 2

    A number of horrific stories there already.

  3. chris73 3

    Well I’ve a read few and I’ve got to say its quite heavy going

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Step up man. We have to do something about our brothers and fathers and sons and uncles and nephews and peers and mates. You and me included.

      A fundamental, philosophical commitment to change what it means to be male.

      • chris73 3.1.1

        I’ve done what I can when I can, if I’m out and me and the missus notice something not quite right she steps in no worries with me providing back up (not because I wouldn’t just that shes more perceptive at noticing things like that)

      • BM 3.1.2

        Hey pal, don’t to lump other peoples bull shit on me.

        It’s a shame these woman have had a bit of a bum deal , but the issue lies the the arsehole that caused the pain not the whole of man kind.

        • McFlock 3.1.2.1

          You just told any rapist who reads that comment that the sum of his crime is “a bit of a bum deal”.

          You’re a fuckwit who makes rapists feel better about what they do.

        • miravox 3.1.2.2

          So if your daughter, niece, granddaughter (or son, nephew or grandson) was at risk from an uncle, brother, neighbour, your workmate, sports coach or grandfather, you’d do nothing, because that’s other people’s shit?

          Don’t imagine that someone on that list who had designs on a young girl, or boy, wouldn’t do anything because they know you’d get them for it, would stop them. If your daughter etc. knew that was your way of handling things, you wouldn’t find out anyway. Because as well as feeling responsible for being abused they’d also feel responsible for putting the abuser at risk. It’s complicated, but that’s the way it sometimes happens.

        • Tracey 3.1.2.3

          Do you really mean this BM???We’re all part of this all of us. Are you not outraged that 1 in 3 women/girls in NZ will be sexually abused in the their lifetime? About 61 people aremurdered each year in this country, and most kiwis are more concerned about that then the huge number of women/girls (and boys/men) sexually abused.

          If everyone behaves as though it’s someone elses issue it will continue because that is how people have treated it to date.

          It seems incredibly mean spirited and small minded.

          • BM 3.1.2.3.1

            I have an issue with this “all Men are in some way at fault and need to own it” mindset.
            Facts are a very very small group of individuals are doing the raping and killing etc.

            If I stumbled across some guy attacking another Woman I’d do my best to bust his skull in, the same as what the vast majority of Men would do in the same situation.
            Tarring all Men with the rapist brush is not at all productive.

            It’s a bit like saying to Maori, “Hey Maori you’re grossly over represented in the crime stats do something about it, we’re all suffering over here because of you, get it sorted,you bastards.

            What would happen then is the vast majority Maori who are good citizens would justifiably get a bit angry and say something like

            Hey pal, don’t to lump other peoples bull shit on me.
            It’s a shame all these people have had a bit of a bum deal , but the issue lies the the arsehole that caused the pain not the whole of Maoridom.

            • weka 3.1.2.3.1.1

              No-one is tarring all men as rapists. That’s your shit dude. Pay attention to what is really being said here, you might learn something.

            • Tracey 3.1.2.3.1.2

              it is NOT a very small small group of individuals committing sexual assaults BM.

              About 61 are murdered each year, give or take…. thousands of sexual assaults are committed each year by hundred and thousands of different perpetrators.

              I know you thinkt hat women are already equal BM, you and I have contested that before BUT you cannot challenge the stat that suggest that 1 in 3 or 4 females in NZ will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime… That’s 25 to 33% of half the population. That maes for ALOT of perpetrators. Over 90% never charged with anything.

            • Meg 3.1.2.3.1.3

              Around the web on blogs, fb etc much of the reaction to the IamSomeone blog is ‘just read a bit of that site, stories are too horrific’, ‘it’s very heavy going’. This is a very small and very ordinary selection of NZers that have contributed to this site. Some, while posting anonymously, have shared with me who they are. They are Someone and actually probably someone you all know. These stories may be hard for people to read but imagine what it’s like for people that live this reality everyday with those stories in their head shaping them/their relationships. They are not other. We are all present in these stories whether as the ‘victim’ ‘the perpetrator’ ‘the mother’ ‘the bystander’ ‘the boyfriend/girlfriend we had to tell’ ‘the work colleagues who joke about rape in our presence’. #IamSomeonenz

              The above is what I posted on facebook BM. If you think no-one but ‘rapists’ have responsibility for ‘rape culture’ then I don’t think you understand the concept. Ever told a joke it which rape is funny? Talked about ‘pounding a woman’ or some other slang for sex? Turned a blind eye when a mate has zeroed in on a very drunk woman and convinced her to go home with him? It’s all rape culture. We’re all part of it and it’s all up to us to change it.

          • just saying 3.1.2.3.2

            In the various debates on the webs, I’ve been interested in women talking about “near-misses”. I wonder how many (if any) females get to 20 without dealing with numerous situations in which they were sexually harrassed by creepy men as they just went about their ordinary life; walking along the street in their school uniform, the boss at their after school job, friend of the family, guy on the bus, high school art teacher, friend of boyfriend…..

            Successfully managed these incidences aren’t “assaults” but they form the unacknowedged backdrop to teaching girls and young women to live their lives around the fear of “Schrodinger’s Rapist”, to know their place in the pecking order of life.

            Btw, all the examples above are from the “wallpaper” of my own teen years.

            • Chooky 3.1.2.3.2.1

              +1 just saying ….very good points …about “near misses”….

              ….women live in fear , to one degree or another, even if they have never been assaulted or raped…and generally have had very good relationships with the males in their lives

              …..Patriarchal society creates for women a climate of power , control, exploitation, and fear

              ….the only solution imo is for women to control their own independence , means of production …and aim to create a Matralinal society

              ….also dare I say it ….. the power of women is enormous ( 50% of the worlds population)…we do most of the work ( much of it unpaid or poorly paid , we are exploited shamelessly ) …..and if we could just organize and withhold favours and support for the Patriarchy …we would be a force for huge change for ourselves and our children

              ….we might even save Gaia…Papatuanuku, our Mother Earth

  4. weka 4

    On Friday, it’s #IAmSomeone Day across NZ (but hey, the world can join in too). The idea is simple, you tweet, facebook, instagram, tumblr, Google+ (I’m not sure, is it a thing? Do people even use it?) etc your experiences of sexual violence. Be it personal or friends & family (respect people’s privacy obviously). Whether it’s near misses, feeling threatened, the attitudes of people in your community or personal experiences.

    Rape culture is news to some, but so many have experienced it for so long. It’s time to add some human faces to the commentary to show how wide spread this hideous phenomena is.

    @NZSexism, the NZ branch of Everyday Sexism will be RTing everything using that hashtag, so follow them to see what others are saying. If you like the idea of documenting sexism- check out the Everyday Sexism project, which has had huge success doing exactly that.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/11/14/iamsomeone-this-friday/

    http://iamsomeonenz.wordpress.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1422866911263436/?source=1

  5. Debbie 5

    I have mixed feelings about this website.

    Mostly, I can’t help but worry that a certain type of person would actually get off on reading these. Most people would feel shock, horror, empathy for these victims – but the type of person who gets aroused by fear and by controlling another person would probably have a rather different reaction.

    I just don’t like the thought that these girls/women’s trauma could become a source of sexual pleasure for some sicko.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      Yeah, I agree.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Lanth, would you prefer that women didn’t make their stories public? What effect do you think that would have on the women and society at large?

        • Meg 5.1.1.1

          Sickos will find whatever they like online anyway. Don’t silence people who want to be heard because of that.

          • Lanthanide 5.1.1.1.1

            How many websites are there really out there that tell honest, warts-and-all stories of true-life rapes?

            I would have thought not many, which is why this new one was set up.

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I reckon that says something.
              Rapists are human, and my guess is that most of them like to minimise the harm they cause.

              This goes from pretending that it was a “bit of a bum deal” and that the survivor should just get over it, to literally believing that an act that starts out as rape will result in the unwilling party “enjoying it” after a bit of struggling.

              Pop fiction (especially twenty or more years ago) reinforces the “minimal harm” message – all the way up to Goldfinger, where James Bond’s magical rapiness results in Pussy Galore turning to the “good” side, going to the feds and thwarting the entire plan, because all she needed was Bond to show her what a real man can force her to do.

              The common thread in IAS memories is the ongoing harm that continues even fropm “near miss” attacks.
              So maybe the “warts and all” stories will help ruin that fantasy for those rapists who read it. And the few who get off on genuine pain – well, there are probably people in the world who get off on a recipe for banana cupcakes. If we avoided doing anything that might make some abnormal sex drive swing into gear, nobody would do anything. And somebody would still get off on the boredom.

        • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2

          Did I say it should be shut down? No. I said I agreed with what Debbie said.

          • weka 5.1.1.2.1

            No you didn’t. I was asking if you prefered that women didn’t tell their stories publicly. It was a genuine question.

            • Lanthanide 5.1.1.2.1.1

              I don’t have a preference either way. I just find this particular forum for posting those stories somewhat troubling.

              • weka

                Do you mean online?

                • Lanthanide

                  I mean in a manner where sicko’s will be able to get off on it. But I don’t know what can be done to avoid that problem without also severely curtailing the entire point of the project.

    • King Kong 5.2

      I made this same point yesterday and was thoroughly admonished for it.

      I guess Debbie is a perpetrator of rape culture as well.

      • weka 5.2.1

        If you can’t see the difference between how Debbie raised this issue and how you did, then there is something really wrong with you.

    • 40 years later 5.3

      I agree,I can’t face reading these comments.
      But I will comment that women in the police force should work with the victim not men.
      At 14 years having an internal examination by a medical male police officer was as bad as the rape.

  6. Tracey 6

    Debbie

    This is my take on your conerns and the site

    The people you talk about are getting off on things anyway such is the availability online.

    I posted my story yesterday because if 1 woman or girl reads it and realises it’s not their fault, and to tell someone, not even to bring someone to justice but to get the girl or woman the help she needs to put her life back together then the website wouldhave served a purpose.

    I was a bit annoyed this morning to hear TV3 describe the marches as “against the roastbusters”. It’s made me think twice about going.

    I want to march to show all VICTIMS that they are not alone, that support is available. And to let NZers know that this is a HUGE problem in NZ. I dont want to be part of a single focus on the roastbusters who have so far been found guilty of nothing.

    • weka 6.1

      “I was a bit annoyed this morning to hear TV3 describe the marches as “against the roastbusters”. It’s made me think twice about going.”

      Please don’t let ignorant people like those at TV3 affect your choices 🙂 How do you feel about the information that the march organisers are putting out? Is that something you are attracted to? I’ve seen varying organisers with different takes on it. Will try and post some links later so we can see where all the marches are and where they are coming from.

      • miravox 6.1.1

        +1.

        If I was there, I’d go. I’ll wear a teal ribbon, and a blue one, anyways, as an affirmation of what you’re doing.

        • weka 6.1.1.1

          National Day of Action Against Rape Culture.

          Bust Rape Culture Now are a group of community organisations and members of public who have come together out of concern over the unacceptable handling of the Roast Busters case.

          On Saturday November 16th at 2pm we will be marching from Britomart to Myers Park as part of the National Day of Action Against Rape Culture. We are calling on our communities and government to start taking rape seriously and lead initiatives that support our survivors and initiate a culture shift.

          • We want rape crisis centres adequately and sustainably funded.
          • We want educational programmes that focus on prevention and awareness.
          • We want the police to put measures in place to allow for better support of survivors.
          • We want the Law Commission report into pre-trial and trial processes for sexual assault victims to be reinstated immediately.
          • We want implementation of recommendations by TOAH-NNest and Wellington Rape Crisis

          Roast Busters is not an isolated incident. These demands would help reverse the current public health crisis where one in every four women and one in every eight men in this country are affected by sexual violence, transgender people and people of colour most of all.

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1311/S00124/national-day-of-action-against-rape-culture.htm

          Karol has a good round up of the events here

          National day of action against rape culture: 16 Nov

    • fender 6.2

      “I was a bit annoyed this morning to hear TV3 describe the marches as “against the roastbusters”. It’s made me think twice about going.”

      Don’t let that deter you, take the opportunity to tell TV3 off at the same time with a banner like: TV3 called it a march against roast-busters, but it’s not, I’m marching against rape culture!!!

  7. Debbie 7

    Hi Tracey

    I did start reading some of it yesterday through a Facebook link… I had to stop. It upset me to read.

    I’m not sure. Perhaps it will help some victims. I know I always feel like it will sicken people if I tell them what I went through. Even years on, I find it quite easy to tell someone I was raped. But the details are revolting.

    Again I don’t know. I was lucky I guess, it was a stranger so it didn’t impact on any of my family relationships in the same way that it would if it were an uncle or stepfather or something. But even so it did cause issues with my father for some time, like he couldn’t hug me or touch me afterwards. Like he suddenly saw me differently. That was hard. It’s all better now. But it was hard back then.

    Or even how do you talk to a new partner about it? I had one ex who was super sympathetic, you can tell me anything he said, I’m here to listen. Turned out he got off on it. Hence my initial reaction to this website. On the other hand, the majority of my exs have actually been through sexual abuse themselves. Somehow I think I feel a deeper trust or affinity with someone who has also been through it. You don’t need to tell or explain how it affects you, cos they just know.

    Perhaps some kind of forum. Where survivors could not just tell their stories, but talk about the impact together. How to deal, how to build trust again, how to go on afterwards. Support each other. Are there even support group for people who want to meet with others? I’ve done heaps of counselling over the years but never heard of any support group, maybe that is something we could look into?

    • miravox 7.1

      “even how do you talk to a new partner about it?”

      I didn’t. I told my partner last night about some of my experience because of what I’ve written on this blog – he reads it occasionally, so I thought I’d better. We’ve been together for more than 20 years. He took it well, I think, but he’s always known there are things I don’t talk about.

      I think I’d be more comfortable with recounting the events in a passworded site – so yeah some kind of forum would suit me better, if I was going to tell the story. But good on the organisers and others who are able to tell their stories. It’s important for some people to know this stuff is not unusual, and it will definitely help others to have a voice.

    • Tracey 7.2

      I totally gt your perspective. In my story its the first time I have ever written the actual details and even then not all. I have NEVER told anyone the minute details.

      As for your ex partner, that’s the bit BM is not getting and why MOST men are involved not just the perpetrator. There are those who have your reaction, those who think their partner is somehow tainted, and those who think their partner must have done something to encourage it or enjoyed it.

    • weka 7.3

      I think the value of the website is that for the women that can, telling their stories brings this out into the light so that things can be healed at a cultural level. People don’t talk about this, despite it affecting so many people (survivors and their families and friends, workplaces etc). In order for society to deal with rape and misogyny we have to make it visible. I think the website will be shocking to many people, but I hope that after that they will start to think more seriously and sensitively about the whole thing.

      I also think that it’s very important that women have a choice here. Women can choose to have their stories public or they can choose not to, whichever they are comfortable with (although I acknowledge that some women might want to tell their stories but not be able to).

      (I also want to acknowledge that it’s not just women, but trans people and men as well. Because the numbers of women abused is so large, it makes sense to let us have our voices specifically).

      I’d really like to thank the people that have shared their personal stories in the past week on ts. This has given the whole rape culture debate more depth and realness. I’m sorry that in amongst that there’s been shit to deal with from some commenters, but kia kaha for standing your ground. Very impressive.

  8. just saying 8

    http://pantograph-punch.com/a-simple-acknowledgement/
    from ‘The Pantograph Punch’ hat tip – “The Hand Mirror’

    In the continuing conversation, this post is an important one imo, and relevant to how the conversation unfolds on sites such as this one. Difficult to choose an excerpt, it needs to be read in full. But:

    But every time the conversation starts up in the office again, I fall silent. No one has asked me why that is; I’m not sure what I’d tell them. I haven’t left any comments on my friends’ posts. I watch some of my male friends and colleagues doing brave, admirable things; setting great examples for others – especially for other men – and reaping a lot of praise in liberal circles for it, too. And I support all of that. So why do I feel so minimised, so silenced by this conversation that’s going on? Why do I feel like the voices I’m hearing the least are those of survivors, while people loudly jumping on the feminism 101 bandwagon for the first time in their lives are praised for being so enlightened? And why, in the case of some of my friends who I see propping up rape culture and patriarchy with one hand while condemning those nasty West Auckland alleged rapists (or J.T., or Willie, or Bob Jones) with the other, do I feel so cynical about whether this issue’s going to last as hashtag material for their Twitter feeds beyond the end of this week? Why do I feel like many of those having this conversation don’t realise that for some of us, alleged rape is not just a news story; it’s a reality we have to wake up to every day for the rest of our lives?

    • weka 8.1

      thanks js, that is an important read. I’m kind of speechless now.

    • King Kong 8.2

      She makes an interesting point about a lot of these blokes who are mincing around on this subject like the second coming of Germaine Greer. A large number of them will be using this “I’m a male feminist” act in order to get laid or at the very least score some brownie points with their bird.

      Watch out for it ladies…it’s very creepy.

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