#BREAKFREE Week One: Shame
As part of our nine week campaign to #BREAKFREE from the crap that’s holding us back, we’re dedicating the next seven days to the discussion of violence against women - and the way we talk about those who have experienced it…
Shame. The hot, thick, heavy feeling that makes you want to cover up, close your eyes and apologise for who you are, what you’ve done, or what you didn’t say.
Shame says ‘It’s my fault’, ‘I brought this on myself’, ‘I asked for this’. It says, ‘I’ve let myself down’. Or, ‘I could have done more’.
Shame is what makes you tug your skirt round your knees when you catch the man on the bus staring at your legs. It makes you say sorry to your boyfriend for pissing him off, after he’s the one that lost his temper. After he’s the one who raised his hand.
Shame is the feeling when you leave a male friend’s room at a party and everyone jeers – at you, that is – then pats him on the back. It’s what stops you from telling the barman your drink was spiked. It’s not like he’d believe you after the five tequila shots, right?
Shame is when you said yes to fingering but no to anything more – then you feel him go ahead anyway, and your mouth suddenly forgets how, or when, to scream.
It’s when you’re told ‘it’s a pity there isn’t more evidence’.
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