Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Year of The Hairy Truth

So it's been exactly a year and two days since I officially embarked on my adventure of not only fundraising for the UK charity Rape Crisis but raising awareness of the consequences of being on the receiving end of sexual violence and campaigning to bring an end to rape and sexual assault.

It's been a rather interesting year to say the least. I've gone on to not only shave off & cut off my hair but I've spoken to Bucks Free Press and Fabulous magazine about my efforts, spoken with other survivors and have tried my best to help others in my situation. I raised over £1000 thus far for Rape Crisis. I've managed to achieve a little to say the least.

However I can do way, way more. I fully intend to.

2015 is going to be in with more fundraising. I'm embarking on my 30/30 challenge during April/May which'll see me go on many challenges including hosting a nerd quiz night, fasting for a day and busking to celebrate the end and the beginning. I am going to try and speak out more whether it's in publications or maybe hosting talks about my own experiences. I am also going to start a Tag The Bag where I can try and get well known people to cover a suitcase with their autographs then auction off to raise money again for Rape Crisis.

This is only the beginning point of my journey. Let's see what the next 12 months will bring.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Monday, 8 December 2014

Assistance Wanted: The 30/30 Challenge

This is a shout-out for assistance with my 30/30 Challenge in 2015.

As you may know, I am embarking on doing 30 charity challenges over 30 days in April/May 2015 to once again raise money for Rape Crisis. I cannot do some of these challenges all alone. I'm going to need help.

Here's a re-cap on the challenges I want to do and the dates they fall on:

  1. Busking in Cardiff in Doctor Who cosplay (Saturday 4th April 2015)
  2. Cinnamon challenge (Sunday 5th April 2015)
  3. The Weetabix challenge (Monday 6th April 2015)
  4. Nerd quiz night (Tuesday 7th April 2015)
  5. Swimming laps challenge - swim as many laps as I can in the space of an hour (Wednesday 8th April 2015)
  6. The doughnut licking challenge (Thursday 9th April 2015)
  7. Bike machine challenge - cycle as far as I can on a bike machine in the space of an hour (Friday 10th April 2015)
  8. Eating contest - eat soup, main meal and pudding as quick as I can against competitors (Saturday 11th April 2015)
  9. Wear nothing but purple day challenge (Sunday 12th April 2015)
  10. Twilight 'Take Back The Night' challenge (Monday 13th April 2015)
  11. A night of Monopoly challenge (Tuesday 14th April 2015)
  12. Paint eggs challenge - paint as many eggs as I can in the space of an hour (Wednesday 15th April 2015)
  13. Chunky Monkey challenge (Thursday 16th April 2015)
  14. Sourz Shots challenge (Friday 17th April 2015)
  15. Nude calender challenge (Saturday 18th April 2015)
  16. Cross-dressing fundraising party (Sunday 19th April 2015)
  17. Fasting challenge - eat nothing & only drink water for 1 day (Monday 20th April 2015)
  18. Spelling Bee event (Tuesday 21st April 2015)
  19. No swearing day (Wednesday 22nd April 2015)
  20. Chicken nugget challenge (Thursday 23rd April 2015)
  21. Cocktail challenge - make as many cocktails as I can in the space of an hour (Friday 24th April 2015)
  22. Ice bucket challenge (Saturday 25th April 2015)
  23. No talking day (Sunday 26th April 2015)
  24. Blindfold make-up challenge (Monday 27th April 2015)
  25. Happy Meal challenge (Tuesday 28th April 2015)
  26. Book challenge - read as many books as I can in the space of 8 hours (Wednesday 29th April 2015)
  27. Teddy bear picnic challenge (Thursday 30th April 2015)
  28. Bathe in a bath of soup for at least an hour (Friday 1st May 2015)
  29. Coffee morning hosted by cosplayers (Saturday 2nd May 2015)
  30. Busking in High Wycombe in Disney cosplay (Sunday 3rd May 2015)
Whether you want to participate in the nerd quiz, busk in cosplay or simply tuck into one of my cocktails please get in touch and let me know what you'd be interested in participating in. If you know people who may be interested, share the blog post and get the word out. I'll be setting up a JustGiving page in January so fundraising can begin for the whole 30 days. Anyone who participates will be credited for their assistance.

My 2014 fundraising challenge

I'm fundraising for Rape Crisis because I very much believe in their cause. Sexual assault and rape is a massive problem, funding from the government is not enough to cover the demand for help and we need to get the message out there that it is NEVER EVER justified to use sexual violence on anyone no matter who they are.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Repressed Memories

Just when you think you know everything... you realise you don't.

This has been an excruciating blog post for me to write. It has been a tough thing to discuss partly because I'm still trying to process it. I'm still trying to deal with it and just thinking about it has caused pretty bad anxiety attacks. The memory is raw and the flashbacks are brutal. Having said that, the entire point of baring my soul and telling my story is to not only help others in my position but raise awareness of the consequences of sexual violence and bring it to an end.

Just under two months ago I uncovered a lost traumatic memory relating to an experience of sexual violence. I'm not going to go into graphic detail as to what it is, when it happened and who was involved because I can hardly bring myself to acknowledge it happened at all. I'm struggling to power through writing this paragraph against shaking hands, a tight chest and a terrified heart. It temporarily turned off any sense of libido - in fact the idea of being touched was disgusting for a brief period. I struggled to leave the comfort of my bed, let alone the house. It totally threw off my appetite and I only ate because I essentially forced myself. In myself I felt increasingly isolated because I felt incapable of articulating my thoughts and feelings in a way that would make anyone begin to understand. I also started feeling disgusting and as if no one is going to want to go anywhere near me.

In this current point in time, I am feeling better but some days are a genuine struggle. Some days are so hard I really struggle to see a point. Other days I can keep going and feel genuinely good about other things and it doesn't really enter my mind. Discussing everything with my psychotherapist has helped significantly. Whilst I'm still having a tough time dealing with the raw emotions, I am determined to not let it stop me living my life, raising awareness of sexual violence or fundraising for Rape Crisis. It's just under 4 months till I start my 30/30 Challenge. Onwards and upwards.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Pick-Up Artists/YouTubers Whose Tactics Assault Women & Why Dating Scares Me

There have been some unfortunately prominent people made known on the internet who have used sexual harassment and sexual assault as comedy and/or means to pull women. Whether it's Sam Peper and his 'social experiment' videos, the character Dapper Laughs whose ITV show was thankfully cancelled after outrage was sparked or the despicable Julien Blanc who charges men hundreds of pounds a session to teach them that the way to get with women is through abuse whether it's emotional or physical. He was due to give lessons in the United Kingdom but relief came from the Home Office because they rejected his VISA. There are people who are disgusted by people like Pepper, Dapper Laughs and Blanc but there are plenty others who will enable and defend their antics. It can be pretty scary especially when you're a survivor of rape and sexual assault and you're looking into the world of dating.

As I already said I'm single. If I had to categorise my sexuality I would say I'm pansexual and I engage in polyamory so it can be difficult to find like-minded people let alone people who'd be empathetic to my experiences. I don't need a romantic relationship but some company at times would be nice. I do have giant reservations with dating for a variety of reasons but a part of it definitely lies in these dangerous scumbags who go around assaulting/harassing women and act as if that's supposed to be a turn on. I have been through a lot during my short time on this planet. I would really rather not endure it ever again. I would rather nobody went through it no matter what. The idea of meeting someone is daunting enough but made all the scarier that they may turn around and abuse me as a means of winning me over with a high chance they'll get away with it. Having said that, that doesn't mean every person is going to do that. I've been on dates and thus far I've not had one incident where someone has tried to force me into anything.

It's terrifying but in accordance with a quote I posted in the last blog post, sometimes you've got to face fear in the face and do what you're most scared of doing. If I don't face my fear, I might lose out on meeting people who could bring me a lot of happiness. As much as I must be careful, I've still got to live my life.

To keep safe, here's a tip I use for every date especially if I'm meeting the person for the first time: always have a POC (Person Of Contact). This is someone reliable who you can text who'll be able to raise the alarm in case anything goes wrong. Let them know your plans ahead of time then text them when you arrive at the location, at the end of the date, if you move to a new location but most importantly if you get into trouble. As much as you may be perfectly capable to look after yourself, having someone remote as back-up never hurts. If you are attacked, contact the emergency services and alert whoever your POC is so they can also contact the authorities and bring the attacker to justice and punishment.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Monday, 10 November 2014

Some words to live by

I've just returned to my 'proper job' today after being off for just over two months on sick leave. I was super anxious over it and was pretty close to not going but I stuck it out and I'm glad I did because it went way better than I thought it would. There are two picture quotes I want to share to help anyone else in my position of anxiety over facing people. Here's one relating to other people's judgements:

The second one is particularly important to me. As I continue therapy, I am facing giant demons I have always been absolutely terrified of dealing with. I am dealing with major, major issues and there's no guarantees however I feel I am doing the right thing. I feel by going through therapy and doing this fundraising & raising awareness about sexual assault and rape, I am not only helping myself but setting the way to hopefully help others in my position. Hopefully I can help change the world for the better all because I chose to look at fear in the face.

Less than 5 months to go until I begin the 30/30 Challenge. I will be keeping you all updated with the preparations. Those that require events being organised will have final details announced soon!

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Thursday, 30 October 2014

The 30/30 Challenge

Since August when I announced my intention to do 30 charity challenges in 30 days, I've been picking my brains over what challenges I'm going to do and when I was going to do it.

A pretty good representation of what I looked like most of the time

After going back & forth, asking for suggestions and surfing feverishly through the internet I have finally come up with all of the challenges I will embark on during the 30/30 challenge. Here they are:

1. Busking in Cardiff in Doctor Who cosplay
2. Cinnamon challenge
3. The Weetabix challenge
4. Nerd quiz night
5. Swimming laps challenge - swim as many laps as I can in the space of 1 hour
6. The doughnut licking challenge
7. Bike Machine challenge - cycle as far as I can on a bike machine in the space of 1 hour
8. Eating contest - eat soup, main meal and pudding as quick as I can against competitors
9. Wear nothing but Purple day challenge
10. Twilight 'Take Back The Night' challenge
11. A night of Monopoly challenge
12. Paint eggs challenge - paint as many eggs as I can in the space of 1 hour
13. Chunky Monkey challenge
14. Sourz Shots challenge
15. Nude calender challenge
16. Cross-dressing fundraising party
17. Fasting challenge - eat nothing & only drink water for 1 day
18. Spelling bee event
19. No swearing day
20. Chicken nugget challenge
21. Cocktail challenge - make as many cocktails as I can in the space of 1 hour
22. Ice bucket challenge
23. No talking day
24. Blindfold make-up challenge
25. Happy Meal challenge
26. Book challenge - read as many books as as I can in the space of 8 hours
27. Teddy bear picnic challenge
28. Bathe in a bath of soup for at least 1 hour
29. Coffee Morning hosted by cosplayers
30. Busking in High Wycombe in Disney cosplay

I will begin the 30 day challenge on Saturday 4th April 2015 and will conclude on Sunday 3rd May 2015. I have to be filmed doing every challenge and there'll be a video on my personal YouTube channel which I will link to this blog as proof that I have completed each challenge. I will try and have information available about Rape Crisis (who I am raising the money for) ready to give out to spread the word about the charity and information about this blog, my story and a link to donate.

It's going to be a massive challenge for me to embark on and a massive demand but I am willing to do whatever it takes to raise money for this wonderful charity. I am as determined as ever to raise awareness of the growing problem of sexual assault and rape. Cutting and shaving off all of my hair was just the beginning.

Post hair shaving

Lots of love and solidarity as always <3 XXX

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Ched Evans Hasn't And Will Not Learn

The story of Ched Evans has appeared in the media since he was released from prison on 17th October 2014 after only serving 2 1/2 years of a 5 year prison sentence for rape. As much as I think commenting on issues relating to sexual assault and rape and stories in the media are important to cover on this blog, I didn't want to weigh in immediately on this story. Partially because I was away when it all kicked off, partly because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to comment but mostly because I wanted to see what happened. I wanted to see whether he made any apologies to the woman who survived what he did to her, whether he made any definitive statements about being in prison or said anything at all.

What did we get? An unremorseful man who is only interested in self-preservation and pity play who has learnt absolutely nothing. He is an unrepentant rapist. Evidence? A disgusting website he runs in his name proclaiming his innocence and has done from the beginning. What's worse than that is his pityful video statement he released 5 days after his release (interestingly, the comments section was disabled on the video. I wonder why?) I've decided to break down his statement and counter-argue some of his points.

'In May 2011, at a hotel in Wales, by cheating on my partner Natasha I hurt the woman I love with all my heart. Since that night I have constantly regretted my act of infidelity and the damage that has been done on so many fronts because of it.'
So the major thing he did wrong was cheat on his girlfriend? Not the fact that he took an extremely drunk woman away into a hotel room and did what he did to her whilst his mates were filming from outside.

'The application [referencing his appeal application] seeks to demonstrate that the act I engaged in on that night was consensual in nature and not rape.'
Well good luck arguing against the witness statement, the CCTV that demonstrated how horrendously drunk she was, the witnesses who testified to seeing her so drunk she couldn't maintain any reasonable balance or ability to walk properly, the DNA evidence.... I'm sure that'll work out! What does he propose as evidence - the sickening film footage his mates filmed of him?

'Now that I have served the custodial part of my sentence of two-and-a-half years it is my hope that I will be able to return to football. If that is possible then I will do so with humility, having learned a very painful lesson'
Your sentence was 5 years, not 2 1/2. Quite why he was released half-way through is beyond me considering that he is demonstrating absolutely no sense of remorse for what he did or any kind of empathy towards the survivor who he fails to acknowledge throughout his statement. He has learnt absolutely no lessons.

'I would like a second chance but I know that not everyone will agree. I don't believe I have a given right to play again but for any club to take me on, I have learned a valuable lesson and know that all the time I can prove myself to be a positive influence - not just on the pitch, but also in the community.'
A positive influence for what - self-pitying rapist scumbags and their wannabes? Seriously, what good has this man ever done that can bring about anything positive? I fail to see anything from the public record that would suggest he would be positive for anybody. I repeat: he has learnt absolutely no lessons.

The public reaction has been mixed. On the one hand, you have people supporting Ched Evans some of which who harassed the survivor who had to move away from her family and change her identity just to escape. On the other, over 150,000 people signed a petition to his former club Sheffield United asking them not to re-hire him. A patron of the club whose a survivor herself has threatened to quit the club if Evans returns. Rape Crisis, the charity I fundraise for, spoke out on the case before his statement was released. I would also like to quote a part of their statement as my final remark: there is only one victim in this case. It is not Ched Evans. It is the woman he raped.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Comfort Box

Three weeks ago I begun psychotherapy. I waited on the NHS waiting list for 7 months which is a pretty standard waiting time thanks in part to the very limited resources and continuous cuts by the Con-Dem government in the United Kingdom right now. I couldn't afford to pay for a private therapist on the very little I earn so I waited.

The wait is done. I've had three weekly sessions out of the twenty I have been given. It's been supremely scary in some respects because I know I really have to put the work in to deal with the issues I have. I am also hopeful because this is my chance to properly heal and make emotional and intellectual understandings of what I've dealt with and find a way to move forward so I can have good and bad days and stay afloat.

I can't comment on how well it's going because I've only really just started. One thing that has come up is my coping mechanisms, the way I deal with myself when I feel low and feel particularly bad. My current toolbox consists of self-punishment and harm. Whilst sometimes it can give minimal relief, it ultimately doesn't help me as a person. I know that in my head. It was suggested to me that I should get a box and make it a comfort box.

Phil the Autistm Awareness Bear pictured was too big for the box but he's included!

Fill it with things that make me feel good whether it's nice smells, things I like touching and whatever makes me feel nice. So far, my box looks like this:

I do need to fill it with a few more things but I think it's a good start. It'll be interesting to see whether this works or not but I felt it was such a good idea either way that I wanted to share this suggestion to the readers. If you're feeling bad and in need of comfort then surround yourself with things that feel good in every sense whether it's looking at something, listening to something, touching something, smelling something or tasting something. Have a Comfort Box full of these easy-to-access things and make sure you keep stocked up.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Monday, 13 October 2014

Patriarchy in a Proverb

I came across a patriarchy proverb on Tumblr today and it summarises the insanity that is the patriarchal attitudes towards rape and women in general. It perfectly sums up the attitude I'm trying to fight against.

Don’t be slutty, don’t have sex. But be sexy. If you’re too sexy though and you get raped, then that’s you’re own fault because you’re not actually supposed to listen to us about being sexy, even though we tell you your value is derived from how sexy you are. If you get into a position of power, we will assume that you used your sex appeal to get there and not your brains and we will mock you even though we told you the only thing that mattered was your sex appeal. Make yourself accessible to me, but holy shit stop being so desperate and needy. Don’t be a tease. If we want to have sex with you, don’t friendzone us, even though we just fucking told you not to have sex.

See what I mean about lack of logic? According to them, women are supposed to be there to please guys whenever they want at the click of a finger. They have to be sexy yet not sexy, want only them but not be 'needy', have sex with them if they want it but not have sex. It boggles my mind that anyone can support the patriarchal position especially when they blame rape survivors for what happened to them because "they deserve it". According to them, I deserved what happened to me. I'm betting they wouldn't have the guts to say that to my face because they're such "brave men" that they have to hide behind a keyboard, computer monitor, computer screen and mouse.

For as long as there are people who believe in the proverb, I will continue to talk about my experiences. I will continue to raise awareness, talk about my own journey and fight to make sure that people who go through what I've gone through get justice and the disgusting monsters who do it get their just desserts under the rule of the Law.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fabulous Magazine

Sunday 12th October 2014, I will be appearing in a feature article in Fabulous magazine. The article has been written by freelance journalist Kate Graham whose previous work has included interviewing Michelle Knight who was one of the women held hostage by Ariel Castro, Kaitlin Roig whose a Sandy Hook survivor and a survivor of the Children Of God cult. The article is about the factors that go into reporting rape and the criminal justice system in the United Kingdom.

Kate's website homepage. Seriously, check her stuff out. She's awesome!

So how did I get into it? I was approached personally after this blog had been found via a Google search. My Twitter handle was found, I was contacted and a Skype meeting was set up. Another Skype meeting and some emails later, I was notified that the article was going to print and should appear in the magazine on 12th October.

How do I feel about it? Scared but really enthusiastic. As much as I was very nervous, I knew this was something I wanted to do in whatever publication I could get my hands on (even if they didn't have the greatest record on womens issues.) Since I started this blog, I've always wanted to get the word out. I want people to read it and know my story. I want fellow survivors a resource that can give them a sense of understanding for what they may feel after their own ordeal. I want people who have never come across a survivor come across a blunt account of the difficult journey we face. I want people to become aware that rape and sexual assault are genuine issues with very damaging consequences that last a lifetime. Awareness and change are the two key goals in what I do. Sure, it's currently just a very small, far-out ripple in an ocean of content on the internet but that doesn't mean I'm just sat talking to a brick wall. Someone somewhere is reading and taking note.

I never thought I'd say these words but here they are; Sunday 12th October, go buy a copy of The Sun and read Fabulous magazine (you can't just buy the magazine on its own). Maybe this'll lead to something amazing. Maybe this will lead to nothing at all. I won't get anywhere by not trying my hardest.

If any other journalists/writers/supporters/readers etc. who wish to speak to me more about my journey or related issues, feel free to get in contact. I appear to be pretty easy. I'm open to contact from just about anyone. Disclaimer: abuse/trolling/harassment etc. will not be tolerated and if appropriate, will be reported.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Monday, 29 September 2014

Stomaching My Body

I've had issues with my body for many years. It's not even close to the most shocking thing about me and it's not unique to me either as many people have struggles with their body. It's no surprise that I do considering I spent my formative years being bullied relentlessly. There were many reasons for that but appearence was definitely in there. Anything you could bully someone for, I was bullied for. I was made to feel incredibly ugly and unattractive. I was just starting to heal some of those wounds and move past it when I was raped.

After I was raped I wanted to hide myself away not just by hiding in my bedroom but by concealing my body. I wore baggier things unless I was roped into wearing something more revealing. This only got worse post-miscarriage. I rarely wore make-up, dresses were scary and more critically I felt like the ugliest piece of shit that roamed the Earth. I still do. If I get told I'm attractive, I question why. I wonder what their ulterior motive is or whether they're trying to force me into something I don't want to do. Hell, the man who raped me spent weeks trying to get me to get with him despite my persistent refusals. What would make me think that anyone telling me I'm attractive is at all genuine? Because I sure as hell didn't believe it myself.

This has started to change. A chain of recent events have started to make me feel that maybe, just maybe, I'm not the ugliest thing in the world. I have the ability to be attractive and I believe in it. I've started to explore myself and my body which hasn't always been easy whilst enduring various medical tests for various medical problems.

One of the stickiest issues is showing off my abdomen area. I have a few issues with bloating and my weight due to having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It's made me insanely self-conscious even in the most intimate of settings and that only got worse after I had experienced pregnancy then the miscarriage. I had to confront it head-on when I went swimming recently. I didn't have a swimming costume and a friend very kindly lent me a bikini that just about fitted. I haven't worn a bikini in years, I felt scared to wonder out into a public arena in a bikini, my stomach out for show. I did it. I felt good not just from the exercise but from conquering and proudly wondering out in a challenging outfit. Sure, I could definitely get toned and get fit but hell it's a start.

Bikini selfie costs a few seconds. Body pride = Priceless

I even felt confident enough the next day to immediately reach for a dress, make myself look nice and wear a lot of jewellery. Why? Because I can if I want to. Does anyone else get to tell me what to wear? Nope.

Lots and love and solidarity <3 XXX

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Helpful Quote

I don't lie about my journey being simple. I'm glad I don't because whilst there are excruciating moments riddled with pain and misery I have had some incredible moments of joy. I have started to take the power and control back. The journey is not over.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An Open Letter to Sam Pepper & his fans (that he & they will probably never read)


I know the liklihood of this being read is incredibly small but I feel so motivated by the events that have unfolded recently with Sam Pepper's abhorrent videos that I think I have to say something if only for the benefit of the people who regularly read my blog.

I came across the disgusting "Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank." video on YouTube and I also came across several of the 'humourous' videos that have some consistent themes to them: sexually assaulting women for sick amusement whether it's with a fake hand or a lasso. Suffice to say not only a woman but as a survivor of rape and sexual assault I was beyond disgusted. I still am now. Sexual assault is not a laughing matter regardless of what point you're trying to make. Making a joke out of an issue that affects millions across the UK, let alone the world, is a poor choice to say the least.

I'm not alone in my disgust. Many people have taken to Twitter and Facebook to express their disgust, some of which (including a friend of mine) have ended up in debates with supporters who seem very keen to threaten violence against people who express disdain. Some YouTubers have signed an open letter asking that these videos should stop being made and taken down.

The response? A ridiculous and insincere video known as 'reveals' defending the pranks. There was a claim to want to shine a light on domestic abuse and I must give small credit for putting links to abuse information. However the video only talked about men being at the receiving end of abuse and men being the victims of assault as if that's the bigger problem. Yes, it's a problem too and yes it's bad HOWEVER there is a much, much bigger problem with women being sexually assaulted, raped and abused. In the UK alone 85,000 women are raped every year and 850,000 women are sexually assaulted. Women are targetted on an everyday basis. Both male and women-targetted abuse is something feminism wants to stop because funnily enough, unity is what feminism wants. Something that is not being understood by a certain Sam Pepper.

On a simple and serious brief point - what the bloody hell does domestic violence against men have anything to do with the videos of your fake hand touching arses or using a lasso to 'ensnare' women? Just asking.

Mr Pepper, you said yourself that you don't understand what it's like to be a woman whose been assaulted. Allow me to enlighten you as a survivor of both sexual assault and rape. It's abhorrent, extremely frightening and an isolating experience. You feel dirty, invaded and that feeling doesn't go away. It sticks and you feel like the world is an evil, glaring place. In the times where there are witnesses, they've either laughed or done nothing. My experiences have left me incredibly scarred. I'm struggling with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I sometimes cannot sleep for not only repeated flashbacks that scare the shit out of me but also for the fact that I was drugged and realised I was being raped whilst regaining consciousness. I have major issues with trust, intimacy and many other things. Sometimes I feel so scared and alone that I can't bear to get out from under my covers to venture out of my bedroom, let alone my house.

Is my pain funny? Are my experiences to be used for cheap comedy? Apparently so judging by the content of Sam Pepper's videos. You take delight in insighting misery upon women by assaulting and pressuring them. Clearly you find what I've gone through a source of amusement. Congratulations for catering to the sick demographic of internet users who are rape culture enablers.

I have one challenge for Sam Pepper and anybody who endorse what he did or think that making rape/sexual assault jokes - say it to my face. Come out of hiding from your keyboard and fake-bravado personas and tell me that my experiences are to be ridiculed and laughed at. I dare Sam Pepper to look at me in the eye and tell me the experiences of myself and many other survivors should be laughed at for enduring what we've had to endure. I bet he won't. Not because he's repentant because he isn't but because he's too cowardly. So are his supporters.

Many thanks for reading,

P.S. #WeSupportYouDottie

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Debunking the Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding rape and sexual assault perpetuated by the enablers, apologists and the attackers themselves to justify the culture that dictates blame where it doesn't belong. Myths are very damaging to survivors and they need to be not only addressed but debunked continuously until they stop. Without further a-do, I will list some of them now and debunk them with the facts.

Myth: Rape only happens to young, 'attractive' women
Fact: People are raped regardless of age, gender identity, class, sexuality, race etc. Sexual violence has very little to do with attractiveness because it's an act of violence.

Myth: They didn't get hurt or fight back. It couldn't have been rape.
Fact: Rapists often use threat of further violence or weaponry to intimidate their targets. Fear is incredibly powerful, powerful enough to limit the ability to fight back. Personally, I was absolutely paralyzed with fear when I came to that morning. I couldn't move out of fear and horror. It was rape through and through. I was pretty convinced I was going to die and in the face of that, I was scared beyond words. The fact I didn't feel able to fight back doesn't make it right. Rape is never justified.

Myth: Men of certain races/backgrounds are more likely to be sexually violent.
Fact: There is no typical shadowy figure who is likely to rape. The perpetuation that certain races rape more than others is nothing more than racist propaganda. There is no correlation between the incidence of rape and race, social economic class etc.

Myth: "I was under stress/drunk/depressed/on drugs/not myself."
Fact: There is no justification for rape ever no matter how much the rapist wishes to justify themselves. Rape is never justified.

Myth: "She was so intoxicated/unconscious."
Fact: If someone is unconscious or if their judgement is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they are legally unable to consent to sex. Having non-consensual sex with someone who is intoxicated or unconscious is rape. Rape is never justified.

Myth: "She was wearing 'slutty' clothes. She was asking for it."
Fact: Wrong. Men are able to wear whatever they wish, why is there a double-standard that means women can't do the same? Generally when the media reports on women being raped, the survivors are always described in the 'roles' they have e.g. mother, politician's daughter, teacher's wife etc. There's always a discussion about what she was wearing, whether she had been out alone, whether she was drinking, her general behaviour as if to shift responsibility away from the rapist to the survivor herself. Some publications have gone as far as to portray rapists as victims of malicious allegations, stupidity, carelessness - anything! Ever heard of the victim of a robbery be blamed for being provocative? Didn't think so. Rape is never justified.

Myth: Men who rape or sexually assault are mentally ill.
Fact: Studies show that as few as 5% of rapists are under psychotic episodes at the time of their crimes. Few convicted rapists are referred for psychiatric treatment. Again, this is used as another way to shift the blame away from the rapist. Rape is never justified.

Myth: Rapists are sexually frustrated/don't have the opportunity to have sex with a willing partner.
Fact: Rapists are just as likely as anyone else to be in a significant romantic relationship. One in five women are raped by their partners. As a crude side note - has nobody heard of masturbating/sex toys? They're readily available at not even majorly unreasonable prices (your hand is free of charge). I have a few friends that aren't in relationships, are sexually frustrated but would never rape a woman because they are decent human beings. This myth is not only a sick jusification attempt but it's also a means to make women mere sex objects. We're not. We're human beings.

Myth: "They shouldn't be wondering around at night alone. That's when the strangers in the alleyways leap and attack."
Fact: 90% of rapes are committed by known men whether they are family relatives, friends, partners, ex partners etc. By process of elimination, only 10% of rapes are committed by strangers.

Myth: Women often make up stories or lie about being raped.
Fact: There is a majorly disproportionate focus by the Media on the very small number of cases each year that involve supposed false allegations of rape/sexual assault. In March 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service published a survey confirming that false rape reports are very rare and they suggest they make up less than 1% of all reports. Do the media report on this? Nope! This is incredibly damaging and the statistics back it up. It is estimated that only 15% of the 85,000 women who are raped and the 400,000 women who are sexually assaulted actually report the incident. One major reason for this is because there is a major fear among survivors that they will not be believed.

There are more myths out there, I could spend forever debunking them. This is only the start but the one message resonates; rape is never justified no matter what. This is the truth and it has to get out there far and wide.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Bad Days

They suck. Big time. It's at times all-consuming. I'm either over-ridden in pain and fear or so far gone I'm numb to the world. I can't feel because I cannot cope with the outside world.

I'm in a low patch. It's been gradually arriving for a while but a week ago it finally kicked into full swing. A mixture of stress and pressure from a variety of sources hasn't helped the situation in the slightest. I've been signed off work for the time being. The idea of stepping outside the door is a daunting prospect, let alone going out into the world as a functioning member of society. A full night's sleep is elusive. The anxiety attacks are intense and sometimes triggers can be so overwhelming that I can hardly breathe.

The flashbacks are back. The blinding visual memories of what he did are just the icing on the cake. Sometimes I can smell the same smells, feel every sensation... it's like I'm there again. And again. It's like I never got to leave, I never escaped. I'm re-living it on loop. I wish it would stop because it's driving me crazy at night. I used to have no qualms about sleeping in the same room as another human being. Right now, that's a scary prospect unless I happen to trust them. Even then, I feel obligated to warn them that I'm not the best of bed fellows.

It's a whole load of fuckery on top of fuckery. I know that's a very ineloquent way of saying it but frankly there is no good way to put it. The vocabulary isn't there to describe the fullness of how it feels. It's scary enough for me to launch into denial. Seem a lot happier than I actually am because my true feelings would push everybody away.

Sometimes I can see a bit of lightness. Sometimes I give myself a break. But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the support of my friends and family, particularly the two friends who rescued me last Wednesday night at the bus station whilst I was in floods of tears. Being messaged from afar hoping I get better or even resuming a non-pressurised sense of normality sometimes has been enough to bring a small smile to my face.

It's The Bad Days. I just want to see it through so I can get back to a better place and get back to the Road of Healing.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Next Challenge

So I've been a bit quiet lately. I haven't blogged in just over a month. Shaving off my hair and exposing myself as a survivor took way more out of me than I anticipated. I've been way more exhausted than usual and extra working hours has meant my thoughts have been elsewhere and knackered.

Today I was at work and talking to a friend who was also working with me. The discussion got towards the recent Ice Bucket challenge which has been done to raise money for ALSA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association). It got me thinking about the little challenges that raise a lot of money for charity then it occured to me - what if someone spent 30 days doing 30 different challenges for charity?

The Ice Bucket challenge
So here's the plan - for a period of 30 days at some point next year (date to be confirmed at a later date), I am going to do at least one challenge a day. I am going to raise the money for Rape Crisis. I haven't worked out which challenges I will do on what day so I would love it if I can get some feedback/suggestions. In order to prove I'm not cheating/skipping out, I will film myself doing every challenge and submit them immediately on to my YouTube channel.

Shaving off all my hair in June raised over £1,200. I want to continue to raise more to help fight the good fight against rape and sexual assault.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Stones & Buttons

2 weeks ago I did a very interesting and therapeutic exercise at my support group. It's stones & buttons. You have a whole lot of buttons and stones to use to create the circle/map of your life/family. The different buttons and stones represent the different people in your life.

My map 

I feel my map needs a bit of explaining. Here are some closer pictures.

The stone in the two pictures above repesents me. I'm this shiny, prominent stone. I seem neat and polished but if you look closer, you can see the cracks and once you've seen the cracks you cannot un-see it. It's done.
My circle of friends and family

Surrounding me are my friends and family. The ones further away aren't as close but they are still important to me and I like knowing they're there. The ones who are closest are my best protection, my foundations, my support, the people I love the most and who continue to stand by me to this day.

These buttons represent some of the people who've hurt me in my life. More specifically, the ones whose affect have stuck: the bullies whilst I was in education between the ages of 4-18, the three boys at school who sexually assaulted me, the Abusive Parent and the final closest button is the Rapist. (Yes, it hasn't escaped my notice that the shape looks eerily similar to a Christian cross. That really wasn't intentional!)

The final picture shows my darkest point. I can have so much love given and yet I still feel exposed, vulnerable and isolated. I can feel unbelievably alone. It's no surprise I suffer from this given what I've gone through. Sometimes I feel like the dark buttons could come and get me again.
I like to return back to this picture though. Ultimatey, I am protected. I am loved and the darkness cannot consume me. They are not protected because anyone who loves them they suck out their energy and spit back out. They're toxic.

At the end of it, I felt good but I also felt like I'd hit something. I felt a bit vulnerable after exposing this information but then I felt good because my subconscious and my conscious agree on something. For the first time in many years, I feel like I'm beginning to get my thoughts and emotions into perspective which means I can finally see a future where I cope much better.

If you're feeling strong enough, try this exercise. You may be surprised by what you discover and what you realise. It's so simple - all you need are buttons and stones.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Hairy Truth Came Out

The day had come.

Thursday 26th June 2014, 1pm, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom

All gone!

My JustGiving page is still going so going so do donate if you can.

This is not the end. I'm still going to continue to raise money for Rape Crisis through fundraising but I'll continue to document my journey to healing and survival. I'm also going to document my hair regrowth and how I deal with being bald.

I wouldn't have been able to do this without the support of the incredible people who've helped me along the way including my awesome mother, my incredible fellow-survivor sister who did my hair and make-up beautifully, the friends who turned up, the friends who couldn't but sent all their love and everyone who got the word out and/or donated. You guys are the best.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Monday, 23 June 2014

Victim No More

This is another "share something awesome" blog.

I want to bring to your attention a charity based in Bournemouth called Victim No More. They help men and women who've been domestically abused and/or sexually assault/raped. It's run by a wonderful woman called Angela who is also an incredibly strong survivor.

She is currently preparing for an event she regularly runs called CharFest to raise money to help fund the charity. It's a wonderful event full of cosplay, music and fun for all the family. It's happening in Bournemouth in August this year. Go to the site I've linked to and if you're interested, definitely buy a ticket.

Angela and I have spoken to each other about the experiences of being a survivor and I'm continuously inspired by her positive outlook and brightness, her passion for helping others and her enjoyment in life. She's an incredible woman and as a fellow survivor I admire how well she's done. Check her out - she may just touch your heart too.

3 days to go. Less than 72 hours. I'm now counting down the hours... Wow!

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Ana Anonymous

I want to bring to attention the blog of another survivor. They are known as Ana Anonymous. They have not waived their right to anonymity because backlash is unfortunately quite commonplace. I have had my fair share of mine so I can understand why this person has chosen to remain anonymous.

I have read the blog and it's a very interesting and powerful insight into the world of mental health, eating disorders and survival. I implore you to read it through this link:

5 days to go! I've reached my target but I know we can reach more. Do check out my JustGiving page and if you're able to, donate!

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Target Reached.... Again!!

So during my shift at work I recieved the news that I had reached my £1000 fundraising target for Rape Crisis a week before I'm due to cut off/shave off all my hair. I am elated! Thanks to everyone whose donated and helped me get this far. I couldn't have done it without you!

The journey is not over... I still have to do the deed of course. I will do in exactly one week from now. If you wish to donate, do see my JustGiving page and click on the black, thick line under the donation totals. Keep following my blog as the journey continues!


Lots and lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

One More Week...

...until the hair is gone. I'm finally at that point where the hair is due to be gone within mere days. Here would be a good time to explain how the day itself will go.

So here it is: Around 1pm on Thursday 26th June, I will be having my hair cut and shaved totally off by my awesome older sister Liza. I will be having it filmed and photographed. I'm also going to try and get someone to hand out cards for the blogs so anyone passing by may then go find out what I was doing this for.

Unless you have been advised otherwise by myself or close friends, I would encourage you to come down to High Wycombe if you wish to show your support. Take pictures, tweet about it, show it off on Facebook - get it all out there so we can raise awareness and raise more money for Rape Crisis.

If you're not able to make it, don't worry! We all have lives! Instead, maybe share this blog or the link to my JustGiving page telling everyone on your profile what I'm doing.

The people who've supported me thus far have all been very wonderful. It's a massive reason why I continue at all.

As always, lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Exposure and Shame

With 12 days to go, the day I get rid of my hair is edging closer and closer. Scary yet exciting doesn't even cover it. I'm veering between the two when I'm not caught up in both at once. Getting rid of my hair for me is pretty radical but adding the fact that I'm doing this to raise money for Rape Crisis and  I've outed myself as a survivor and started telling my survivor's story amps it up.

Telling and being open about being a rape survivor has always been seen as a taboo. It still is. I've told people about what I've been through. Whilst many have been very kind and supportive, a lot have also expressed puzzlement about me being so open. 

"Why would you want to expose yourself like that?" 
"Aren't you worried about the way people will see you?" 
"Are you sure you could handle the exposure?"
"No one's really that open about it - are you sure you should be?"

I think I've proven my point just from the fact people have to ask these questions. I appreciate the concern I'm sure they have. Here's my response: I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. Why should I remain quiet whilst thousands... No, millions of women are attacked in this vile and disgusting manner around the world? Many of them are shamed wrongly in the name of supposed honour or religion. Many are frightened into keeping quiet. We are expected to be quiet because it's the general expectation of a patriarchal global society. 

I refuse to be quiet. If not just for myself and the people I love then for all the survivors who go through their daily lives with their trauma buried deep within. I will stand and be counted. I won't rest or stop campaigning for changes until the changes come. I want to live in a world where women don't feel scared to venture alone. I want to live in a world where the rapists get found and punished under the harsh hand of justice under the law. 

Don't get me wrong - I still deal with feelings of shame, despair, anger, fear, upset and anguish. My anxiety, depression and PTSD are pretty damn severe. I have a long way to go in my own journey to healing and peace. I haven't dealt with it in the most perfect manner. I just want my story to help others and awaken the general population to not only the fact there is a problem with sexual violence but just how difficult it is to be at the receiving end so that something can finally be done about it.

Check out my JustGiving page if you feel like donating to the cause. It won't be long now. 

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Remaining Inspired

There have been many points in my life where I've really struggled. I've really struggled to see a point and have lacked motivation or inspiration to continue in life and do what I love the best. There have been times when I've felt like I've always been wasting my time but something always brings me back...'s not a singular thing. It's usually a cluster of things that include my family & dear friends. Sometimes it'll be people I've never met, known people, whose stories or words inspire me and make me keep going. I want to share some of that today in the hopes you too will also be inspired to continue your own journey or start something great.

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
"Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart" - Ancient Indian Proverb
(Discussing being targetted by the Taliban on "The Daily Show") "I started thinking about that and I used to think that the Talib would come and he would just kill me then I said 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' Then I would reply myself, 'Malala just take a shoe and hit him' but then I said 'If you hit the Talib with your shoe then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others that much cruelty and that much harshly. You must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and education' then I said I'll tell him how important education is and then, 'I even want education for your children as well' and then I'll tell him 'That's all I want to tell you. Now you can do what you want.'" - Malala Yousafzai
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank
A Pep Talk from Kid President to You
This one is for fans of Hellsing Ultimate. Go watch the series if you can because it is sublime (although I have got to put out trigger warnings because latter episodes show scenes of sexual assault, rape and there's a lot of violence too albeit fantastical violence.)
It's a moment that inspires because even when you think there's no possible way, there always is one.
Interviewer: Why do you write strong female characters?
Joss Whedon: Because you're still asking me that question.
My great-grandmother Hilda Hill. Born in the very end of the 19th century, she lived to the age of 93. During her life she left school at the age of 14 to become a nanny, married, had 11 children, lived through two world wars, became widowed with teenage children. She died in 1991 when I was mere months from turning two years old. She lived an extraordinary life full of hardships and joy yet also spent her life with a notebook & a pencil on her person in case an idea came to mind. She wrote poetry until the very end of her life. I wish I had known her for longer but I feel a part of her is within me, propelling me creatively and through the hardships of life.
"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

It's now exactly 14 days (2 weeks) till I cut off/shave off my hair for Rape Crisis. If you feel inspired enough to donate, please do on my JustGiving page. When you get to the page, click on the black line under the total sums raised thus far. Keep following my blog as the time draws closer.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX

Sunday, 8 June 2014

I Don't Owe You

Before we begin: what happened at UCSB was absolutely awful and my sympathy is with the families of the people murdered and attacked by someone who had major issues. My thoughts also go to the killer's family as they try to make sense of what he did.

Unless you've been living under a cave recently or simply don't pay attention to the news, you would know that on (date), a man shot and stabbed students at UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara). His video manifesto was found shortly after. It would appear that the reason behind his attack is his anger that he couldn't get "hot, blonde women" to go out and have sex with him because they'd rather be with "dicks." When he describes the kind of woman he wants, he doesn't identify any trait that would indicate he was interested in women as people. He wanted an object to gratify him and he was angry that women exercised their right to reject him.

You'd think that people would be pointing out the incredibly flawed logic that this killer had and maybe have a proper discussion on how regulations need to be out in place so people like him cannot own fire arms. You would also think it was obvious this guy had issues and that people would come to the conclusion he was I'm the wrong. You'd be mistaken. There has been an outpouring of people saying he is a victim of "society's ideals". I've seen/heard people go "This is what happens when women don't give guys a chance." 

I'm not even remotely sorry to say that I completely disagree and am disgusted by this. We are not objects. Women are people - we breathe, we talk, we laugh, we feel. We're flawed and so are you. We are just as human and you expect US to just do your bidding like a thoughtless thing? If you were told by a woman who weren't attracted to that you just had to do what she wanted and fuck her whenever she wants, you wouldn't do it and I guarantee you would complain. 

"Women only fall for dickheads, not me." Have you ever considered that maybe it is YOU that is the dickhead? You seem keen to throw people you don't even know under the bus out of pure bitterness. Yes, there we abusive people and yes sometimes people fall for them. That's called having a manipulative charm. I'm not happy about it either as abuse is a serious problem but frankly, that's not the fault of all women everywhere. 

Excusing this murderer by blaming women and demanding they "give men a chance" feeds into the myth that men simply can't control themselves and women are just so damn provocative. This is a myth that needs to be seen as such. It is incredibly damaging and is precisely an aspect of the attitude that perpetuates the rape culture and gets women like myself raped. Don't believe me? Explain this: how is saying women rejecting 'nice men' was responsible for the UCSB murders any different from saying that I was responsible for being spiked and awaking whilst being raped? 

I'm getting majorly sick of people who constantly moan they're not getting any and blame it entirely on a specific gender and do nothing but bitch about their non-existent sex lives. Here's a tip: stop moaning constantly, get out there and just be a good person. Different strokes for different folks: I may not find you attractive but someone else may find you the most beautiful specimen on the planet. If you don't find anyone it's not the end of the world. There are far worse things to endure than not getting laid like losing a loved one, being evicted from your home or being forced into an act you do not consent to. Have a bit of perspective. 

This isn't what happens when you "don't give men a chance." This is what happens when society treat women like fuck objects and act like its their right to do so. It's not my problem if the facts cannot be faced. I don't owe you. 

I now only have 18 days to go till I cut off/shave off all my hair in aid of Rape Crisis. I am now under £200 away from reaching my target. If you can, please donate to my JustGiving page. All proceeds go to Rape Crisis.

Lots of love and solidarity. Always <3 XXX

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Me, Myself & I

"Jen, you do have an awful lot coming up at the moment. You do have to make sure you treat yourself."
"What do you mean?"
"You have to be kind to yourself too. It's all well and good doing things for other people but you've got to put yourself first sometimes."
"And that won't make me really selfish?"
"No. Why would it?"

I've had this conversation with a few close friends recently as my hair cut date approaches. I've been throwing myself into this and making sure taht I keep up the fundraising and keep up the work. I had said I would take time for me but truly, I wasn't.

Truth be told, I didn't really know how to put myself first. I've felt irrevocably selfish for doing so. The repeated tellings of "Be a good girl", "Think of others before yourself", the countless abusive remarks from the one abusive parent and the ensuing bullying throughout my time in compulsory education & sixth form has solidly reinforced to me that I don't deserve anything. Other people were always the priority, I've used this as a form of self-punishment especially in the aftermath of being raped, finding out I was pregnant and subsequently miscarrying. I felt like I really couldn't deserve to put myself first. Ever. Why should I when I could be silly enough not to spot the red flags in the predator who attacked me? Why should I when I failed to keep a foetus alive?

To say it's harsh is an understatement - I may have mental health issues but that doesn't make me unaware. I definitely would never say it to a fellow survivor. Far from it: I'd be telling them that they did deserve to put themselves first and that if anything it was a necessity to deal with what they've been through. So why on Earth wasn't I prepared to do the same for myself?

I'm still trying to work a lot out and I am, as I previously stated in other entries, awaiting psychological therapy under the NHS which is hopefully going to be a mix of talking about things and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.) 

For now, I have to start practicing what I preached. Start doing the things I feel comfortable with to make myself feel better and to make sure I'm okay first. If I want a few minutes alone to give myself a break from a social situation, I should allow myself that break. If I want to go out and see people, I should do so. It has to be a bit more about me as the time draws closer to do one of the biggest things I've ever done.

Continue to support me by keeping up with my blog and donating to my JustGiving page. Just under 3 weeks to go!!!

Lots of love and solidarity XXX <3

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Are they abusive?

I was rooting through my coat pockets to get rid of any rubbish I may have accumulated over time. I came across a great card I was given at the Million Women Rise protest this year from the Butterfly Foundation. It explains what characteristics are indicative of abuse and what are indicative of a loving partner. I feel that this has to be shared considering that over 90% of people are raped by someone they know, a lot of whom are ex/current partners of the survivor. 
Here are Person A and Person B. See if you can guess which one's which. For this, I removed binary gender pronouns as abusers are never specific to one gender.

Person A
This person...
  • Shouts
  • Sulks
  • Smashes things
  • Glares
  • Calls you names
  • Makes you feel ugly and useless
  • Cuts you off from your friends
  • Stops you from working
  • Never admits when they are wrong
  • Blames you/drink/drugs/stress
  • Turns your children against you
  • Uses the children to control you
  • Never does their share of the housework
  • Never looks after the children
  • Expects sex on demand
  • Controls the finances
  • Threatens or wheedles you to get their way
  • Seduces your friend/siblings/anyone else
  • Expects you to be responsible for their well-being

Person B
This person...
  • Is cheerful
  • Consistent
  • Supportive
  • Tells you you look good
  • Tells you you're competent
  • Uses your name
  • Trusts you
  • Trusts your judgement
  • Welcomes your friends and family
  • Encourages you to be independent
  • Supports your learning, career etc.
  • Admits when they're wrong
  • Is a responsible parent
  • Is an equal parent
  • Does their share of the housework
  • Accepts that you have the right to say 'no' to sex
  • Shares financial responsibility
  • Takes responsibility for their own well-being and happiness
  • In short, acts like a reasonable human being

If you think you may be in an abusive situation seek out those who love & care about you and services such as National Domestic Violence helplineRape Crisis (if applicable) or the Police (if applicable)

23 days to go until the hair goes! Please continue to support this blog and donate if/when you can by going to my JustGiving page and donate by clicking the thick black line by the sum totals.

Lots of love and solidarity <3 XXX