During my last months in Cape Town I have been facilitating a series of workshops on Rape, Gender Justice and Culture of Consent. I am blissful for the opportunity to teach and learn with a group of people with whom we have navigated in the approach of Rape and Sexual Assault in their different perspectives, from the socio-political to the intimate tenets.
This has been an exciting journey of healing and soul blooming. I have realized the critical role that Cape Town has played in pushing me towards empowerment and thriving, enhancing my taking back ownership of my body and all the experiences happening through it.
This journey started few years ago when I decided to come out of the closet as a rape survivor. I wrote about it on Feminism and Religion. This was the first step of my breakthrough. Little by little I became confident and shameless about saying: “Yes, I was raped”.
Continue reading “Rape, Community and Healing by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente”
Recently when I was feeling low and a little devoid of hope, a friend of mine paid me a fabulous compliment: “Things will get better. You’re a very strong person.” I know it was a real compliment and not an underhanded cutting remark. You may be surprised as to why I am referring at all to the latter. After all, it’s straight forward – having strength and fortitude are admirable qualities and how could one possibly even think otherwise. But you may be equally surprised to know that there are very special circumstances under which the word “strong” gets to acquire extended meanings of: “devoid of feelings,” “someone who needs zero support,” “a social insult.”
Take the time when I got divorced several years ago, undoubtedly one of the most difficult periods of my life, compounded by the fact that I found myself despondently alone. Continue reading “The Definition of Strength, Gaslight Edition by Vibha Shetiya”