Sexual abuse victims share stories as part of One Billion Rising campaign
As part of One Billion Rising campaign, women share stories of sexual attacks they suffered
The story the audience gathered in a University of Hong Kong lecture hall heard was chilling - how a woman was sexually abused as a child in Hong Kong by a family friend while her parents socialised in the living room.
The story was part of the global One Billion Rising campaign - which yesterday attempted to draw out a billion people to protest against violence against women.
The identity of the victim was not revealed, and it was shared through an audio recording.
The woman's tale was one of three collected by the initiative Speak for Humanity - founded by University of Hong Kong law Professor Puja Kapai. The other two stories did not take place in Hong Kong.
The woman who shared her story was violated by a teenage boy repeatedly - the first time when she was six. Every Sunday night, she had dinner at a family friend's home with her family. While the adults mingled in the living room, the children would hang out in the son's room.
For many weeks, while the other children played video games, the teenage son would touch her inappropriately. He grew more confident and one day, he sent the other children out of his room and he sexually abused her. She did not scream, fearing he would hurt her even more.
The abuse was disrupted by her mother knocking on the door. The victim did not tell anyone what had happened.
Years later, she finally told her parents she had been abused. But they continued to eat dinner with the boy's family, leaving her feeling betrayed. "How could my parents still find friendship in that household? Nobody spoke to me after. I vowed never to tell anyone ever again because it'll only make me feel ashamed … Never again, until today."
Kapai asked the audience to reflect and discuss the victim's suffering and what support could have been given to her. The other two stories were of a woman who was groped, and the other of a woman who was gang-raped.
The campaign urged participants to stage a "Break the Chain" mob dance all over the world, a reference to breaking the chain of violence. In Hong Kong, about 300 people took part in a mob dance in Central.