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Activists At Habib University Are Talking About Why Victims of Sexual Violence Stay Silent

Activists At Habib University Are Talking About Why Victims of Sexual Violence Stay Silent

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Trigger Warning: Sexual Harassment, Rape, Violence

Activists belonging to Habib University, a liberal arts college in Karachi, have taken to Social Media to highlight why victims of sexual violence choose to stay silent.

The activists, all belonging to the Habib feminist collective, took to Social Media to start the campaign #WhydidntIreport to “highlight the fact that YOU will only hear the stories WE can bear to tell.” The purpose of the campaign is to shed light on the reasons why women do not report the sexual violence they face.

According to their Instagram post, “We want to sensitise our readers with these anonymous cases, so that if in the future we come across another survivor of abuse, we hope they are met with more empathy, that their struggles are not silenced with shame and that we as a society can come together to fight against harassment.” 

Most of the posts showcase the complicated, nuanced reasons why women are silenced after sexual violence

View this post on Instagram

Trigger warning: mention of ass/ult, nonconsensual s/x . . . . . . So basically, we were dating for some time and I was genuinely in love with him. So obviously, I never saw his toxic traits as "toxic" and I never understood what he was doing and why he did it. All I know is I always had an excuse for his abusive behaviour. It is now, months after therapy I see everything for what it is. He would use my body for his needs, EVEN THOUGH I KEPT SAYING that I DO NOT consent to this but he kept forcing himself on me. Every time I would confront him with this, he'd apologise and promise to not do it again but of course he did it again. It got to a point where I was mentally exhausted with his behaviour and I just let him do it, JUST SO he would let me go. If I didn't let him, he'd hold onto me so tight it'd hurt me. I just wanted him to let me go, I didn't want any of the physical activities. but I didn't report any of this because I'm still confused if this is an attempt at rape? Or am I to be blamed for something here? I have contemplated many times about what I "could" have done to stop it, but it all comes back to the point where he just wouldn't let go till he was "done". I was always, never left with an option but to submit.. and I really don't know how to face the courts with this. The thought of "tum thi hi ku uske sath?!" "Akele jane ko kis ne kaha tha" haunts me everyday and I don't have the strength to hear that I lost a case where my body was used against my will because I don't have enough proof that whether I ever said "NO" clearly or not. #whydidntireport #whyikeptquiet #metoo #timesup ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• You can send us your reasons via email: habibfemcollective@gmail.com or inbox us on Facebook. EVERYTHING will be dealt with confidentiality and no details will be disclosed about the identity of the survivor, even if they personally consent to it.

A post shared by Habib Feminist Collective (@habibfeministcollective) on

Societal pressures can silent victims

View this post on Instagram

Trigger warning: mention of r/pe . . . . . "Hm so I think it stems from the fact that I come from a family who deals with everything in a very traditional way and well a better word would be to say a censored way. No one talks about catcalls but they tell you to wear your dupatta and no one talks about rape but they tell you that girls get kidnapped kind of thing. It’s like this unspoken thing is an unrealistic event which can’t happen if you follow their guidelines. So if you say that it has happened, it comes down to the fact that you’re either lying or you didn’t follow the guidelines. I never came forward and I never reported because I’m very scared about being shot down about these kinds of things. I can stand ignorance and being dismissed on a lot of things but this is something which is very raw and fresh in my mind on which I can’t tolerate any kind of disbelief or cross questioning. Then there’s a difference in our power positions. If it’s someone above me they have the power to wriggle out of it and defame me on the process which also remains true for popularity structures. Because someone with more popularity and more evident charisma can easily make the public believe what they want and turn a good portion of the student body/admin against me. So I never took the risk." #whydidntireport #metoo #timesup •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• You can send us your reasons via email: habibfemcollective@gmail.com or inbox us on Facebook. EVERYTHING will be dealt with confidentiality and no details will be disclosed about the identity of the survivor, even if they personally consent to it.

A post shared by Habib Feminist Collective (@habibfeministcollective) on

Some victims fear for the lives of the people around them

Or their judgement

View this post on Instagram

Tw: S*xual Har*ssment . . . . . "I honestly don't know where to begin but it basically started with being in an interfaith relationship at school. It got to a point where I was being slut shamed for things that hadn't even happened and it got to a point where the school librarian started degrading me to OTHER MALE students. I obviously didn't report it, even though I have proof to cement the fact that he did what he did. Mostly because in a culture where the opinion of an older person counts more than what you have to say and I didn't have faith in the school system I was studying in because it wasn't even the students rather the faculty members who were talking shit about me. But more importantly I was and still am afraid of what my parents would have to say about it and inadvertently they'd blame me for "allowing" people to talk about me like that in the first place. So even though it happened months ago I'm still upset about it but can't do anything about it because I'm afraid I'll get blamed for it and part of me will come to believe it WAS my fault, something I hope ignoring the incident entirely will help me forget." #WhyDidntIReport#whyikeptquiet#timesup ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• You can send us your reasons via email: habibfemcollective@gmail.com or inbox us on Facebook. EVERYTHING will be dealt with confidentiality and no details will be disclosed about the identity of the survivor, even if they personally consent to it.

A post shared by Habib Feminist Collective (@habibfeministcollective) on

In a time when women are finally finding a space to speak their truth, it’s important to understand why victims of sexual violence have stayed silence for all these years. Campaigns like this help create more empathy and understanding of the perspective of the victims. Moreover, it highlights that these victims aren’t alone in their pain and how important it is to end this culture of silence. More power to the Habib Feminist Collective!

You can send them your reasons via email: habibfemcollective@gmail.com or inbox them on Facebook. EVERYTHING will be dealt with confidentiality and no details will be disclosed about the identity of the survivor, even if they personally consent to it.

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