Monday, October 10, 2011

Slut Walk Protest & My Step-Sister's Story

(Pull-over scarf from h&m, Black tang top from h&m, pants from Century 21)
Two weeks ago I went to NYC's first SlutWalk protest. For those of you that don't know it's a walk that protests against using the way women dress against them, mainly in rape cases. While in most cases I side with protests that are for something rather against (ex: a pro-peace protest vs. an anti-war protest) just because I believe they lead more realistic results in society, after doing research this particular protest stuck with me, and overall I'm glad I went. Clearly, I over-dressed, haha. The atmosphere was so powerful that it was borderline overwhelming, but mostly motivating. 

After this protest, however, ironically enough, something happened to my step-sister that relates to this protest. I thought long and hard about revealing this on my blog, and I decided if it would help raise awareness, it's sort-of my duty. 

Around 8pm this day, my parents got a call from the hospital saying that my step-sister was in the emergency room. Now because she is a classified rebel, my first reaction was calm. I thought, maybe she's just drunk. Though after a few hours, my mom called me and said it in fact was very serious. It turns out she was found on the street in my neighborhood unconscious with her face completely beat-up, and once she got to the hospital she was unable to breathe because her lungs were filled with vomit. They rushed her to the intensive care unit in a different hospital, and it turned out that the level of alcohol in her system was three times the amount a person would normally have during alcohol poisoning. She fell into a coma. The doctors warned us that it was likely that she might not make it, and that long-term effects (if she did survive) would probably include blindness in one eye and brain damage. Me and family waited about a day in the hospital praying for her to wake up, and when she finally did she couldn't speak or open her eyes. She motioned her hand that she wanted to write something on a piece of paper, so the nurses quickly got her a clipboard with paper and a pen, and writing perfectly neat without even being able to see, her first words were "what happened?." 
After spending the entire time she was unconscious speculating what could have happened to her, or who could have done this to her, she explained on paper that the last thing she remembers is drinking in a house (not too far from where she was found) with four guys (knowing only one of them), sitting on a couch. I'm not going to go into further details, but anyone with common sense can foreshadow what might have happened to her. 
Miraculously, however, she survived and is going to recover and be fully healthy. It was truly some kind of miracle that she survived, and with no long-term effects at that.

I'm not writing this for my own benefit, as I barely like including personal stories on the internet, but instead for all of you readers. I'm not writing to instill fear in you next time you walk in the street. I'm not writing this for pity. I'm writing this to bring many things to your attention: One, that no matter who you are, or where you are, things like this are possible. Getting raped, assaulted, etc, are scenarios  that are just as possible as often as they are showed in movies. Two, that my sister walked out of the house wearing jeans, a sweatshirt, and converse on that day. Regardless of how you're dressed, it is never an excuse for why something like this might happen to you. Three, that the NYPD system needs to be changed. I realized, after the cops did not help us investigate, that probably only 20% of all rape stories go out into the media. Four, speak up. If something like this happens to you, do not be afraid to speak up. 

This protest represents the fashion industry because revealing clothing are not invitations for assault. It represents the true lack of protection this city has under the NYPD. It represents the every hospital and nurse that refuses to check a minor if she has been raped until she is conscious, which may not happen in some cases, and in others means that by the time the victim wakes up, the evidence will have already been gone. It represents every single girl walking down the street. It represents every single girl's dad asking "isn't that a little to revealing?" before she leaves the house. I can go on, but I won't.

I don't have the answers, but hopefully this personal story motivates some of you to take extra precautions in your everyday lives to stop rape culture and re-consider your safety every time you go out. 

Thank you for reading.
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Photo credit: Scott Alnwick (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottaphoto)

15 comments:

  1. I am very sorry about your sister but thrilled to hear she's going to be okay. I completely agree that people, especially women, need to be very careful and aware about their surroundings. You can't trust people anymore and that includes cops. We all need to be careful.. great post. Best wishes to your sister dear. <3 Michele

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  2. beautiful dag, my heart goes out to you and your family xx

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  3. wish your sister the best ~ & I think it is very brave of you to share the story here. because ppl SHOULD know. SHOULD be aware that these things happen. and OFTEN to ppl you know.

    Esp. for the younger girls out there who I often see, exploiting themselves to gain popularity with men/ppl. They should know it's not ok. You need to first respect yourself in order to gain other's respect.

    Great post.

    xxx
    Gi
    http://gigil4m.blogspot.com/

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  4. Bravo, one of the greatest post of the week. I feel sorry for ur sister and I hope she gets well real soon, and whoever did that to her, Karma is a bitch and they will suffer.
    Great post.

    xx
    Erika
    http://www.erika-t.blogspot.com

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  5. I'm from Lublin (east side), but I live in Warsaw, because I study law there. And where do your family live?

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  6. it's hard to imagine how hard it must have been to you and your family and of course your sister. very very interesting post, dear.
    kisses&hugs, sowmy

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  7. Wow...what a powerful story...

    It's something that I'm sure scares every woman and I'm so sorry that it happened to someone you love. My heart goes out to you. But you are absolutely right...being aware is the first step to prevention.

    Thank you for following me nonetheless and I'm returning the favor.

    xx THE CHEAP


    www.thecheapblog.com

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  8. It's really wonderful to see people protesting and standing up for what they believe in. I wish we did it more here in my city.
    -Julia



    www.lesaltlake.blogspot.com

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  9. WOW.....YOUR BLOG IS STUNNING!!!
    AND THIS POST IS REALLY INTERESTING...IT INSPIRE US!!! :) :)

    FOLLOW EACH OTHER?!? :) I'LL WAIT YOUR ANSWER ON MY BLOG....

    http://dreamsonthestage4.blogspot.com

    XOXOXO

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  10. Thank you for your comment and sharing your step sisters story. It's unspeakable how horrible people can be and treat others. I often feel that people judge the way I dress but I truly hope people let go of the words "you deserved it"

    De,

    Fashion Nostalgia

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  11. PS I wish your step sister fully recovers or as closely as possible.

    De,

    Fashion Nostalgia

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  12. My heart goes out to you, your sister and your family. Thank you for sharing this story. Being a New Yorker for so long I have started to feel immune to danger. This is a good reminder that you need to take care of yourself at all times, no one every thinks something like this could happen to them.

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  13. I saw the slut walk from afar on my way to work and it was great that so many people were there for a good cause.

    I'm sorry for what happened to your sister and I hope she recovers quickly! No one deserves that to happen to them.

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