"I was wearing jeans and t-shirt, is it my fault too?"
SlutWalk Toronto 2011. My sign.
I had mixed feelings about holding my sign at the SlutWalk. It was the first time I really identified myself as a survivor, because for months I was in denial about being raped in the first place.
I posted a photo of my sign on the SlutWalk facebook site before the walk, and I had someone message me telling me that my sign hit home with them, and if they could use the same sort of sign too. If you google SlutWalk, guaranteed that her photograph will flood the results.
Having someone else there with a similar sign helped. So did meeting P. Her sign said “Boxing Day 1985. 14 years old. Bundled in layers. How did I deserve it?” I wanted to cry as soon as I saw her. She came up to me and gave me a hug. It was the best hug I’ve ever had.
Her hug was the first one I received that day, but it wasn’t the last. Words of encouragement from random strangers included ‘it wasn’t your fault,’ and ‘you’re so brave.’ After a while, I started to believe it. And I held my sign high and I can honestly say that that day was the first day I was okay about what happened.
After that, I started to move on.