The Rape of My Countrymen

“A person sexually abuses a child when he or she exposes the child to sexual acts or behavior; that child may experience a variety of short and long term reactions as a consequence of that abuse (NSVRC, 2011).”

The Rape of My Countrymen

I tried hard not to join the discussion. I will never share that video.

Some of you know that I’ve been working with the Liberal Party for years now but I wish to not be viewed as such on this matter. I have always tried to understand and give as much respect as possible to all other candidates, even reviewed each of their plans and backgrounds (even the ones around them) just as any other voter would have to.

Mayor Duterte would not be loved and protected by the people of Davao if he didn’t do anything right for them. I even visited Davao City’s website several times to give myself a better perspective (I hope you also visit reliable sites in researching about our candidates).

Fact: There are so many lies all over the Internet.

True, we cannot judge a man by just listening to some of his words or by merely believing some memes. Even my candidate had his fair share of bashers…

But let me just say how personal this is to me.

I was once a victim of child molestation. A friend of mine was. A relative was. Not too long ago, I realized that just within my circle, I am not the only one who struggle everyday because of PAST sexual assault.

I’ve been quiet all the time about it because I do not want to be favored in so many things just because I was a poor victim. Selectively telling friends, it helped. At times, it would hurt when I tell my story to someone who would not even pay attention (even relatives) or when someone would not take it seriously. It discourages me to tell my story and every time it happens, I felt like taking one step back from healing.

Even as decades have passed, I’d still have these nightmares. I grew up battling thoughts and dreams of a wedding having to ask, “How do I tell my future husband? Should I just become one of the boys?”

Even after giving birth, everyday, I had to shoo away overthinking, “What if it happens to my child?”

The Children of Ephesus

Just a few steps away from our home is a special orphanage for kids who were victims of child abuse–some of child molestation. These kids are full of hope yet like me, they will find it hard to forget. They will remember when there’s a news about rape. They will remember when they enter a relationship.

I am lucky to have been prepared somehow to becoming a mother to my child but somewhere, some girls have to go through the hardships of single motherhood even before they turn into teens.

The issue is no longer about politics. It isn’t even about bad jokes, not even about choice of language or how one was raised to speak his mind. It is about every victim of abuse who are yet to heal. It is about the forgotten stories of victims who will never forget, who struggles everyday just to forget but will remember anyway.

We do not want someone with so much influence encouraging the culture of rape–consciously or unconsciously, jokingly or seriously… The culture that says it’s okay because anyway, she deserves it. It’s okay, men are really like that. It’s okay, that’s what you get for wearing short skirts. It’s okay, I’ve done something for the country. It’s okay, he said sorry. It’s okay, it’s all in the PAST.

Because it will always be okay… until you’re the victim.

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