As I got onto the train this morning, I came face to face with an issue of The Metro on the seat in front of me. A giant headline in bold print, “Rape: The figures that shame Britain.” What I found was a short article illustrating some pretty abysmal statistics. Of the estimated 473,000 instances of sexual offences that occurred this past year in the UK, less than 54,000 were recorded by police, and of those recorded only 5,620 resulted in convictions.
These numbers are incredibly distressing, but it was two sentences in the middle of the piece that upset me the most.
“Women said they were too embarrassed, the offence was ‘too trivial’
or they did not think officers ‘could do much to help’. This was
despite nine in ten of them knowing the perpetrator.”
This is the dialogue that HAS to change. This is the quote I’ve seen in too many articles on sexual abuse, and frankly, I don’t want to see it again. This is why Tender is so vital. It’s the second day of my internship here, and I feel proud, very proud. The work that is done by Tender to open up conversations about prevention and detection of these incidents, the new dialogue that is created surrounding the issues of sexual and domestic violence with young people, and the dedication of everyone I’ve met thus far, is a revolution. To transform the conversation, you need to actually have it, and that is what Tender is doing.
“Rape: The figures that shame Britain”. No more shame. It diminishes us. It makes us feel small. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with, and we can make new headlines.
“The figures that CHANGED Britain.”
-Written by Rebecca Holmes
Rebecca is currently working on her Master’s in Applied Drama at Goldsmiths University of London. She’s come to London from the United States with the hopes of continuing her growth as an Applied Theatre facilitator while working as an advocate for womens’ rights and issues surrounding sexual health.