How bad can 1 minute and 35 of video hurt? How much?
“It hurts, very bad. It is as if you feel a grip in your stomach and a feeling of disgust. You feel invalidated, as if your pain is once again not legitimate. I’ve been confronted with a lot of surviving girls like me. They wrote to me outraged by what was said », to tell us about his feelings Eva, a 29-year-old girl who survived.
Eva responded to the video published by Bebbe Grillo – in which she defends her son Ciro, accused of raping a girl with three friends – with the hashtag that immediately went viral: #the day after. “I was on the sofa. I was crocheting when some surviving girls from the support group started sending me the video. I decided to react, to take a blank sheet of paper, take a picture of myself and tell my story ».
How did you feel when you saw the video?
“I felt disgust at all those vulgar statements. It hurts on a psychological level. When you are a victim there is a struggle within you with the definition of rape and violence. You manage to accept it over time, when you have psychologically elaborated ».
It was a violence over violence.
“There was discussion of what was done after the violence. I went to school the next day. When what happened to me happened I was 17. I had never had any sexual experience. The day it happened I remember looking at the wall and froze. I haven’t talked for hours, I didn’t know how to verbalize what had happened to me. I thought that I could not escape and that I had to make it right what had happened. I put myself under anesthesia, I continued to live inside an ice cube. Since that afternoon I have been frozen ».
What angered you the most about the video?
“You have to understand that rape doesn’t always happen like in the movies. The message that has passed is: you victim of rape are recognized as such only if you die, if you are in a coma or if you have obvious scars. So you make a girl feel guilty for surviving. He could have defended his son in other ways, without discrediting the time it takes to metabolize a trauma. He should have sent a message of solidarity to the victims without talking about the girl ».
How do you find the strength to survive?
«Survival is literally ‘living on it’. After what happened to me it is as if I lived a spin off of my previous life. One of the bad ones though. It’s a similar version, with similar characters, but on a low budget. And above all it has a disappointing result. It is a survival at the age level, but since I suffered violence, what I was is no longer there. She was killed. I often wonder who I could have been or become. But at a certain point you have to go ahead with what is left by keeping the essentials ».
For Eva, there is a way to change things.
“We survivors should speak more often and have fewer taboos. We are normal people. We work, live and have lives like other people. There is a preconception that after the rape life will be forever destroyed. It is not the only option. We must expose ourselves and remember it ».