Exhibit to help empower sex assault survivors

THE Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) organised an event to commemorate the Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) at the Fiji Museum in Suva on Monday.

RFHAF executive director Matelita Cadravula said this was an opportunity for survivors to share their accounts because they were not alone.

“We want to highlight the need for us to actually stand up and talk about sexual assault and how it has impacted the life of survivors,” Ms Cadravula said.

“We don’t need to blame the survivors, but rather we need to come out and encourage them to raise their voices.”

Ms Cadravula said the event, which was named “What were you wearing”, was done to show the public of the clothes the survivors wore on the day they were assaulted.

“We are trying to dispel the myths and try and exhibit and show to the public that it’s not about the clothes the survivors were wearing,” she said.

“People should see that sexual assault is no excuse because it is all about power play, and if you look at the clothes that we are exhibiting we can’t say that all these short skirts, short dresses or mini shorts are to be blamed for.

“We are here to support and help them in getting their stories out there and we have encouraged people to write their stories on the clothes that we have displayed.”

She added this exhibition had empowered a few survivors which was a positive sign.

“Some of the survivors have mentioned that these things were not going to hold them down and they were going to be back up again,” she said.

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