I’m sorry if my ‘constant going on’ about the HUGE amount of violence in the left wing activist communities annoys you. Actually, that is not right. I’m saddened that it annoys you. I’m saddened that it has been ten years since my own rape, and I am still seen as a annoyance every time I bring it up. So many people have been asking me why I am not involving myself in the ‘occupy’ movement. My answer is simple. It isn’t safe for me, as a woman, to do so. The hows and whys of this are slightly more complicated. To try and understand, we need to go back ten years ago. I was 15. I was raped. By a well known ‘awesome dude’, and activist. He was adored by the left wing, part of Class War and Auckland Animal Action(Now open rescue; another group that didn’t deal with it, just kicked him out and changed their name to save their reputation). He had raped other girls before me, but they were young and drunk and easy to scare and manipulate. Everyone knew, and sure, there was the odd fisty-cuff over it, but on the whole it just wasn’t talked about. He misjudged me. Sure, I was young, drunk, and fucked up. But I am stubborn, and I am shouty. I yelled. I had rumors spread about me, as a warning. That I was a whore. That I was a slut. That I was asking for it. The usual things people say when they want to discredit a woman. Words that still follow me today, things that still shape my ‘reputation’ (Luckily, I was so badly bullied all throughout my school years that my reputation has never really bothered me). I didn’t care what he and his croneys said. So then he sent in the second wave; a group of (male) activist ‘friends’ to try and convince me that I was wrong to air dirty laundry in public, that I should keep quiet for ‘the good of the movement’. They didn’t understand that although I had been a vegetarian since I was six (and at the time, a vegan), I still cared about women’s rights more than any animals rights. I didn’t care about ‘the movement’ if I and other women couldn’t be safe in it. So he moved around the country, and eventually enough girls came forward with scarily similar stories, that the truth came out. Justice? No. He left the country. I had few apologies for the years of being ostracized. And I thought, perhaps, just perhaps, things will be different if something like this ever happens again. Sadly, it is exactly the same. And you know what? I still care more about women’s rights then anything else. Because fucked if I’m going to wait until ‘after the revolution’ to sort this bullshit out. What revolution? We don’t even have fucking equality. So to all those people, many of whom I like and care for, who are annoyed? Well, tough. Grow up, look around you. If women can’t be safe in your movement, then you have problems. And you can’t just keep ignoring them, and waiting. Because it hasn’t gone away, and we need to keep fucking shouting about it. NEVER be quiet about it. Never compromise our safety for the safety of a (male led) movement.