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Amber Amour Uses Instagram to Broadcast the Harrowing Story of Her Sexual Assault

The Independent 
Sad to say, there have been a spat of deeply unsettling stories about photo and video based social media playing a role in sexual assault and rape, either becoming evidence or some kind of blackmail resource. It happens far more often than you'd think, but this story, while similar in theme, takes on a very different tone. In this instance, social media actually helped, in a roundabout way.

Amber Amour is an activist, and regularly campaigns against sexual violence. She had been in South Africa, working with a campaign group called 'Stop Rape. Educate' when the unthinkable happened. Amour had been ill with food poisoning for two days previous before she went the hostel she had been staying at to leave a note for a friend. Another man, allegedly quite drunk, made a pass at her. She tried to keep him at bay, but when he offered to take her into the shower with him, being that she'd been taking cold showers for days, she accepted. Cut to a few hours later and she was curled up in the floor of the bathroom, having been raped.

Daily Mail

In a move which she describes as 'almost an intuitive thing', she took an image of herself, tearful and shaken, and posted it on Instagram, alongside an exact description of what had taken place. The story stretched across a series of posts, first in the bathroom where the attack had occurred, all the way up to the hospital. There was a certain calculation to her decision to post about the rape, being that she had done so much work in support of rape victims, she knew that getting the information out to as many people as possible was of paramount importance.

The sad truth of the matter is that, despite the fact that she really shouldn't have to, Amour will have to fight with some people to prove that she deserves justice. Already people have started to argue that, purely because she made the decision to get into the shower with her attacker, it was all her fault. The internet has the tendency to become a vile hotbed of misogyny at a moments' notice, and even rape victims aren't exempt from that. What's important about Amour's actions is that it's a way of making sure that people will rally around her, and it sets an example for others.

The prevention of rape is, and always will be the paramount priority, but when it does happen, the response becomes key. It's still the case in far too many parts of the world that rape victims, especially women, simply do not have a voice and are even arrested in some cases for having the audacity to actually report such a thing. Instagram in and of itself isn't going to do anything to counteract this issue, but in this case it's been instrumental in making sure that the message drawn from this tragic incident remains unsullied.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Amber Amour Uses Instagram to Broadcast the Harrowing Story of Her Sexual Assault Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, January 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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