written by Katie Lavelle
photography by Brittney Lucy Rivera
The hardest part is knowing.
I don’t know what made me believe this, but I came to Scotland thinking it would be better here. That the amount of sexual violence here could never possibly be as bad as what we deal with at home. Maybe it was naive for me to think this way, but after the amount of research on rape and sexual assault that I have done in order to prepare for this show, all I could do was wish this issue was better somewhere else. But, here is the truth…
In the United States 1 in 6 women will be the victim of rape or attempted rape in her life time. According to Rape Crisis Scotland, 1 in 10 women experience rape, and 1 in 5 will have someone try to have sex with them against their will. Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience either physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence or non partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
It’s not better here.
It’s not really better anywhere. And, now, I know the truth. And that’s the hardest part: knowing how many people have to deal with the effects of sexual violence.
Sometimes it makes me wonder what’s the point of this show? How is our show going to make any impact on this issue? Millions of people, predominantly women, experience this trauma, so how can we help them?
Then, I remember that is the beauty of theatre. After seeing our show, audiences will know what we know, and that can’t be undone.
Our show won’t end rape and sexual violence. It won’t end victim shaming. But, it will teach those who don’t know about the seriousness that is sexual assault, and it will let survivors know they are not alone.