Enough is Enough

By Sophie Olson

When I was 14, I got into a car with a man who had already abused me.

Even though I knew he would do it again.

Despite being in a public carpark in daylight, with people all around.

Despite my instinct telling me I would never come back.

Despite being in fear of my life.

Because I was female. Because he was male.

Because he told me to.
Because it’s hard to say no. Or to make a scene.

Because of fear.

The abduction was stopped. I never forgave myself for getting in the car.

I think about it a lot. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I dream about it often. Sometimes I wake up in a state of terror. I scream in sleep in a way I never did at the time. I wake up others in the house.

But I know that despite this happening to me then, if I had been in Sarah’s shoes, I would have got in the car.

Because of fear. Because of intimidation. Because he is a man. I am a woman. Because it’s hard to say no, or to make a scene. Because you can’t think on your feet when in a state of shock. Because you can plan for something like this but when it actually happens to you, it doesn’t feel real. It feels like you’re watching yourself in a film. It feels pretty unbelievable. You do not react in the way you expect. You freeze. Your arms and legs feel like they don’t belong to you. You do as you’re told because in that instant, there is nothing else you can do.

It was not her fault. She didn’t ‘submit to arrest’. She had no choice.

It is not on women to be more streetwise, or to better educate themselves. It is on men, not to feel entitled to a woman’s body. Not to rape. Not to kill.

It is not on us.

It was not her fault.

It was not her fault.

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