The Diana Initiative Leaving People Behind

24 Jul 2017

Correction: The Diana Initiative is a separate entity completely from Tiaracon. I removed my reference to Tiaracon in my post. Also I want to thank all the folks from The Diana Initiative who reached out to me.

Where do I even begin.

I cannot support The Diana Initiative. I wish now I had never heard of The Diana Initiative.

While I’ve had my fair share of folks victim blaming me in the past I definitely could not have imagined a night of being victim blamed, demeaned, an attempt of debunking my sexual assault last Monday (I’m sorry that 140 characters isn’t enough for me to accurate depict what happened for five hours nor enough to define a word every time I use it), be accused of attacking the woman where the conversation began.

Maybe I should be glad now but Twitter didn’t show me all of their tweets to me. It got filtered out from what I saw.

All done by someone who ‘supports’ sexual assault/rape victims.

I’ve already gone ahead and screenshot all the tweets in the event they get taken down.

Here’s the thing: I had an issue with the presenter’s choice of wording “avoiding rape”. I think it’s great she wants to empower people. Yes I think we need to teach people to not drug folks and to also be aware of unattended drinks. I was never saying, “- do NOTHING,” I was saying, “Lets change how we talk about this.”

It was always about the wording, not about the content.

It started out with a presenter for this week at The Diana Initiative tweeting about adding a slide on “avoiding rape”. I followed back asking for clarification and asking on other situations. I really had hoped that’d be the end of it. For the full entire tweet chain you can go here.

We talked in the end through DMs. I think she’s a lovely person and ultimately with different approaches on tackling the same issue left it at that.

Then I got the first message out of many that was kind of the exact reason I started this conversation.

On the accusation I self diagnosed myself with PTSD:

Here’s my medical record. I didn’t know I had PTSD until my doctors told me. I didn’t ever want to be diagnosed with PTSD. I’m open about talking on it since in the past I completely went silent on people and let myself spiral mental health wise. Also this is a conversation happening in a space I thought was going to be safe. I thought talking about my experiences would help someone understand why the term “avoiding rape” wasn’t okay with me.

Also I’m honestly not doing well with talking about this at all. Honestly I forgot the internet can be pretty shitty on this. So the accusations I’m getting now that are really coming in are just, yeah. This is really hard.

I really had no idea I’d spent my entire night defending myself.

And now I’ve got lovely tweets and more going further down this wreckage.

I had no idea that The Diana Initiative would take their side to the point of liking tweets supporting victim blaming. That has been the oddest case to me. How we say and word things matter and in this case even more so.

Here’s the thing. A lot of folks cannot defend themselves, especially when they’re being sexually assaulted or raped. What happens if you’re physically disabled and cannot ‘fight back’ in the sense you’re trying to punch them out? What happens when you freeze because not all of us are capable of suddenly attacking back. Especially in that moment.

What about folks who are financially dependent on the folks whom are sexually assaulting/raping them? Or minors who don’t know about it yet. Or people who were never taught or shown healthy relationships.

Consent is consent. If I cannot stop someone doing something to me that doesn’t mean I was complacent in the event. By saying I did not fight enough that’s victim blaming. Which is the intention of my first tweet asking for clarification. I felt that it would go down a road of victim blaming to which it did.

“No,” should be all that needs to be said.

I can’t believe this is something I’m having to say.

This has been a lesson to me that people like to ‘support’ those whom are sexually assaulted/raped until they talk about their experiences and it doesn’t match their opinion or view on it. If that happens apparently the next step is to victim blame them and try to debunk their life. Which I’m not going to do a full run down of what happened to me over 5 hours in several 140 character tweets.

I wish people knew that coming out with these experiences does nothing beneficial to me and opens up hate towards me.

The Diana Initiative was something I really looked forward to. But it has become the least safe environment for me possible in a space that was originally set up to support and empower people. That is the greatest disappointment in this all. I’m also not really looking forward to potentially seeing some folks now.