BunBuns, when God grants you your destiny, it may take a
little time to digest and accept it. This week I accepted a
challenge from God that took a lot of deliberation to accept, but
there's a sense of knowing that I MUST do it.
When I was raped on July 1, 2013 I thought "I'll be content to just file a police report and move on with my life". The District Attorney's office told me I didn't have enough evidence for them to press charges, so my case is closed. The nurses that performed my sexual assault exam said, "Yun, from what you've told us your rapist has done this before, he came with the intention of raping you, and he will do it again." My rapist is walking the streets ATL, he is out there and he roams free. Who will his next victim be, someone you know and love?
This understanding that my rapist, and many like him are roaming the streets here in America raping women repeatedly and the law can't touch him hit a nerve. I think of all my sisters that have been raped under similar circumstances and the laws don't give us justice. Society blames us, the victims, in turn causing the majority of us to be silent. One of my best friends I reached out to for support told me I was "disgusting".
Filing the police report knowing my rapist is out there raping repeatedly didn't satisfy me. This adversity motivated me to start a social movement to raise awareness on the importance of men supporting women and helping to alleviate the challenges that women face. The ball fell organically, in Hiphop.
I'd met Big Rube and Rico Wade of Dungeon Family years ago through a fateful chance meeting, not knowing who I was meeting. DJ Jelly and I met on Twitter and I didn't know who he was either. A friend asked me to look after the merchandise table at a hiphop show and that's how I met Yamin Semali, trying to charge him for his own CD at his own show because I wasn't aware he was the artist on the CD.
After I was raped, I reached out to Big Rube and DJ Jelly for support. Not only were they there with their encouraging words and presence, a few months later DJ Jelly asked me in the most caring encouraging way possible "Yun you know you have to go public about this right?" I was horrified about the thought. No way, how could I ever go public about this awful experience? One of my best friends told me I was disgusting, I was berated by others that it was a huge mistake to have gone to the police, that if my case went to trial my art career would be over. If those who I thought were my friends reacted like this, how could I ever tell the world?
Two years later on July 1, 2015, I did it. I released a YouTube video sharing my experience. My brothers Big Rube, Rico Wade, DJ Jelly, and Yamin Semali and I kicked off the #YeeQuality Movement, a movement encouraging men to support women as part of strong male leadership. We are all learning and evolving as we raise our own awareness of the gender wage gap, domestic violence, rape, discrimination, etc.
But this week, I told myself that it's still not enough. Thinking of the millions of women, men, and transgendered who have been told, "There's insufficient evidence, the case is closed"- is simply not an unacceptable answer anymore. It isn't.
70% of rapes are done by someone the victim knows and has earned their trust. Which means all the rapist has to say is it was consensual and the rapist walks free, allowing him to be out there raping repeatedly over and over.
This is a CALL TO ACTION to victims, law-makers, politicians, leaders of non-profits, and anyone who feels we need to begin this conversation in seeking effective solutions regarding (specifically), acquaintance rape. It is a gray area that our current legal system fails to provide the majority of rape victims justice.
In finding an effective solution to this gray area, we will also find the solution to address the majority of rapes in our country. If we do not begin the conversation now, if victims continue to be repressed into silence because of stigma, nothing will change. The laws won't change if victims are not heard. Rapists face no consequences because we as a society allow them to get away with it. We allow it by brushing it under the rug, not being aware, remaining silent, and blaming the victim.
If we build a brain trust of phenomenal minds and expertise, we can come up with HOW acquaintance rape can be proven in a court of law, propose solutions and have laws put in place in all 50 states.
Since America is land of the free and home of the brave, let us free the millions of victims who are shamed and repressed into silence, and let us be brave in having this uncomfortable but necessary conversation for a better America.
Please share this post, my email is email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
A big heartfelt thank you to the Pillars of the YeeQuality Movement for being the amazing leaders that you are, and all the friends that stood by me throughout the healing process with your continued support and encouragement. Let us come together so we can turn pain into light that will liberate millions.
- YUN BAI aka YunnyBunny Visual Artist & Activist firstname.lastname@example.org