Warning: Contains graphic description of alleged rape some readers may find upsetting.
A feminist campaigner who claims she was raped by a man in a shower in South Africa chose to “live-blog” her traumatic experience “to give other victims the courage to speak out”.
Amber Amour, who is from New York, wrote a series of harrowing posts on Instagram following the alleged attack in the bathroom of a youth hostel.
The 27-year-old uploaded a photograph of herself still sitting on the bathroom floor with tears streaming down her face, alongside a graphic and disturbing description of events.
After agreeing to take a shower with a man, she says, because she’d spent two days being sick and “just really wanted a hot shower”, he “forced me to my knees”.
“I said “stop!” but he just got more violent”,” she wrote. “I asked him to stop, again, as I began to cry.”
She claims he raped her and she “passed out” – only to come round several minutes later, at which point he noticed she was awake and “came back to finish me off in the shower”.
My view of the rape kit. Thank you all for being so loving & supportive during this time. Your messages pushed me to take action and to stand up for myself and for all rape survivors. For those who wish to BLAME ME or any other survivor out there, I want you to know that you are the very reason that I am so brutally honest. I could have hidden details. I could have kept some info to myself, but NO. You need to know the truth and to see the reality of the situation. No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape. It doesn’t matter if I kissed him. It doesn’t matter if he was drunk. It doesn’t matter if I said yes to a shower. I never said he could get violent with me. I never said he could make me bleed. I never said he could rape me. But still, that’s how the scene went down. I don’t need to explain myself but if you’re wondering WHY I took a shower with him, it was written in the text, I’d been sick with food poisoning for 2 days and needed to sweat it out. My current place of residence has only cold water (third world problems are real!) and it seemed like a miracle to be offered a hot shower. That’s not what he was there for though, because as soon as he got a chance, he threw me to the ground and had his way. Dealing with rape is hard enough but the aftermath is often even more traumatic but I did this for you and I did this for me. The US Embassy and the South African police are super supportive and he may be arrested as soon as this week. Thank you for the love. And for the victim blamers, I send love, peace, and enlightenment to you so that you may be a beacon of light for us, too. #StopRapeEducate #AmberAmour #AmberTheActivist #SouthAfrica #humanitarian #healing #education #africa #survivor #sexualassault #recovery #victimblaming #overcome #rapeculture #staystrong
After the ordeal, Ms Amour, who was in South Africa to promote her “Stop Rape. Educate” campaign, describes her feelings of “shame, disgust, suffering”. She also relates the feelings of helplessness that can be experienced by rape victims.
“I’m here, alone, and any DNA has been wiped away in the shower. The South African police will just roll their eyes when I walk in. Feel sicker than ever now.”
She posted two further pictures – including one of her at hospital with a “rape kit” in front of her knees.
And while she acknowledges how gruelling it can be, she encourages other victims to speak out as she has.
“Dealing with cops is tough and the rape kit is the last thing I want – tools and metal instruments and combs all up in my private parts…But this is what I stand for.
“I tell you guys to speak up every single day and I know that I need to practice what I preach.”
She finishes with a message: “No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape.
“It doesn’t matter if I kissed him. It doesn’t matter if he was drunk. It doesn’t matter if I said yes to a shower.
“I never said he could get violent with me. I never said he could make me bleed. I never said he could rape me.”
She later spoke to Marie Claire about her decision to ‘blog’ about the alleged assault in real time.
“I immediately knew that I couldn’t keep what had happened a secret. So the first thing I did was take a picture and write a post, describing what had happened.
“It was almost an intuitive thing. I was still in the bathroom – in the crime scene. I don’t even think I’d stood up. I just typed and typed.”