RainLily Presents Arise – Hong Kong First Sexual Violence Survivors’ Portraits Exhibition
RainLily Presents Arise – Hong Kong First Sexual Violence Survivors’
Survivors Speaking Up Break the Silence with #MeTooHK
#MeToo has turned into a worldwide campaign. Nonetheless, it is still a taboo in Chinese communities to talk about sex or sexual violence in public. According to Hong Kong Police, the number of rape cases is increasing on yearly basis, as they have received 101 cases of rape in 2016. However, RainLily has received 167 rape cases in the same year, which implies that, one raped woman sought help in every 2 days. Among these women, only around 40% will report their cases to police. We believe that there are more victims hidden and forgotten in our society.
To increase the awareness of the public on sexual violence, and to support sexual violence survivors, RainLily is presenting Arise – Sexual Abuse Survivors’ Portraits Exhibition today (November 24), on the eve of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and to host a press conference with survivors.
Five Survivors Coming Forward with Their Stories
Survivors hope to send message to viewers through their photos and stories, that being sexual assaulted is not shameful. One of them said “People tend to blame victims. But as someone who had gone through, the blames are too harsh and unfair. It is the perpetrator who did the wrong thing, then why the victim is to be blamed instead? I hope members of public can think again on this ridiculous ideas, and do us the justice. “
Susan Ng, photographer of the partnering Johnny Productions, said it is an unforgettable experience to work with RainLily and the 5 survivors. She wishes to show their beauty and confidence through portraits.
Linda Wong, Executive Director of RainLily, said one of the objectives setting up the organization, is to go through the trauma with the victims of sexual violence, and to support them to speak up. “The myths of sexual
violence wrongly put the blame on victims, even for the victims themselves, they tend to blame themselves. And this kind of secondary trauma brings more harm to the victims than the sexual violence itself – which stop them from talking to others about what they have gone through.” She thinks it is a must to break the taboo of sexual violence and shatter the shame of being sexual assaulted, so to help and encourage survivors to live a life with confidence and dignity again. Now 20 years since the setup of RainLily hotline, 5 survivors stepping forward is a giant step in breaking the silence of sexual violence victims.
This exhibition is also one of the #MeTooHK events. Honoring the November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (ACSVAW) is hosting a series of community events, so to let the public understand sexual violence in Hong Kong, and to stop gender-based violence and encourage survivors to break the silence. More details can be found on Appendix 1.
Irene Lam (Communication and Resource Development Officer, RainLily)
Tel: 2392 2569