Together, it’s #metoo: when victims of sexual assault help each other

In her memories, after the rape, she ran down the stairs. Alice (first name has been changed) opened the door to the building and everything stopped. It was as if this evening of 2012 had not happened, as if “that” had never existed. Alice was 21. Today, she has 30. In November 2020, she wrote a long letter to the public prosecutor, and she lodged a complaint against Michel Didym, ex-director of the Théâtre de la Manufacture de Nancy and director recognized. She accuses him of having raped her eight years earlier, during a work session at his home, in his Nancy apartment.

Her long journey and her slow awareness, she says it owes her to others, to her friends, but above all to other victims. About 20 women denounced sexual and gender-based violence, or inappropriate attitudes, in the press and with the police, but only Alice lodged a complaint. Michel Didym denies having had sexual relations with his accuser.

Since the explosion in 2017 of the #metoo movement, which encourages people to speak out on these subjects, this same observation has often arisen. Beyond the peculiarities specific to each case, the “cases” of sexual violence also tell the stories of women – and, to a lesser extent, of men – who meet. These paths which cross, these paths which collide around a common experience, almost always have the effect of an explosion.

And with a click, to take action. Journalist Hélène Devynck, one of the first women to testify on her behalf, in March, in what became the PPDA case, summed up, on the set of the program “C politique”, on November 14, what a moment “Upsetting” : “When we met, it blew up a bubble of loneliness for each of us. ”

Find the right words

A group of fourteen women who testified in the PPDA case and in that targeting Nicolas Hulot, relaunched in November by an investigation of “Special Envoy”, recalled, in a letter to Emmanuel Macron published in The world dated December 9: “These testimonies have been difficult and costly for many of us. It took us years to have the strength to deliver them. We did it to support the first, those who had the courage to go to justice. ”

“It was becoming impossible to think that he could still hurt others. Alice

A process that took a long time for Alice. She decided to act when she realized that she was not the only one concerned. For four years after that night in 2012, she had the confused feeling that something bad had happened to her, but she struggled to find the words. It is by discussing that memories come back. One evening in 2016, in a bar, a friend told her about the incest she suffered as a child. “She said she admired this man. She spoke of power and control. She said she found it normal for a long time, Alice remembers. The more she spoke, the more it made me think. “

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Together, it’s #metoo: when victims of sexual assault help each other

Fuzzy Skunk