Amber Amour, an activist based in New York, had been traveling the world as part of her Stop Rape. Educate. campaign when a harrowing sexual assault threatened to derail her journey. In a move described by Amour as "intuitive," she bravely shared her story on Instagram and other social media channels in an effort to further raise awareness surrounding the need for a culture of consent. "I immediately knew that I couldn't keep what had happened a secret," Amour writes in Marie Claire. "Here I was, telling survivors every single day that they should speak up. I knew I had to [practice] what I preached."
Amour first shared the following images, including a graphic description of the rape that allegedly took place inside a hostel shower in South Africa:
"I wanted to convey the message that no matter what a person does, they do not deserve rape," Amour adds. "They did not ask for it, they did not put themselves in a situation. There were definitely details I could have left out - there were definitely details I wanted to leave out - but I knew that if I wanted to create a culture of consent, I had to tell the whole story, exactly the way it happened." That central idea, a "culture of consent," now serves as the focal point of Amour's latest campaign:
Sadly, the incident doesn't mark Amour's first time as a victim of sexual assault. "The first time I experienced sexual violence, I was 12 years old," Amour, 27, says. "Confronting rape has been a life-long thing for me." Amour points to a 2014 attack, in which she was sexually assaulted by a roommate in New York City, as the moment she fully realized that truly achieving justice might involve taking matters into her own hands.
Earlier this week, Amour revealed that the alleged rapist had been arrested by local authorities and released on bail. With plans to continue her inspiring activism work in Namibia this week, Amour says she will "let the courts do their job." The case has reportedly been postponed until March.
For more information on Stop Rape. Educate. and Creating Consent Culture, visit here.