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That quiet rumble has grown in to a roar…

I have recently been invited to a 10 year Anniversary party for the Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline and it’s got me thinking. Becoming part of the Rape Crisis movement just over 10 years ago has changed my life. For the first time I got to work with a team of people who all identified as feminists.

They actively addressed power imbalances and encouraged me to have a seat at the table. Now I’m a working class woman from Fife – I didn’t have training in Feminism or indeed even know what a ‘feminist’ was. Feminism was explained to me by a man in a rock band. Ironic? Perhaps not. I did know that I was often treated differently because I was a woman – I hadn’t been allowed to play rugby at school and was instead forced in to the violent terror that is school hockey. I had been judged on how I looked (too pale, too frizzy), how I dressed (too baggy, too much on show) and how I spoke (Who is Ken? Barbie’s boyfriend?!). But I got to sit with these amazing women, from diverse backgrounds and I had a space. Now I struggle to speak up in large groups, but as I grew accustomed to the ways of these rebellious women, I was encouraged to do so.

Slowly I began to realise that not only did I have something to say, but it was valuable. I thought we could change the world. And in some ways, we have. The National Helpline has answered around 35,000 calls since it began. I think it’s fair to say that some worlds have been positively changed because the Rape Crisis movement exists. And that quiet rumble has grown in to a roar. We are busier than ever. We want the world to be a safer and more equal place for all. We listen, we believe and we support. I urge anyone who identifies as a woman and has any free time to look in to how you can become part of this too. It’s awesome and it changes lives.

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