A Woman Assaults Herself in Harrowing Film About Victim Blaming
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#BlameNoMore film and Hype collaboration from TBWA Hunt/Lascaris and Darling Films faces up to difficult conversations
It’s a difficult watch about a difficult conversation. This year, for National Women’s Day in South Africa, TBWA Hunt/Lascaris, hip hop magazine Hype, and Darling Films have come together to create a bold and unswerving campaign that aims to dismantle the phenomenon of victim blaming by making audiences face up to its awful absurdity.
The campaign comes with a film directed by Darling Films’ Zee Ntuli. The film follows a woman at a house party. She goes to the bathroom where she is assaulted – by herself. It’s a film that is undeniably difficult to watch and deliberately confronting. It features a brave and affecting performance by South African actor Mamarumo Marokane, who throws herself into the self-inflicted brutality.
Hype, the top hip hop magazine in the country, ran #BlameNoMore as a cover story for Women’s Month. Women’s Month is an expansion of Women’s Day, the commemoration of the day in 1956 when over 20,000 women marched in Pretoria against a racist registration law. The annual event began in 1995 and these days it’s a time for publications, politicians and brands to focus on women’s contribution to society as well as topics such as gender equality, pay, domestic violence.
In this case the organisation Tears: Support for Rape Survivors wanted to confront the persistent and unhealthy narrative that seeks to criticise rape and sexual assault survivors for their actions and dumps the blame on them rather than perpetrators.
“Essentially, when you blame a victim, you accuse someone of their own rape. The video depicts the moral and logical absurdity of victim blaming. After all, who in their right mind would wish that kind of terror upon themselves,” said Peter Khoury, chief creative officer, TBWA Hunt/Lascaris.
The Hype magazine #BlameNoMore manifesto reads:
IT’S TIME TO
Rape culture is so embedded in our society that we have become desensitised to the daily headlines, horror stories and statistics. Given the choice, many avoid the topic altogether. We can’t ignore it any longer.
When you blame a victim, you accuse someone of their own rape. Just think about how crazy that sounds. Who in their right mind would wish that kind or terror upon themselves?
It’s time to challenge our own attitudes and perceptions about who’s really to blame for sexual violence. It’s time to change the conversation – on social media, among friends and with your family.. It’s time to create an environment where people can express themselves in any way they choose, without feeling like they are inviting a crime. It’s time to empower victims with the confidence and support to stand up, stand together and be heard.