15 Nov 2013

Abuse blog draws dozens of posts

7:57 pm on 15 November 2013

Almost 100 people have revealed their experiences of sexual abuse - some for the very first time - on a new website created in response to an Auckland sex scandal.

The organiser wants to raise awareness of rape culture and wants survivors to realise that they are not alone.

The "I Am Someone" website, set up by Meg Bates, went live on Friday and has had nearly 100 submissions by women and men, mostly anonymous, detailing their experiences.

Ms Bates says she wanted to respond to rape culture, recently highlighted by a group of young Auckland men boasting online about sex with girls, some of whom were underage or drunk.

She says a huge number of people are affected by abuse, with more guilty of victim-blaming or not taking rape seriously and the onus is on the perpetrators, not the victims, to explain their actions.

The Sexual Abuse Support and Healing organisation in Nelson says people are talking for the very first time about what happened to them - and that is an important step.

"It's huge and it's a scary thing, too, especially the ones who are saying it for the first time, because to say it or have it on a public forum like this makes it real," spokesperson Sarah-Jane Macmillan says.