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March 26, 2018 | by  | in Opinion VUWSA |
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VUWSA

We had a rally! The “March on Midland” happened last week – there was a lot of chanting, yelling, and swearing as we let out our emotions towards sexual violence (it’s bad!). Huge moment for students, as we saw the rest of New Zealand wake up and listen to us for a hot minute.

But all of this is by-the-by because the takeaway is that I was on the news. And that means I am now a minor celebrity so far as my family is concerned.  

Mixed reviews were in from my 96-year-old granny. She was confused about why we were wearing black and why I had black stripes on my face. This was the stand-out feature for her. But on the plus side for me, she also says she’s never met anyone who organized a rally before. This is big because she’s probably met a lot of people in her 96 years.

News of my celebrity status reached my younger brother in the UK through Snapchat. His friends had snapped videos of me yelling into a megaphone. This was “cool”.

My mum said that she had sent the link of me on the news to all of her friends and our family. She has also been telling acquaintances that I was on the news when she sees them around Christchurch.

My dad sent me a formal email titled “love you”. This is a good way for my dad to express his feelings, and made me quite emotional also. Love you too dad.

No acknowledgement so far from my other sibling in the UK. If there’s no supportive message soon, mum will likely prod them to do so.

I have also been addressed as “superstar” by co-workers.

This is all quite enough spotlight for me. Please help speed my return to anonymity by taking up the collective baton to end sexual violence by speaking up LOUD in your community. I promise that at the very least my family will be proud of you.

But getting serious, contact me at welfare@vuwsa.org.nz if you’re keen to get involved in the next steps post-rally. It’s not enough to have a rally, get on the news, and call it a day. We’re gonna be working hard to get actual culture change, so that by the time our first years graduate, they’ll be going into workplaces with zero tolerance to sexual assault and harassment. And we’ll be chuffed knowing they’ll be safe.

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