by Janis Hillard
Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say this: I was raped from the ages of seven to sixteen by a relative. That’s pretty much all you need to know. I don’t condense my story to be flippant or dismiss what has happened but I do it so I won’t trigger other survivors who are reading this and also for the non-survivors who don’t need to be equally traumatized.
In short, I was stripped of all my human dignity at a very early age. I learned to survive childhood, puberty and young adulthood by suppressing the rapes and pretending that they never happened. I went through heavy bouts of depression and anger until one day I realized (through therapy, etc) that it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t deserve to be raped no matter how horrible a person I was groomed to believe that I was.
After years of ups and downs, I decided to act. I was tired of hearing men say that they wished they could do something regarding rape and assault without feeling as if they were the bad guys (literally and figuratively) and participate in the fight without judgement. That’s when Edipus was born.
Music. I love music. It has massive power. When done under the umbrella of love, it can move mountains and shakeup the masses. It also brings about celebration and unity; strength and potentiality; oneness. It is my hope that Edipus Concert reaches its full potential by helping those who are in pain start the healing processs. Lord knows music has saved me throughout my struggles. It spoke when I couldn’t and listened when I thought no one was there.
My story isn’t so unusual or unique. Countless numbers of women, men and children are raped every minute of every day around the world. You should not be impressed. What you should be is angry. Angry because this still happens and will continue to happen unless we as a human race become more proactive and fight against its tyranny.
Edipus Concert is not a solution or an explanation but a reaction and response to a call from those who have suffered and will go on suffering from the effects of rape and sexual violence until we all start to act. It’s a tiny part of the fight. Join me and others so we can fight together.
Stay strong and power to all oppressed people.