Amber Amour is an American activist from New York currently in South Africa, and she made headlines around the world recently after she took to Instagram to share a harrowing account of being raped in the bathroom of a youth hostel she was staying in.
The short video above is of Amber responding after the event to support and kind words from Instagram users responding to her post in the CreatingConsentCulture on the social media channel.
The incident happened seven weeks ago while Amour was in Cape Town to promote her "Stop Rape. Educate" campaign (#StopRapeEducate). "I went back to my old hostel to leave a note for a friend, Nick. There was another guy there, Shakir, who was desperately trying to get with me." she wrote on Instagram. "I kissed him once but he seemed drunk so I told him it was bad timing, I had already met someone. Before heading out, I went upstairs to say hi to one more friend, Clyde from the states. Shakir followed me upstairs and said he was going to take a shower. He invited me to join. I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after 2 days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower. As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees."
It was then that he raped her. After the assault took place she posted an image of herself with tears streaming down her face, clearly distraught, along with the graphic and horrifying account of what took place.
#Repost @ambertheactivist ・・・ It was only a few minutes ago but sometimes these things happen so fast it's hard to remember all the details.... I've been sick for the past 2 days and today was my first day out. I went back to my old hostel to leave a note for a friend, Nick. There was another guy there, Shakir, who was desperately trying to get with me. I kissed him once but he seemed drunk so I told him it was bad timing, I had already met someone. Before heading out, I went upstairs to say hi to one more friend, Clyde from the states. Shakir followed me upstairs and said he was going to take a shower. He invited me to join. I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after 2 days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower. As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees. I said "stop!" but he just got more violent. He lifted me up and put his penis in my vagina. I asked him to stop, again, as I began to cry. When he shoved it in my ass, that's when I passed out. I woke up a few minutes later and saw him trying to creep out the door. When he saw that I was awake, he came back to finish me off in the shower. I have all those fucked up feelings that we get after rape...shame, disgust, suffering. I'm here, alone, and any DNA has been wiped away in the shower. The South African police will just roll their eyes when I walk in. Feeling sicker than ever now. Needless today, I'm going to disappear for a bit. Just need to enjoy the freaking sun and call my friends and family in the states. Love you guys. Thank you for always being there for me. All the more reason to continue @stoprapeeducate but not today. Today, I need rest. #StopRapeEducate
A lot of media are reporting that Amour was naked with the guy in the shower when the incident took place, but in another post on Instagram she made a few days ago she clarifies that this wasn't the case.
"The media (and the world) keep twisting up my story. I never got naked with him, the shower never happened. He attacked me as soon as the bathroom door was shut." she says. "I do think that this is still an excellent example in @CreatingConsentCulture. Even if a person is naked, even if you're making out, even if you're ALREADY having sex—you have every right to stop. Consent must be ONGOING. It's never 'too late' (a petty excuse some rapists use.) Respect your partner and take their word seriously. By not listening, you can turn a something fun into a nightmare."
Instagram has since deleted the caption from the original pic she uploaded immediately after the assault, but has kept the image up. Amour also posted two subsequent photos after the shower pic, one as she made her way to the hospital and another when she was in hospital with the rape kit.
While Amour has received many messages of support from people on the social media service, others have called her a fraud, say she's lying or that she's seeking attention by live-blogging what took place.
Amour says she live-blogged the assault because she wanted to encourage others who have been raped to speak up, something which she has been urging them to do as part of her "Stop Rape. Educate" campaign.
"I immediately knew that I couldn't keep what had happened a secret. Here I was, telling survivors every single day that they should speak up... I knew I had to practise what I preached. So the first thing I did was take a picture and write a post, describing what had happened." she explains in an article by Marie Claire. "It was almost an intuitive thing. I was still in the bathroom - in the crime scene. I don't even think I'd stood up. I just typed and typed. I told the story truthfully - I wanted to convey the message that no matter what a person does, they do not deserve rape, they did not ask for it, they did not put themselves in a situation."
Amour is currently still in South Africa, there is a police investigation underway. The guy who raped her has been arrested and released on bail, according to a post she made on Facebook, with the case set to continue on 29 March.