Weight-loss blogger Simone Anderson opens up about horrifying gang rape

Publish Date
Thursday, 19 October 2017, 8:25AM
Photo: Instagram/simone_anderson

Photo: Instagram/simone_anderson

A Kiwi weight-loss blogger has revealed her brutal gang rape in an attempt to show other women they are not alone in their experiences of sexual abuse.

Simone Anderson, who famously lost 92kg and documented her journey to her 300,000 followers, posted about the alleged assault on her Facebook page as part of the "me too" campaign.

The campaign - where victims write the words "me too" on their social media - is sweeping the globe in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault revelations.

The disgraced Hollywood mogul stands accused of sexually harassing and abusing a multitude of stars and industry employees spanning a number of decades.

Anderson, 26, said about two-and-a-half years ago she went with five men to what she thought was an after party. But instead they raped her.

"I screamed no. Over and over.

"My mouth was covered and all I heard was laughter, and the words "you want it b***".

"It stopped after about two hours, I left with no phone or handbag because I just wanted out. I had no way of calling for help or getting a ride home.

"I was bleeding and could barely walk. I finally managed to hail a taxi and he allowed me to pay via internet banking."

Anderson didn't report it to police as she couldn't remember the location or their names. She said her memory was hazy and she believed she may have been drugged.

A police spokeswoman said they encourage anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault to report it to their nearest police station where they will be treated with respect and compassion."

Anderson kept it secret until yesterday, telling only three of her closest friends. When she saw the "me too" campaign she knew she had to speak up.

"The more we brush this under the carpet the more we let people get away with that. I wanted to share my story and what I had gone through so other women know they're not alone."

The more people that speak out like Anderson the more likely we are to get change, said Kathryn McPhillips, executive director of HELP, a support service for sexual abuse survivors.

The swelling "me too" protest movement would help hammer home the message that this sort of behaviour is not okay, McPhillips explained.

"Men who have that 'boys will be boys' attitude will see this speaking out and it will be news to them.

"What needs to change is a sense of male entitlement to women's bodies and a sense women needing to keep quiet about them, like it's women's shame not the shame of the men."

White Ribbon campaign manager Rob McCann said its 2017 campaign, which will be launched next month, asks men to "raise our boys" and gives dads the confidence and the tools to talk about respectful relationships.

"We want to give young men permission to move out of the metaphorical 'man box'. This involves treating women as equals, and being flexible and expressive - not what's typically shown in a movie or pornography."

What you can do

  • If you feel safe to do so, deal with it directly with the person concerned. Let them know you are not comfortable with what they are doing or saying.
  • Make a complaint to a designated person in your workplace, manager, health and safety representative or your union rep.
  • Make a complaint to the Human Rights Commission within 12 months of the event.
  • Make a complaint to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment within three months of the event.
  • Talk to colleagues, friends or organisations like HELP which support people in these circumstances.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.