Guðfinna Jóhanna Guðmundsdóttir, Reykjavík city councilor for the Progressive Party and Friends of the Airport, this morning made headlines for revealing that she was raped.
In a Facebook post, Guðfinna thanks all the people who have been coming forward with their stories of sexual abuse in the run up to tomorrow’s SlutWalk in Reykjavík—an annual event aimed at bringing the difficult subject of sexual abuse into everyday conversation, encouraging an end to ‘rape culture’ and to removing blame from the victims (for example that the way somebody dresses is any sort of excuse for raping them).
Guðfinna says hearing so many other people’s stories has given her the confidence to come forward with her own—saying that she was raped as a child by a man she didn’t know but who happened to be a neighbor of one of her friends.
She says it is important to remove the culture of silence which has surrounded sexual assault and its side-effects over the years.
“It is difficult to come forward and talk about something that one has hidden for so long, but it is also difficult to keep it hidden. I can honestly say that to confirm that I was raped and to put this status up here is one of the hardest things I have done, but still not as hard as living with the effects of it (the rape) for decades,” Guðfinna writes.
Guðfinna says one of the biggest impacts of abuse can be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which has a big impact on victims’ lives—including her own, DV reports.
“The anxiety, anger, fear, shame, nightmares, flashbacks, obsessiveness, hiding behind armor so that nobody knows what one has been through, the days when one has to talk oneself through the day to survive, the shyness, hopelessness, wariness, fear of the dark, and all the rest of it is difficult to live with and can manifest itself in many ways and in behavior that nobody understands, but which is really a cry for help,” she writes.