Director and actress Ana Rocha de Sousa reveals that she was raped as a teenager
“I want to believe that you stopped using your fame to harass and lure teenagers,” he said after receiving an award this Thursday.
The incident happened in 1995.
The 42-year-old Portuguese director and actress Ana Rocha de Sousa received an award in the Art category of the ACTIVA Women Inspiring Awards 2020 this Thursday, May 27th. The gala was held at the Teatro Tivoli BBVA in Lisbon and as explained in Activa magazine, Ana Rocha de Sousa gave a speech on sexual violence and revealed that she was raped in 1995 when she was just 17 years old. The video of the speech can be viewed on the website of the same publication.
The director and actress began by saying that “there is no woman who is not afraid of walking through a dark park or other more obvious place of imminent danger at night”. “There is always a moment when we let up our vigilance.”
Then he shared his story. “And one day I let down my vigilance and shouldn’t. I blamed myself. Also because she was so naive, typical of her young age, that although I was strangely warned of the danger, I thought it was impossible. Today I am talking to girls, teenagers, new women. The danger is not just in the obvious places. Protect yourself. Be it the victim of the anonymous man who is hiding in the dunes. Be in front of the famous singer you think you know and it seems so safe because he enchanted you with lyrical and beautiful words. It was the story in 1995 that I can’t tell you, ”he said.
“I regret very little in life, but I regret keeping the story that I got stuck for. To you, girl, woman, teenager, I say: It’s not your fault. Remember and repeat: it is not your fault. I have a lot to tell you that it can help. If it makes sense to you, write what I just told you, ”he added.
Ana Rocha de Sousa also spoke about those who criticize the #MeToo movement that has been voiced in Portugal over the past few weeks, with several people first reporting cases of sexual harassment they are targeting.
“For the trivial, who roll their eyes at these girls, who talk, who come forward, it will instantly stop getting bored. That’s no joke. These are not games. Stop asking for details from those that the law doesn’t allow them to divulge. More than that, stop living as if someone who is sane wants to be on the news or has his or her face glued to that pain; to these worries. Know that feelings of guilt, feelings of shame are immensely hard on us and that the last thing we need is demands, accusations, even more pain or some hint of judgment. “
Ana Rocha de Sousa ended the speech by addressing her aggressor directly. “For you, stalker, rapist. Be someone else, a boss, a dune man or a famous singer. I was taught to wish the good. I wish you all the best. I never plan to destroy anyone’s life. Never. I want to believe that after more than 25 years, you are someone else. Hopefully you are different and a lot better. I want to believe that you stopped using your fame to molest teenagers and lure them into your sexual, violent, crazy and promiscuous universe. I want to believe that I was the only one who suddenly had to grow up alone in the shame of my guilt. So be it. I hope so. I repeat: I am not even able to wish you harm. I understand that only a very aching, lost, and tormented soul will do what you know you did to me. Listen carefully: never do it again. Never do it again. “