This Swiss influencer has shocked fans by revealing that she was raped when she was just 13 and the only punishment her attacker received was a 12-hour community service order.
Mabelle Solano, now aged 24, said she decided to post details on Instagram to help provide courage to other victims of sex attacks by sharing her shocking story from when she was a schoolgirl.
She said she was constantly being pestered by a 14-year-old schoolmate who was always waiting around for her and she had complained to the school, but they reportedly did not act on her complaint.
She said: “After he even followed me into the bathroom, I decided to actively try and avoid him and take another way home. But he tracked me down anyway on the new route and then forced me to go with him. He grabbed me and covered up my mouth as he dragged me along. He was too strong, and I couldn’t defend myself. He told me: ‘Be quiet, it will be over soon.'”
She said afterwards he threatened: “If you tell someone, I will kill you.”
During the attack, she said she had been cut by shards lying on the floor and was covered in blood when she got home, crying and in shock. She said her mother was waiting for her, and knew what had happened, and the same evening they had gone to the police.
But because he was still a minor, he was sentenced to just 12 hours of social work.
She said: “When I heard about it, I felt helpless. I had panic attacks and had to go to therapy. And even today, I struggle to go into lifts or dark rooms and am never alone in the evening. For what he did to me, he should at least have been punished with a prison sentence. That needs to change.”
She added that she had decided to tell her story after reading the experiences of Morena Diaz, 26, who is also a social media influencer and he revealed that she had been raped by a ‘friend’.
Speaking about her decision to talk about what happened with Swiss online newspaper 20 Minutes she said: “I think it’s really important that Morena has removed the taboo from the subject. She has the ability to attract a lot of attention and to use that in a positive way. That’s why also decided to post a message that victims of sex attacks should be brave enough to tell their stories. I wanted to show other people ‘You are not alone’.”
She said the topic of sex abuse should also be covered along with sex lessons in classes, educating young adults to “show them the consequences of rape and why it is so important not to remain silent”.
She admitted that after her attack she had started to ask herself whether she had done something wrong. She said: “I looked for explanations. I wondered, was it the short skirt I was wearing, did he rape me because he experienced violence himself? But then I realised that none of this matters. I can go out naked, nothing is an invitation to be raped. It was also difficult that my schoolmates didn’t believe me. They said: ‘He told us something else’. They believed him first. This is very stressful for the victims’.”
She said she had also received a message from haters for making her rape public, calling her attention-seeking and adding that anybody who makes themselves freely available should not be surprised when this happens to them.
She said people who made such allegations and wrote such claims online are not thinking before writing, they have no empathy but also a lack of knowledge of what sexual violence means for a victim.
She says that as a victim of rape she would not wish the ordeal on anyone and that the best way was to educate them and challenge them on their ignorance and dismantle their arguments.
Asked how she felt about the attack today, she said: “After the rape, of course, mad rage and hatred. Hate is no longer present today. I know now that whoever rapes someone has an illness or disorder that needs to be treated. I doubt whether the then 14-year-old perpetrator learns from his mild punishment and whether he was also treated for his aggression. I did what I could and revealed what he had done – I survived and I want to look forward to and live my life.
“Today I concentrate on the positive things and, like Moreno, I try to encourage other victims. Because it is not a matter of wiping out one of the perpetrators, but also of catching victims in their grief and processing phase. I want to show that you can still live happily after such a situation, even if it is difficult at the beginning.”
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