Teens expose ‘shocking rape culture’
Two school girls and survivors of sexual assault have discussed the "shocking rape culture" that surrounds teenage girls in a new interview.
Danielle Villafana and Lily-Maud Horton, both 17, said they'd both been victims of rape in an interview with Lisa Wilkinson on The Project on Monday.
"I was on a public train when I was assaulted," Danielle said.
She said there were other people on the train when it happened, and nobody intervened or "said anything".
"I was so, so scared. I didn't think there was anything else I could do but freeze and wait it out."
She said it happened with a boy she'd known previously and trusted. A few weeks after the incident, she broke down at school and told a teacher what had happened.
She said the police were called and they "interrogated" her.
"They interrogated me on what exactly had happened to me and what I went through and what I said and what I did, and they asked me what I was wearing.
"A lot of guys don't realise that what you're wearing doesn't mean, or initiate, consent.
"It was terrifying to me that the very people who exist and are paid to protect you could ask you something like that and challenge the most traumatising thing that has ever happened to you and suggest that, as a kid, it's your fault that this happened to you."
"I can't deal with the idea of more children - children my age - going through what I went through."
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Lily-Maud Horton said her experienced of being raped left her "incredibly unstable, broken" and "terrified of men".
"In any situation where a male that isn't my brother is near me, I'm scanning, assessing, looking for danger."
Lily-Maud was attacked three years ago at a party - she told The Project she was raped by a man in his 20s.
"He walked in, stopped at me, and said, 'Wow. You are gorgeous'.
"And I was flattered. You know, I'm a young teenager. I'm insecure. And I didn't realise that a monster could look so kind.
"It was frightening to not have control of your own body, to have someone on top of you with the most intense eyes you've ever seen and such power, being paralysed in that way is something I wouldn't wish on anyone."
Lily-Maud said a few days after the incident she went to the police.
"I'm very lucky that the police officer I ended up with was female, empathetic, and had a heart of gold," she said.
But the officer assigned to her quit her job after her case.
"Because so many victims go through the court system and so evidently are victims, and then they just brush them off and say, 'Oh, not guilty'."
"I wish I wasn't a statistic. I wish I wasn't a part of some huge number that the government doesn't care about," Lily-Maud said.
"For him to go, 'Oh, well, at least you weren't getting shot at …' I don't get it.
"Because so many women are murdered as a result of this. And in a way, I was," Lily-Maud said.
"I'm still living, but I'm not the same girl I was.
"Part of me did die inside. And I'm never gonna be the same."
Last month thousands of students across Australia spoke out about sexual assault and rape among students, signing a petition started by Chanel Contos.
Contos called for testimonies from students on her website, saying schools needed to implement consent education.
Tonight on @theprojecttv two of the most courageous young women I’ve ever met.— Lisa Wilkinson (@Lisa_Wilkinson) April 5, 2021
Their wisdom and ideas for a way forward on the shocking rape culture surrounding teenage girls - of which they are both survivors - will blow you away.#TheProjectTV #EnoughIsEnough #March4Justice https://t.co/bkAif6yP9z
"Tonight on @theprojecttv two of the most courageous young women I've ever met," Wilkinson said before the episode aired.
"Their wisdom and ideas for a way forward on the shocking rape culture surrounding teenage girls - of which they are both survivors - will blow you away."
Georgia Done, a field producer for The Project, said the girls had decided to share their story for the first time.
"They want to further expose Australia's rape culture and unfair justice system. They were just 14 when they were robbed of their childhoods," she said on Twitter.
"I care about these girls so much. They're strong, wise beyond their years and have a message that will stick with you. A privilege to write and produce."
Originally published as Teens expose 'shocking rape culture'