Trending Topic: Bianca Valerio Speaks Up On Why Exposing Harassment is Hard As Women's Month Draws to a Close - Trending

Valerio encourages her fellow women to end their silence.

TV, event, and online host Bianca Valerio has shared her experience of sexual assault in June 2021.

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Valerio wrote in her social media channels that the perpetrator was a guest at an intimate private party that she hosted.

“I had never seen, met, or heard of this man before that evening,” the Filipino-Taiwanese-Spanish host wrote.

But after going through what she had to go through that evening and upon learning of her attacker’s alleged record of wrong over the years—“It’s all over the Internet”—she felt she had to speak up. And she’s encouraging other victims to do the same.

On the record

“I do not want this to happen to anyone ever again. Please share,” she captioned a 20-minute video where she expounded on her story. She used the hashtags #ToxicMasculinity, #ToxicGratitude, #EmpoweredWomenEmpowerWomen, and #HealingOutLoud.

Her trauma echoes similar struggles of women worldwide. Globally, six percent of women report experiencing sexual violence from someone other than their husband or partner.

Furthermore, the true prevalence of non-partner sexual violence is likely to be much higher, considering the particular stigma related to this form of violence, according to the United Nations (UN) Women.

Valerio also criticized her fellow party guests at the time, adding that she wished she had never taken the job. She felt that she wasn’t warned despite them knowing of his apparent reputation.

“The guys, fine, forget them. But the women, the women, I’m thinking was I expecting too much?” she asked in the video.

She also reveals that the incident caused her to blame, torture, and physically harm herself nearly every single day since then.

“I’m using this opportunity to apologize to every single person I have disappointed through this incident. There is one person that is utterly disappointed in myself. It’s me. But I do not take responsibility for what he did… for the crime he chose to commit,” Valerio said.

Society is complicit

It made her realize why other sexual assault victims rarely speak up.

“They have to live with the shame of being judged. Judged by society, judged by you,” Valerio said. “The vicious victim-blaming that happens is why we keep silent. It’s like going through an additional trauma for something that is not our fault.”

According to UN Women, an estimated 736 million women (almost one in three) have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life. This doesn’t even include sexual harassment.

To make matters worse, low and lower-middle-income countries and regions disproportionately experience violence against women compared to their developed counterparts.

The Dordulian Law Group said the top reasons that people don’t report sexual abuse are fear of retaliation, shame, lack of response from authorities, lack of significance, belief that the police cannot help, refusal to get offender in trouble with the law, reluctance for family or friends to know, fear of the justice system, feeling the crime was not serious enough or fear of lack of evidence, and feeling that too much time has passed.

Valerio said she is honoring other victims by reporting the crime to the police and has since sought legal action over her experience.

The personal development advocate says she refuses to be a victim, imploring other women to empower one another. “I hope you can find it in your heart to help other women… other people, as well,” she says.

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