Content warning: This post contains an account of sexual assault which may be triggering for some readers.
Australian model Adau Mornyang says she was only 17 when she was raped by two men in an Adelaide carpark.
Now 22, the Victorian Miss World Australia finalist has spoken about the experience in emotional Facebook live video, hoping her story will spark a conversation about victim-blaming in her community.
“I’m here to talk about something that happened to me six years ago,” Mornyang began the video, which is more than an hour long and has already been watched more than 37,400 times since Tuesday evening.
“I remember this day like it was yesterday. It has haunted me for six years.”
Do not justify rape #isurvived #KurRiak #Joe
Posted by Adau Mornyang on Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Through tears, the young South Sudanese woman recounted the evening of January 2, 2012, when she went out with two male friends, who promised to help her forget her heartbreak following a split from her boyfriend.
Far from cheering her up, she said the men – who she referred to as “John” and “Peter” – ploughed her with alcohol and took advantage of her.
“What I remember was I was on a concrete floor and I could hear the boys talking among them as I lay there in shock,” she said.
“I knew what was about to happen but I couldn’t move – my body just shut down.”
Mornyang reported the men to police and they were arrested, but after backlash from members of her community – who either blamed or disbelieved her – she said decided to drop the charges.
“I suffered in silence without the support of anyone,” she said.
“Our community doesn’t know much about sexual assault, they don’t believe it … and when they do, they blame it on the woman.
“‘Maybe you provoked him? Or maybe you asked for it?’ It’s not OK.”
Mornyang, has since moved to Melbourne and undergone counselling for her trauma and wants other young women to know that there are people who will support them.
“Rape is never your fault. You can never ask for it,” she said.
“We need to stop holding our boys on this high pedestal and allowing them to disrespect women and hurt them.”
If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.