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MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign

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MP reveals rape in viral twitter campaign
Laila Gustavsen on Karl Johans Gate during Norway's 2013 general election. Photo: Labour Party/Flickr
22:47 CEST+02:00
An MP for Norway's Labour Party has spoken out about being raped when she was 15 years old, as more and more prominent women join a national twitter campaign to raise awareness of sexual harassment and abuse.
Laila Gustavsen disclosed that she had been raped by a 40-year-old man after falling asleep on a bed at a party where most of the guests were middle-aged. 
 
“I woke up and I was being raped by an adult," Gustavsen told the Aftenposten newspaper. "I was 15, he was older than 40. These were people I trusted. They were from the place where I grew up. And then this happened.”
 
"It was a huge violation, I was very ashamed. What in the world had I done to make this happen?" she wrote on Twitter. "What was wrong with me? I took the blame for it. I think that is very common.”
 
More than 7,000 women in Norway have shared their stories of sexual harassment using the hashtag #jegharopplevd, meaning "I have experienced". 
 
The campaign was launched by kindergarten teacher Cathrin Svanevik Frøyen in an opinion piece in Aftenposten written to protest a comedy skit show on NRK, which made a spoof porn clip satirising TV aerobics instructor Kari Jaquesson. 
 
”I have grown up in a society that uses sexual shame as a sanction against women," Frøyen wrote before calling on women to express themselves on Twitter.  
 
"It is important not to be a dirty whore. Why is it still impossible for many women to admit that they feel arousal? Why is sex so hard and dirty for many, even in loving relationships? Could it have something to do with the sexual shame that is increasingly used to push us down?” .
 
Gustavsen said she hoped her tweet would help other rape victims to understand that they are not to blame for what happened to them. 
 
”I was terribly ashamed for many years, but now I have put it behind me,” she told Aftenposten. ”You know, there are other 15 year-olds out there who have experienced the same thing. I am a strong person. I have survived, got through it and I know it wasn’t my fault. That’s why I tweeted.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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