Filipino British artist and former MTV VJ and TEDx speaker Kat Alano will be in Hyderabad for the first time as a speaker at TEDxHyderabad. This former showbusiness personality has taken the issue of rape culture in the industry in Philipines head on.
A survivor of sexual assault, Kat uses her voice to create a safer world for victims by reassuring them that it is not their fault. Speaking over the telephone from the Philippines Kat says “When a person is raped, only the ‘predator’ and ‘prey’ know what happens behind the closed door. And it is alright for the victim to feel strange and confused. That’s what happened to me. I was 19 years old when I was drugged and raped. I didn’t even know what happened. I decided to keep quiet because I didn’t want anyone to take pity on me. I kept it a secret even from my closest friends. It took me nine years to process my thoughts and to finally gather the courage to speak up.”
Kat says she regrets she kept quiet about what happened. “Later when others started to speak up, I felt guilty. Because my silence made the predator more confident. Had I spoken out about my rape, many others would have been spared.”
But finally, when she spoke up she decided to be the courage for those who needed it the most. She says her talk resonates with her audience. It is not just about rape, “Women in show business need to be protected. They also get violated, and as women we need to stand in solidarity. They thought of themselves as being damaged or dirty, or were being blamed for the crime against them. We need to allow people to process their thoughts and decide how hurt they feel. Ignoring and remaining silent will only increase the list of women who are violated.”
Kat says that she has been able to speak and connect with people from various parts of the world on this [the issue of rape]. Which, according to her, only goes on to show that a lot of help is needed in the world.
“We must learn to listen, sympathise and feel their agony because apart from the victim no one really understands what one goes through after rape. We only think about the physical violation, not much thought is given to the mental state,” added Kat.
Kat will be in Hyderabad on Sunday (September 17, 2023) for her talk at TEDxHyderabad as one the speakers at Pradhan Conventions. The event starts at 9am.