Israeli Filmmaker Noa Maiman Talks Toolkit for Rape Recovery
[Trigger Warning for discussion of rape.]
Actor and documentary filmmaker Noa Maiman spoke on BBC Newshour recently to talk about her video blog series on Youtube, Toolkit for Rape Recovery. Maiman began the series in 2014, talking candidly in both Hebrew and English about her experience with abuse and rape, with a video titled “Ep 1: It’s Not Your Fault!! Toolkit for the Fresh Rape Victim.” In the series, Maiman discusses anxieties, myths, common responses, and other topics around rape.
In the interview, Maiman talks about the shift in her video titles from Toolkit for the Fresh Rape Victim to Toolkit for Rape Recovery. After releasing her early videos, Maiman said she received messages from women about the connotations of “victim,” one specifically saying she felt she couldn’t watch a video that addressed her as a victim rather than a survivor. She calls the early title “pessimistic,” but an accurate reflection of her mind at the time, noting that the title shift was indicative of her own real-life recovery process.
Maiman says that the series was “therapeutic” for her, and talking about her rape both publicly and with women who shared their stories with her helped Maiman understand the guilt she experienced was “the most normal response to an abnormal experience.” On those watching her series, she says:
The strongest theme for a rape survivor that watches it is to know someone else went through the exact same things.
The last question in her interview, “do you feel particularly unlucky?” snagged a bit for me, since it seems like there’s a small undercurrent of “lucky it could’ve been worse” which I’m wary of. While that’s a valid feeling, it’s also often applied as a victim-blaming or dismissive sentiment from those around the survivor (it might’ve just been unfortunate wording). The interview is only 5 minutes, so I recommend watching Maiman’s series on Youtube, which is a very powerful and honest look at the reality for many survivors.
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