MANILA, Philippines – Bianca Valerio has spoken up about her experience of being sexually assaulted, allegedly by a man she met at a private party she was hired to host on June 23, 2021.
The host and vlogger took to Instagram on Thursday, March 31 to open up about the incident and address her attacker.
She did not name her attacker but described him as “this cuddly teddy bear who was truly the Mr. PR he is known to be.”
According to Bianca, he told her he was working for a popular mobile app, and that he taught her to use it and had given her wallet credits that the app was known for.
It was only later on, after the alleged assault, that she found out that he wasn’t invited to the party, that she wasn’t his first victim, and that he is “a convicted felon, a man with a criminal record that dates back all the way to 2014.”
‘No means no’
Addressing her attacker, Bianca said, “I have survived many bullies like you all throughout my life…. I never asked you for anything that night. I never asked you to buy me a drink. I never asked you for wallet credits. I never asked you for a ride home. I never asked you for narcotics.”
“No means no. And no doesn’t mean, ‘Please convince me.’ No. And I guess just because I was kind to you, you probably thought that it was okay to take advantage of me, to manipulate me, to isolate me, to physically hurt me, and to sexually assault me,” she said.
A tearful Bianca went on to say that while the assault only happened on one night, the trauma lasted for a long time. She also said that the incident made her question her own actions and blame herself for what happened.
“If there’s one person that is utterly disappointed in myself, it’s me. But I do not take responsibility for what he did. I do not take responsibility for the crime he chose to commit,” she said.
She also called out the other guests at the party – especially other women – who didn’t warn her about the man despite knowing what he had already done.
“Yeah, I get it, I’m not their friend, I am just the talent. Technically, they don’t owe me anything. I really was just that outsider who was left to fend for her life,” she said.
She also called out “the vicious victim-blaming” that has kept other victims silent and has allowed the attacks to go unchecked.
“It’s like going through an additional trauma for something that was never our fault. This is most likely why he has gotten away with it for so many years. This is why I am speaking up,” she said.
Despite the potential consequences, Bianca said she is speaking up to warn others about her attacker and others like him.
Ending her silence
“While I know that speaking up may result in me losing work and changing your impression of me, this is not enough to silence me. When I choose to stay silent, I become complicit to the crime. My silence strengthens the suffering. My silence helps no one. The only person who benefits from my shame and my silence is him. That ends today,” she said.
Bianca mentioned going to the police and taking legal action, though she hasn’t specified what actions she has taken.
“I honor the victims by reporting this crime to the police, and have sought legal action,” she said.
She ended her video by addressing the man’s other victims, as well as other victims of violence.
I’m not here to ask you not to judge me. I know what I’m getting myself into…. If you see me as less of a person then so be it. I can’t change what happened. It is what it is, so you can judge me all you want. But please remember, your judgment [of] me does not change what happened. Your judgment [of] me should not overshadow nor deflect what he did. He sexually assaulted me. And if you’re watching this and he sexually assaulted you, he sexually assaulted you.
“Just remember, I see you, you are strong, you are brave, you are enough. Remember you are a survivor, you are not alone. Remember that your voice matters because I have just shown you right now how I use mine,” she said.
She called for punishment against her unnamed attacker: “Even if after this you still decide to punish those who speak up against violence, then I only ask for one thing, that you punish this monster just the same.” – Rappler.com