Events host and vlogger Bianca Valerio took to social media to give sound advice to victims of sexual assault in a tearful video.
In an Instagram video on Wednesday, March 30, Valerio shared her experience of getting sexually assaulted in 2021. This video was reposted on Twitter and Facebook.
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Valerio alleged that her attacker is a man working at a popular mobile application whom she met at an intimate private party she hosted on June 23, 2021.
She also shared that she had since sought legal actions against this man whom she claimed to have a criminal record in 2014.
Several personalities expressed support for Valerio and lauded her for being courageous in telling her painful tale.
Bianca Valerio’s video is a painful reminder of what many women like her go through at the hands of violent men.
Salamat, Bianca, for speaking up! Indeed, you are brave, & you are enough. https://t.co/pEPcaoWTSg
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) March 31, 2022
“I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you. I admire your courage and strength to speak up about your story. Praying for your healing!” radio personality Andi Manzano wrote.
“Thank you for coming out and sharing your ordeal. Wasn’t easy, but we see you and admire your bravery. We got your back B!,” TV host Rovilson Fernandez said.
“You are NOT just a talent. I’m sorry this happened to you and that you were in an unsafe environment, @bianca_valerio. I trust you are getting what you need to get thru this and if and when you’re ready, take the next step,” actress-host Issa Litton commented.
“Takes a lot of courage to take a stand,” TV host KC Montero said.
Importance of speaking up
In the video, Valerio said that she finally decided to speak up because she got tired of lying to herself that everything was fine.
She also wanted to protect other women from her attacker and others like him as she claimed the attacker allegedly had many victims through the years.
“The moment you find yourselves in a vulnerable position, the crime committed against you will never be justified ever. Ever. And no matter what, this does not give anyone, or people like him, the right to commit violence against you,” Valerio said.
“Remember that a crime is a crime,” she added.
“When I choose to say silent, I become complicit [in] the crime. My silence strengthens the suffering. My silence helps no one. The only person who benefits from my silence and my shame is him. That ends today,” Valerio further said.
The host then addressed her viewers. She hoped that her video would help normalize speaking up against violence from then on.
“How about we normalize speaking up against violence without having to look like we need to prove our innocence, that we need to ‘look’ like victims,” she said.
Valerio also pointed out that victims actually look like any “normal” person.
“You will never know that they have probably survived something so unspeakable. They look ‘normal.’ And why is that? It’s because they just need to do what they got to do in order to power through,” she said.
Sexual predators, meanwhile, can be found anywhere and not in some “dark alley.” “They are people you probably know. They could be a guest at a family-oriented party and you will never know,” Valerio continued.
What happened that night?
While she did not mention the attacker’s name, Valerio described him as a “cuddly teddy bear” and a “truly Mr. PR” person he was known to be.
“I had never seen, met, or heard of this man before that evening. He told me he was working for a very popular mobile app,” she shared.
According to Valerio, their interactions were cordial at first. He taught the host how to use the app and gifted her with “wallet credits.”
Valerio said the situation turned different when the man started offering her alcohol and drugs, but she refused all of them. She said the attacker proceeded to take advantage of her even after she rejected him.
“No means no. No doesn’t mean, ‘Please convince me.’ No,” Valerio said.
It was only after the incident that she found out that the man was not invited to the event she hosted in the first place. No person during that party also warned Valerio about the man.
“I really was just that outsider who was left to fend for her life,” she said.
After sharing her tale, Valerio apologized to all the people she might have disappointed following the assault.
She also said sorry to herself.
“But I do not take responsibility for what he did. I do not take responsibility for the crime he chose to commit,” Valerio said.
Although she did not specify the place where the assault took place, all forms of sexual harassment in workplaces and public spaces violate the provisions under Republic Act 11313 or the “Safe Spaces Act.”