Q: Please tell us a little about yourself, your occupation, and what a day at work looks like for you?
A: My name is Camille, and I am passionate about ending sexual violence and promoting sexual wellbeing. I am the Founder of The STOP Campaign, a volunteer grassroots organisation that prevents sexual violence in tertiary learning communities through activism, awareness, education, and empowerment. In terms of my employment, I have recently joined the not-for-profit sector in sexual violence prevention after working in Government across criminal justice responses to sexual violence, online harms, and child sexual abuse policy areas.

A day in my life at the moment looks like developing resources on consent and responding to disclosures of sexual violence for supporters of people with disability from 9am to 5pm. I then work on STOP’s projects - such as delivering College Program sessions with university students or distributing Safe Response Toolkits to organisations. I love working with a wide range of people with diverse lived experiences and contributing to sexual violence prevention on the ground by creating resources or delivering workshops - it is so much more hands on than my previous policy role!

Q: Before working in your field, what preconceived ideas did you have surrounding bullying?
A: I did not fully understand the power of language and how words change lives before I started learning about trauma in university. This is why I dedicate my time to connecting with people on a personal level, and supporting people to share their experiences and be a part of a collective movement. I also did not understand how to approach bullying in a trauma-informed way, and thought that ‘callout culture’ was the only solution on a peer-to-peer level.

Q: How have your thoughts changed?
A: I have learned about trauma and how it manifests in people’s thoughts, behaviours, and actions. Bullying and sexual violence are extremely interlinked within our society. In particular, technology-facilitated bullying occurs towards people who may speak up about their abuse or share their experience in the hopes of changing the narrative and contributing towards positive change. I now understand that building structures of care across all levels of community and particularly through peer-led initiatives can support people experiencing bullying, support people who bully others to be accountable for the harm they have caused, and ultimately transform lives.

Q: In your opinion, what connects schoolyard bullying to adulthood? What are the consequences to that connection?
A: People’s experiences of schoolyard bullying follow them into adulthood - particularly people’s self-worth and the value they assign to themselves. Something that strikes me as not spoken about enough is the consequence of how people feel so ashamed, especially when their bullying is related to their experience of sexual violence, that they see no way out. In this way, preventing sexual violence and bullying is suicide prevention.

Q: What would you say to your younger self if she was being bullied?
A: On a personal level, I was bullied throughout my childhood - particularly in relation to my experience of sexual violence and associated trauma impacts on my wellbeing. While I wish it was different now, it is not an uncommon experience for people who experience sexual violence to be targeted by bullies and victim-blamed for what happened to them. So, if I could say something to my younger self, it would be: “You do not deserve to be treated the way you are. You will get through this moment in your life and go on to reclaim your narrative in a new city, with new friends, in a new community. You will find happiness in helping others and make this a part of your life’s mission. You are worthy of love and respect - never forget that.”

To all victims and survivors of sexual violence and bullying, know that there are people out there who believe you and will walk alongside you on your journey towards healing.


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