The Pink Dress

Alison Shan Price

It takes one photograph. A photograph of a simple display of clothes, clean and neatly pressed, attached without adornment on parallel white walls. Had I connected to my Facebook page a few moments later I would have missed it and these words in print before you would not have been written today.

The clothes are not designer clothes merely, but also ordinary dark shades of loose trousers, long skirts and baggy tops in many sizes. On the back wall, not easily noticed, is a tiny pink dress. I cannot read the name of the person who brought this pretty smock, so similar to that of my own daughter once, as a two year old.

But it was appalling to discover that this was an exhibition of clothes worn by rape victims. An exhibition quietly stating ‘It was Not Your Fault’. I do not feel noncommittal or even shocked; but I am very angry. I am angry as a mother, an educationalist and as a human being. I am angry looking at the size of her dress because of the evil destruction of a child’s innocence and of her body and mind, in a world which boasts about caring religions and protective legal systems.

I am angry on behalf of the parents who could not protect their child, who have had their primary function torn from them, physically and/or psychologically. I am angry about the growing drive of the ‘do-gooders’ who believe that it is fashionable to encourage children to fight their rights as ‘mini-adults’, in person and online, at the detriment of adult protection.

I am angry because this pink dress represents the clothes of little girls and boys all over the world, of yesterday and today, and it represents those who live unaware of the terror they will witness, or who will be the victims of tomorrow. I am angry, that as a woman of action, I feel powerless to act. But I, like you, dear reader, have the power of Voice, and this is mine.

Shan Price MBE is CEO and founder of One World Actors Center (OWAC) Kuwait, a leading theatre production and training center in Kuwait.

By Alison Shan Price