‘I’m humbled’ – rape survivor Lavinia Kerwick thanks public for huge support after Late Late appearance
RAPE survivor Lavinia Kerwick has said she was “completely taken aback” and “humbled” by the public reaction to her appearance on last Friday’s Late Late Show.
Social media channels lit up after the Kilkenny woman was given a standing ovation by the studio audience following her appearance on the show, which coincided with International Women’s Day
The Kilkenny woman said: “I have been completely taking aback and so humbled by the amazing reaction to my chat with Ryan on Friday night really wasn’t expecting it at all. Thank you to each and everyone of you for your kind words and comments.”
It is 27 years since Lavinia became the first woman in Ireland to waive her right to anonymity after the man convicted of raping her received a suspended sentence.
Introducing his guest, Ryan said the impact Lavinia has had since speaking out publicly in 1992 cannot be underestimated.
During the interview Lavinia, who endured severe physical injuries during her brutal assault, said the emotional injuries were equally as profound.
“It’s an attack of your dignity. It’s an attack of your soul,” Lavinia said. “My soul died. I lost me.”
Lavinia dropped to an alarming three-and-a-half stone through anorexia in the aftermath of her attack. She recalled her reaction upon hearing her rapist was given ‘a year to prove himself’, adding: “Between him and the court, they raped me again that day in court. I was stunned.”
After Ryan thanked Lavinia for the strides she has made on behalf of rape victims, she replied: “I don’t hear that that often.”
Lavinia reminded victims of rape: “This guilt and shame does not belong to you. It belongs with its rightful owner, the rapist.”
The Late Late studio audience gave Lavinia a standing ovation, while viewers at home wasted no time sharing their admiration for her.
One woman tweeted: “Lavina Kerwick thank you. I will never forget listening to you on the radio with Gerry Ryan when I was 16. I am so happy to see you tonight, you are such a strong inspirational woman. Again, thank you.”
Others described the Kilkenny woman as “incredibly brave”, “a hero” and “amazing”.
Blogger James Patrice tweeted: “What a phenomenal woman @kerwick_lavinia is – absolutely incredible.”
Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said: “My God. Lavinia Kerwick. What an incredible woman.”
PICTURE: Courtesy RTÉ