How Aimee's 'Sex Education' Storyline Is a Realistic Depiction of Sexual Assault Survival

How Aimee's 'Sex Education' Storyline Is a Realistic Depiction of Sexual Assault Survival ...

Note: This article exposes situations of sexual assault that may be distressing or devastation for some readers.

Sex Education, a popular Netflix series, has never been shy away from difficult topics or the sexual experiences of adolescents, from queer sex to vaginismus. Despite the Aimees narrative of sexual assault, it is a standout for the program.

Aimee Gibbs (Emma Mackey) is the fun-loving, kind-hearted, and ditzy friend of Maeve. In the third episode of Season 2, she is sexually assaulted on her way to school. Aimee gets on her usual bus and smiles politely at the man behind her, while holding Maeve''s homemade birthday cake. Her face falls to unsettling fear when the man behind her starts masturbating on her, and her cries for him

Aimee later at school discloses the incident to Maeve, with her main concern being if shell be able to remove the semen stain from her jeans. Aimee is shocked when Maeve informs her she had been sexually assaulted and is fine, honestly. Aimee''s assault is so relatable to female viewers as we all have a slew of minor sexual aggression from men, and it is engrained to believe that it''s normal to smile and bear it.

It is only until after visiting the police station, where they admit there is very little to be done, that Aimee realizes what has happened. Whats so real about the depiction is that it took Aimee hours, until she was alone in her room to accept and feel the situation, and to understand that she was assaulted.

We see Aimee dealing with the aftermath of her assault. She physically separates herself from her boyfriend, causing stress or physical tension. She even hallucinates her assailant at parties and school, and continues to walk to school to avoid the bus. Yet, Aimee insists that she is all right, downplaying and minimising the situation.

As a result, many women have evolved their assaults into funny anecdotes, which they call "ghosts" in the society. Sex Education is a way to imply that you should not be raped; instead, you must accept it, move on and even laugh. Many women have transformed their assaults into funny anecdotes, rather than making it a reality.

The other female actors in this series show what happened to Aimee because of trauma suppression. In a heartbreaking yet unusual scene, Aimee emphasizes the importance of a supportive system, where often it is only until someone gets "permission" and validates your trauma that you can fully accept it. In the final scene, all women join Aimee on the bus.

Aimee summarises a common realization survivors and teenage girls have, stating that she isn''t necessarily scared to see her assaulter on the bus again, but that because he had such a friendly face, it feels like if he could do something like that, then anyone could, or may." In reality, women also face handsome, charming, and polite men who harass and assault them. The conversation is a perfect portrayal of girls growing up and recognizing their vulnerability.

The Sex Educations depiction of assault is impressive because because Aimees'' friendhip could have inserted the story in a useful (though illogical) bow, allowing her to return to comedic relief in Season 3. In real life, the storyline is difficult to continue, by starting a new season or rolling the credits. The healing process is slow, unique, and non linear.

Season 3 begins with a sex montage; however, Aimee is hesitant to take part in sexual activities with her boyfriend, instead opting to go trampolining. She continues to struggle with physical intimacy and admits to seeing Jean (Gillian Anderson), a sex therapist, after admitting to Maeve she feels safe on her own.

Sex Education is revolutionary, as it does not shy away from depicting how sexual assault can impact you as a person. In one of the most powerful scenes in the series, Aimee explains to Jean that she only wishes to be the old and smiley Aimee once more, blaming her happy disposition and smiling at the perpetrator as the reason she was assaulted. Jean adds that what she did to you on the bus has nothing to do with your smile or personality, and it is absolutely not your fault.

Every survivor of assault and harassment should look at this scene and absorb Jeans words. It is so vital for survivors to understand they are not to blame for their assault in so direct terms, as many internalize their guilt and shame, believing their actions resulted in their assault.

The Aimees storyline is a real narrative of surviveing assault, of minimizing and suppressing trauma, removing from physical intimacy, blaming yourself, and seeking help to resolve trauma. It helps women understand and accept their feelings from personal traumatic experiences and assaults, so they can see that they are not alone, that they are not to blame. There are also supportive systems and services available.

Trauma from sexual assault is only true when it is rape, according to Aimee. All assaults are tragic, and all survivors must be supported, believed, and respected.

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