It was 2016 and one of the biggest festivities happening in Spain: Los San Fermines. Around one million people got together to drink, party and (some) run the bulls.

For a young girl, it is a time for fun with friends.

But this was not the case.

This 18-year-old girl was brutally raped by 5 older males who violently penetrated her, recorded her and, after they were done, stole her cell phone and ran away.

She was brave and she reported it to the police.

That was all we knew about this case so far.

These past few days, we have gotten some information about how the trial is going. Turns out, the police has disregarded all the texts found on the group chat of these 5 males (named “The Herd”) where they spoke about using chloroform to abuse a girl or about raping a “Russian babe.”

Now it is debatable wether she was raped or not. Now we don’t believe her.

Meanwhile, what the judge has taken into consideration is the investigation of a private detective that one of the 5 males hired to follow the victim around and analyze her “lifestyle.” His conclusion: the girls wasn’t “sad enough.” She uploaded pics to her Instagram account, she went out with her friends… They even saw her laughing. Now it is debatable whether she was raped or not. Now, we don’t believe her.

The judge might consider that, because she didn’t lock herself up in her house to cry all day, she wasn’t raped. Maybe she wanted to be brutally penetrated by 5 guys to afterwards be left out in the middle of the street. She probably enjoyed it. I mean, she was clearly asking for it.

Turns out, we do not only have to be careful of not drinking, not dressing provocatively, not looking too into any guy, not agreeing to kiss someone and then decide we do not want to do anything else… We also have to stop our lives once we are actually raped because, if not, they might consider we are lying.

There are days where I lose my faith in humanity a little bit. Where I believe being a feminist isn’t worth it because we are never going to change the world we live in. Where I’m terribly, profoundly saddened for all my sisters around the world that are being raped, abused, bitten.

Then, there are days where disgusting things like this trial give me the strength to get up and go out and fight. Live my life just how I want to and how I deserve to. Days to hug my sisters tightly, raise my daughters strongly, teach my students about equality, let my male friends know when and how are they making comments that are degrading to women.

Days to say: Sister, I do believe you.

We are The Herd. We will help you and protect you. You are not alone.