Web Letters | The Nation

A rape victim speaks out

I came across this on a friend’s Facebook in response to your article. Very touching and moving response.

As a victim of repeated rapes over the span of my last two years in high school, the tragedy reported in this article makes me sick to the stomach. It is a deep, dark hole that women are shoved into following sexual assault.

I was never intoxicated, I was never violently attacked, I was never inappropriately dressed, but I most definitely was unwilling. Each and every time I said no, it was rape. Each and every time, it cut deeper. Unprecedented thoughts of suicide raced through my mind. I was lost and felt hopeless. I felt strangled by a world I no longer knew or understood.

Somehow, through the love and support of my friends and family, I’ve made it to a place where I’m happy, successful, and proud of myself. If you’d asked me six years ago if I felt any of those things, the answer would be an unquestionable no.

I didn’t fight back. I didn’t report it to the police or anyone else. I accepted it and in doing so gave the guy the impression that it was okay, that it was all right to violate me again and again. I don’t want this post to be an attack on him (long ago I found it in myself to forgive him for the pain he caused me). I want this post to send a very clear message.

Rape is never okay and it is never the woman’s fault.

To the women who have suffered: Rape does not define you. Do not let it control or limit you. Search out the love and support of those around you. Believe in yourself. Love yourself. Most of all… do not blame yourself.


The World

Apr 19 2013 - 9:56pm

Facebook & Social Media Outlets Need to Censor Rape Pictures.

Some very hard questions were raised in this piece, questions that must be dealt with by parents, religious organizations and, yes, even schools in their sex education classes. The message must be clear: rape is never acceptable, it is a crime. Taking pictures of a rape and then posting is a crime. However, there is another question that must also be raised—why do social media outlets publish these pictures? I realize that many of them are sent as attachments to e-mail and probably can’t be stopped, but reports seem to indicate that some of these were sent or available in some kind of large quantities. Yes, the internet world always screams freedom of speech, but I wonder what would happen, if it were the daughters, wives, sisters of some of the people in charge who were being raped and then humiliated by Internet exposure. Perhaps freedom of “exposure” wouldn’t be an abstract concept good for everyone else. We do need a conversation about this with real cases not abstract notions that seem noxious when they lead to the suicides of young people. Unfortunately, the Internet serves a great bullying function too and we have been quite unwilling to confront that issue.

Bill Morgan

Shippensburg, PA

Apr 18 2013 - 4:13pm