70% of women have been raped?

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11 comments posted
Too many

There was a diary about a woman experience to rape over there a few months back.

At first I thought to myself well it never happened to me but then slowly I began to count how many women I knew personally who had been raped starting with elementary school. A girl in my brother fourth grade class was attacked beaten and raped in the woods coming home from her violin lesson. My brother was in charge of taking up a collection, m y mother took us to the store and we bought her a Barbie Stewardess and Barbie Plane (I remeber being jealous) . This was the early seventies and I was in the third grade and wasn't really sure what "rape" even meant. I just remember our little "get well committee" delivering this huge box to her house and her mother bringing her to the door, she had two black eyes and a plaster skull cap on her head.

This is the kind of thing one tries to push the far corners of the mind... but by the end of the day slowly releasing these memories from elementary school, to high school, to college and after I had counted TWELVE women I knew personally who were raped... and was aghast that I had never put them all together before.

Postdated's picture
Posted by Postdated (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 8:20am
It isn't rape if you know him ... right?

Just like the victims of gunshot wounds, the victims know their assailants. This seems to be a pattern in many of the assaults.

The common fear and myth is that someone will jump out of an alleyway ... and indeed that does happen ... but because the victim knows the assailant, it somehow changes the dynamic.

Like the person who suffers the beatings by a mate, the individual is reluctant to speak out.

That being raped is no reason to have an abortion speaks to the ubiquitous nature of rape and a society that has tacitly concluded boys-will-be-boys. After all, "what did you expect? He bought you dinner, didn't he?"

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 17 March 2006 - 9:09am
98% know their victims

The whole "stranger danger" is a bunch of bulllllllll____. Not only are women raped by the men they date, young girls AND boys are raped by their parents. Talk about conflict. What about, "what are you going to do? That's your dad." That is messed up. I hear about countless cases where "no evidence is found" and the child is walked right back into the lion's den and then beaten for telling such a "tall tale" before being raped yet again. Nightmare. Again, thanks for talking about it. It helps.

AngelaShelton's picture
Posted by AngelaShelton (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 9:37am
Talking about it is hard enough

When you're little, you don't want to get in trouble. You feel dirty. You feel guilty. You don't talk.

When you're an adult and you knew him, you don't want to paint yourself with that brush. Damaged. Unloved. Stupid for letting it happen. Violated so much that you must reinforce your boundaries -- you do it automatically, even if you don't want to.

Misogynists use this information against you. "Oh, that's why..." (and fill in the blank). It's used to dismiss you, belittle you, categorize and file you away. (Are you reading this, boys? You know who you are.)

And rather than take responsibility for their own actions -- making men take responsibilty for their own actions -- these men passing laws criminalize being raped. Just as they criminalize being gay. Criminalize that which they see in themselves -- rapists and possible homosexuals. It scares them, so they lash out....

...with laws that rape women all over again.

(Thanks for the love, Napoli. Nice to see you out there "protecting women.")

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 17 March 2006 - 10:50am
Not just girls

To your comment, postdated, and to Angela's ... it simply breaks my heart. To think, a child who would still play with a Barbie is brutalized.

In my own life, my ex was in fifth grade and he was taking private music lessons and his (male) teacher became inappropriate. Not all that much happened - spared the horror that happened to the little fourth grader, but my ex was so ashamed, he could not bring himself to tell anyone. As if it was his own fault.

Finally he summoned the courage and broke down and told his (high school aged) sister what had happened. And soon other children were coming forward, mostly boys, telling much the same. The teacher was getting away with it because the kids would not reveal what had happened. Mostly it manifested as the children suddenly did not want music lessons anymore.

The children did not know how to react when a trusted authority figure betrayed their trust.

The teacher was never charged.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 17 March 2006 - 11:39am
epidemic

Thanks for commenting about that. I travel every week to new universities, colleges and orgs and it doesn't matter where I am at, every single person I have met knows someone who was sexually abused. That is an epidemic. It is sad and frustrating to no end but we are slowly doing something about it by each one of us healing and helping our loved ones to heal. If we all heal and refuse to allow the abuse in our lives any longer, we will end the epidempic. Blogs like this are also doing something about it. That makes me happy. :)

Thanks - Angela Shelton, filmmaker and activist

AngelaShelton's picture
Posted by AngelaShelton (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 9:32am
No, thank you Angela

and Matsu for posting this. I have been trouble to say the least after reading Pandagons piece on the Orange County rapists and how they were the ones who were insulted that she brought them to trial. Neither the rapist nor their families saw what they did as wrong...

When I started counting the rape victims I knew (and to be honest after 12 I stopped trying to remember) the victims I counted who were under 10 years old 3 6 girls(the 4th grader, two sisters by their father, 2 by uncles, kidnap and rape) and 4 boys(his father, pillar of the community owner of a grocery store in New England, and a french tutor, 2 by uncles)... shit just writing this I came up with 7 more (I hadn't counted the boys and remembered 3 more girls... an this is just under the under ten's)... okay I gotta stop this.

You are right it is an epidemic. When we have the pope allow the biggest cover upper of pedophiles in the church give an eulogy at Pope JP2 funeral... it is beyond epidemic it is endemic and instutionalized.

I was thinking how all of these Christians who like to brag that they are soooo much better than Muslims and how Islam berates women. But when you actually look at both in actions there is not much difference. In Islam a man can only be convicted of rape if there are four MALE witnesses. In the OC rapists case there was a video and the first trail was a hung jury. In Islam if a woman is raped she brings shame on her family and it is her fault for enticing the man... that seems to be the exact defense of the OC rapists lawyers... she enticed the poor sweet innocent boys to put a pool cue up her butt when she was passed out.

No wonder I pushed this out of my head... I am afraid to count any more... why as a society we are not more outraged.

postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 2:05pm
Witness...

...to an attempted gang-rape here. I was sixteen, it was at a tony private school party where of course the would-be rapists were our schoolmates. My best friend and I screamed and punched and kicked them and finally chased them away from the girl they were after. Even being a witness was so traumatic to me that I blocked out the memory for several years. I had to timidly ask my best friend to remind me if it had really happened.

alsis39.75's picture
Posted by alsis39.75 (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 2:28pm
I used to be a good listener

I love people stories and throughout high school and college I had many people open up to me... even they were surprised. Many people get bored about the mundane life stories I throughly enjoy a good old fashion story telling (well I used to, not much patience any more and way too cynical).

I remember spending 4 hours listening to the stories of a retired Bronx fireman the other people there got bored but I thought it was the most fascinating thing I had ever heard. I used to be able to get people to just open up because I was really interested in what they had to say.

In college a friend wanted to read me her thesis on her ordeal with being raped as a child (add another one to the total above) and give feedback. There was a child rapist in her very poor neighborhood in NYC, she remembers the man leaving the room and sitting on the edge of his bed but her legs being "too short" to reach the floor. She heard her brother outside in the street calling her name (the mother sent out his gang (a real one) looking for her) and she found the courage to follow his voice to safety. At that time she must have been only four or five she had been lured away from playing in front of her stoop. She was lucky because later it was found out that he usually killed his victims, some kids were found dead on rooftops in the neighborhood. Everything, was blocked out until she was in her twenties when she started to have flashbacks of being in a hospital. After the first few chapters I begged her to find someone else to hear the rest ... she was hurt, so I kept listening... I won't even go into the gruesome details.

But I think this is why I know so many victims (a quick estimate is now well over 20) because I never saw a reason not to believe them and I let them talk. I think most do try to talk people but immediately are confronted with comments that they must be mistaken, lying or disbelief.

postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 17 March 2006 - 3:41pm
The Feminist Studs Terkel...

...is just what we need in this day and age, online style. Yeah, I know that lots of feminists have done what Studs does, with an emphasis on women's voices. But of course I can think of none as famous in liberal-Lefty circles as he is.

Maybe Angela and others praised here are just the women to break through...

Any time is the right time for consciousness-raising. It's just too bad that the onus is nearly always on women to do it, or even to just sit and listen to each other. Do the boys ever get together with each other and seriously mull over whether they could have raped anyone and simply denied to themselves at the time that that's what they did ? It's tough to imagine. >:

Forgive my clumsy phrasing, post (and others). I underslept and the coffee hasn't worked its magic yet...

alsis39.75's picture
Posted by alsis39.75 (not verified) on 18 March 2006 - 10:59am
There are so many we don't know about

There are a lot of women and girls who have been either raped or otherwise sexually assaulted who say they have not been because there is so much denial built into this issue and because so many people have told them that what happened to them did not really happen. I am always amazed, in interviewing women, how many say they have not been sexually assaulted, then later--through other questioning--reveal that they have.

Adolescent girls are always being told that "it wasn't rape," or "it wasn't anything." Married women do not like to acknowledge that their husbands sexually abuse them. The all-time bomb dropped in my office, though, was when a woman, during standard questioning, said she had never been sexually abused. Later, when going over a list of her children, there was one I could not account for from the list of partners and spouses she had given me. "Oh," she said, "I had that one by my father when I was 14."

Diane's picture
Posted by Diane (not verified) on 18 March 2006 - 3:42pm