Posted Monday, August 31, 2009
Few crimes are more traumatic than rape. The scars run deep and victims rarely want to talk about it publicly. So, when one does, it commands our attention. Reporter Joanna Connors was sexually assaulted on a Cleveland college campus 24 years ago. It haunted her until she began to retrace the life of the rapist and face the inner conflicts the assault produced in her own life. Join us, Monday morning at 9 for a conversation about surviving rape. **This is an encore presentation of a program that originally aired May 5, 2008.**
Health, Mental Health
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I listened to the radio broadcast this morning and wish to comment. First, I am a father of girls, have been very active in my parenting of them, and have always been concerned about their safety. Therefore, I listened intently to the show this morning and am glad you broadcasted it. Rape is a very serious crime and I, as a man and a father, wish to eradicate it completely. It is wrong and a crime. Surviving rape, which is the topic of your show, needs to be discussed seriously and we need to support those courageous women (and men, like me) who speak out against it. That said, and I say this with no intent of diminishing the seriousness of rape, I have a personal story that I have not expressed over the years and wish I could. I am a survivor of sexual abuse allegations! I have lived with this for years and continue to see a therapist for post-traumatic syndrome that resulted from these terrible allegations. I can’t go into all of this now because it would be a book, but I will tell you that at some point it would be nice to hear from men like me who have been wrongly accused of sexual violence and the trauma it causes to men and their children. Unfortunately, it is more common than you believe. And it is devastating!!!
I just want to say thank you to The Sound of Ideas and to Joanna Connors for the program this morning. Such a kind and healing hour.
I was raped at Ohio Wesleyan in 1963. The school psychiatrist told me that I “stretched too much”, a variation on the theme of wearing the wrong dress and being in the wrong place.
The rapist was the president of a prestigious fraternity, and was never confronted by me or anyone else. After 2 weeks of waiting for him to call (yes!), I went home and slept solid for 2 weeks. They said it was some strange kind of “mono.” I never told anyone else what had happened to me. I knew it was my fault.
What followed for me was a reckless use of my body, since I had lost the power of the word “no”. In this way, I kept an untreated wound open. Shame and guilt and fear and anger influenced my life in all its aspects.
Almost 30 years later, when this rape had gotten a name--date rape-- I heard someone give a talk about it at my church in Pasadena, California, and went for treatment at the Rape Treatment Center in Santa Monica. When I called OWU’s health department to get a picture of “my” rapist, they refused, saying that his picture from the annual was private. I called the alumni office, and they sent it to me when I said that I was planning a surprise for him. I just wanted to see his picture, because I felt after so many years that I had made the whole thing up.
Even though I think that I have “gotten over” this incident that occurred 46 years ago, it is amazing to see the emotions come up when the subject comes up, which it rarely does.
Thank you for the forum for a subject that affects many more women than we probably know about.
One question-- is there a place for men with the urge to rape, a place for them to air their desires, anger, whatever it is that makes them do it? A rapist hot line...........
Thanks, very much.
First, I am sorry for what happened to you. When a woman is raped, by a person of any race, it is an insult to all women. It’s more insulting when some people put it on the victim instead of the criminal.
The reasoning for the the outrage by so many black people when the rapist was said to be black is rooted in the history of this country. So many black men ahvw been lynched because someone said they ‘looked’ at them. A white woman points her finger and that black man could be heinously torutured for a crime he did not commit. The stories of Rosewood and Tulsa, well documented can attest to what a lie has done. This is just a perspective from a black woman.
My mom was almost raped as a young girl. Her attempted rapist happened to be white and thought he had the right. She fought him off with scissors. This was jim crow Louisiana in the 30’s or early 40’s. He thought he had this right to the point he went to her mother and complained. My grandmother told him if he touched her again, she would kill him.
As a woman, I feel any rapist should suffer the hounds of hell. No woman should be subjected to the added mistreatment, endured afterward. No matter if she is walking down the street naked, or, in the tightest clothing possible, it does not mean she is ‘asking’ for it. This society needs to grow up. Women are not sex objects to be used on some man’s whim. We are Women, wives, mothers, grandmothers, doctors, lawyers, Secretaries of State, more than once. There are states that consider a man’s horse worth more than a woman and have stricter rape laws for ‘sheep’.