Is anyone truly a stranger to nightmares? Has anyone not woken up in a feverish sweat with a racing pulse or pounding heart? Whose eyes have never wildly searched their room for the phantoms of a dream? Now, what if the familiar consolation of learning it was all in your head never came? How do you wake up from a nightmare that is, in fact, a reality? I think I’m getting ahead of myself. What I mean to say is, I was raped, and rape is a nightmare.
I am a 19-year-old girl, far too old to think I know everything. I don’t pretend to be an expert on rape. Having known the feel of a cold blade pressed to my side gave me no superior understanding of the crime, only a small scar to remember it by. Thus I offer you no solution. I cannot say with any conviction that my writing will help to save even one person from being subjected to a similar fate. Before you’ve read to the bottom of this page three more girls will be sexually assaulted, one girl will be raped. Neither the eloquence of my words, nor the fervor of my voice will have changed a thing.
The society we live in is rape-conducive, rape-friendly, if you will. Despite the anger I feel joining those two words together, I know the sad paradox holds within it a great deal of truth. We are a violent society that has shrouded rape in mystery and shame. To stop this nightmare’s venomous crusades, all people must wage a private war to eradicate their own acceptance of the savage crime. While it is only a minority of men that actually commit rape, it is everyone’s silence that tells them it’s ok.
Before my emotions coerce me into preaching about the atrocity I survived, excuse me, am surviving, I think some clarifications are in order. L...
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... calm disposition is counterfeit. If you must be angry, be angry that by doing nothing to stop the assaults you have been made both the victim and the rapist time and time again. If you have a choice, though, choose to be upset. Be upset that it is our society that is responsible for rape and this nightmare’s reign over women.
Bode, Janet. The Voices of Rape. New York: Franklin Watts (•1990)
Ehrhart, Julie K. Campus Gang Rape: Party Games? Washington: Association of American Colleges Gordon, Margaret T. The Female Fear. New York: The Free Press (•1989)
Hilberman, Elaine. The Rape Victim. Washington: American Psychiatric Association (•1976)
Macdonald, John. Rape: Offenders and Their Victims. Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publisher (•1971)
Schwartz, Martin D. Sexual Assault on the College Campus. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications (•1997)
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