The Brutal Reality of Rape
As I read this article about government officials in Mexico routinely denying rape victims access to safe legal abortions, I can't help but wonder why there hasn't been more outrage over South Dakota's decision to do the exact same thing. The Supreme Court will most likely declare the abortion ban unconstitutional, but the fact that the government voted against amendments to make exceptions for women who are raped is incredibly frightening and proves that the radical anti-choice crowd (including Democrats) does not care about life. If they did, they would not have voted to force a woman who is brutally raped and left to die to have the rapists' baby.
Over at BoomanTribune last night, I read a post by a woman who was raped and had the courage to share her story after she read a sick comment from South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli, who was aksed to explain a scenario in which an abortion exception may be invoked:
BILL NAPOLI: A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.The follwing account is from Damnit Janet. Please read her entire post and send it to your lists. I had a difficult time choosing excerpts. No matter what I do, I cannot get her words out of my mind:
Somehow it's our fault if one is raped and left by the side of the road half clothed. Counting the headlights that pass over you till you close your eyes. Hearing the tires crunch the gravel as a car finally stops. Hearing a best friend's father speak to you. He doesn't call your name because even though he has known you for years - he doesn't recognize you at all.Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, a woman is sexually assaulted. In 2004, 65,510 women were raped, 43,440 were victims of attempted rape and 95,420 were victims of sexual assault, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. How many more are never reported? And how many of these women will take their own lives if they are forced to give birth to their rapists' babies?
They don't cover you at the hospital as you enter. Only the coat of the man who found you as a make-shift skirt. You're so tired of holding it tight against you. The bright lights reveal the blood and clots of dirt. You only have one shoe on. And oddly you wonder if you'll be able to find the other one...
Don't tell. Don't ever fucking tell. And if you do, you'd better have a real fucking good reason why and how you got into such harms way. You'd better be ready to stand up for yourself. You'd better be willing to fight just as hard as one fights against a rapist.
And don't you ever fucking speak up about women's issues. How dare we fight to protect our daughters.
How dare we get upset because we still live in a country that whispers... only bad girls get in that "sort of trouble."
She knows she's not some victim, but she knows the rape changed her. It doesn't consume her. But it has it's marks. It's tell-tale signs. Her head is always on a swivel, alert to the man talking too loudly in the diner. Aware of the man who is walking too closely.
She's also aware that the sound of tires coming to a stop, crunching gravel... will always wake her up in a fit of terror. That she can still feel the magazines being forced into her mouth as a gag. Yet... she can still feel love, she can still look at her naked body as hers. Not as something that was damaged, tossed aside. It's not a part of her, it doesn't lay claim to her; but it is one small facet of her make up that provides for not only the beauty of her life, but also the brutality of her life.
She's also realizes that after 20 years, of being stubbornly strong - all it takes is some punk trying to break down her door - for it all to come cascading back again. Like a watefall of nightmares. Her husband knew before they married, but he hadn't really had to deal with the terrors. The shakes, the sweats. The waking up from your own scream at not just the rape but of the "attacks" that she felt afterward. The panic resurfaced. He had to deal with the being lashed out at for not knowing the signs that she herself didn't see or couldn't bare to see... again. The waterfall.
Rape most violent. But what keeps it coming to the top is how women are treated. How women are seen. How we must apologize for being women. How we will even compare wounds, experiences and then JUDGE. Because we ourselves are used to being judged. Scorned, shamed and judged.
Rape isn't a sexual act. It's a crime of rage, a crime of control. Rape isn't just ONE incident. Rape continues to rear it's head. In memories, in nightmares, and in politics. The rape is a slow, life-long assault. It's a single act that must be continually fought.