Thursday, November 5, 2009
Let us rally behind her.
A comment on my previous post about gang rape had touch a very sensitive chord. First, because I realized that such a crime can happen to anyone, even to well behaved girls. And second, because she is a friend.
From her narration, I could surmised that rape is a crime that often victimize its survivors twice: first in the perpetration of the crime, and second in the resulting investigation.
We all know that when a person is mugged or robbed, he or she usually doesn't think twice about going to the police to report the crime and try to exact justice upon the perpetrator. However, victims of rape are often hesitant to report the crime, because of the very personal nature of it, and because of the unfortunate societal trend of blaming the victim, hence rape victims feel as if reporting the crime will bring more torment than closure.
Why is it that if a man is drunk at a party and, as a result of his inebriation, his wallet was stolen or is taken advantage in another way, his drunk state in no way excuses the perpetrator's behavior? However, a woman's inebriation in a rape case (even when her drink was laced, as my commenter had stated) is often brought in as evidence to make the rapist's behavior seem less atrocious. Just imagine having to go through the experience of being raped and then go through a trial where she is assigned responsibility for the crime is an unfortunate truth for survivors of rape. No wonder women have their reluctance to report the crime.
But as my friend had related in her comment, she had transformed from a fairly pitiful victim to a woman who took control of her destiny and life. Of course, the initial transformation took years and was and is at times a very painful journey. But she is sharing her story with other victims by giving them counseling and support and thereby she is getting stronger. She had put all her strength and hope into returning to the person she had worked so hard to become.
The charity org. that she works for though is in need of new funding. the name of the organization is SRASACS which stands for Sheffield Rape and Sexual Abuse Counseling Service. She will be very happy to give you more information about this if you are interested.
In parting this is what she said:
"So I guess what im trying to say is that the charity works on empowering women who have been badly let down by everyone. Society failed them in order for the attack to happen then judicial systems failed them by not gaining custodial sentences for the perpetrators and then again for not having adequate support facilities available as our charity is only a small one."
"Also if you do write about it try to spread the word about it being a rape survivor and not a rape victim as these girls are strong girls they have fought back against flashbacks and anger and shame and come through it, whereas a victim would sit and not deal with it in some respects. The girls who generally go through the process are empowered and really feel like they are survivors if you know what I mean. Maybe not all the time and you do occasionally have the odd rocky moment but they and I survived it!"
Darn ...if we could only give her a group hug, no?