This weekend, I was confronted with two visual images of rape and the after effects. These images challenged my pre-conceived notions of this brutal act and stirred up so many things in me that I cried tears of pain for the victims who have suffered this traumatic and scarring act. No one ever wants to talk about rape or what it does to the women who are left to pick up the pieces, but each night, I have had problems sleeping because I could only think of those horrific images which played in my mind as I tried to sit still. Why on earth do we even have to deal with something as horrible as having yourself being TAKEN from you?
Thursday, I visited my cousin and her baby, and she was watching the primetime drama, Private Practice, in which a doctor was raped by a would-be patient in her office. The character was left with many visual reminders of the rape–and although a fictional account, the special effect make-up of her torn lip, swollen cheek, and closed eye with gashes in her arm and leg made a connection in my mind that was hard to break. How could someone rape another human being? How can they live with themselves? I was so emotional during this episode that I had to leave the room and compose myself.
The second incident of rape was when I went to the movies to see the film For Colored Girls. During the movie, one of the main characters was raped by an acquaintance when she invited him into her home and the scene was so emotional, so raw and uncut, that I cried my eyes out watching. He took away her joy, her love of life, her color—after that scene and for the rest of the movie, she wore dark colors as if her trust was gone along with her zest. No one should have that power to take anything away from you, and yet, rape can do that. It can take away your innocence, your happiness, and your LIFE. It is a cruel, inhumane, and evil. The act of rape the people who commit such acts should never be allowed to walk the streets free.
But yet they are. If caught, it is difficult to prosecute a rapist. And even when it gets to a court of law, the victim is usually turned into a pariah and made to be the reason why they were raped. They were too sexy, too pretty, too provocative, wore tight clothes, walked loosely, flirted, winked, let a man into their apartment—what did they expect when they act like that and look like that? How can a man control himself when surrounded by a woman who is sexy and knows it? Answer? He takes it from her and it is okay?
Rape isn’t okay. No is no, even if she is an acquaintance. Any man who doesn’t understand that doesn’t deserve to roam free. Period, point blank.
I haven’t been a victim of rape myself, but I have friends who have. Some of my friends have been able to overcome the rape and move forward, while others have trouble trusting men and others. Rape is the gift that keeps on giving—you are never rid of it and for some, they continue living in fear, passing that on to their children. It hurts families and generations.
All for sex.
Rape is the silent four letter word no one wants to talk about. And I am tired of being silent.
For more information, visit RAINN: Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network.
Photo From: http://enjoyceinglife.blogspot.com/