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I woke up next to a rape survivor

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I woke up this morning next to a rape survivor. She was preparing for her first day in a new position. It would seem like a celebratory time. I looked at her getting dressed in the new clothes she bought for this special occasion, while she pointed out the parts of her body that she wasn’t happy with. I pointed back how great she looked in her confident resilience and excitement for the gauntlet she was about to run.

After all, she survived to live this moment.

Not only did she survive her rape, as if that alone isn’t painful enough. She survived the rape aftermath. The war that is fought every single day in memories of the ordeal of waking up and surviving that first morning, the morning after she was raped.

She survived going to the hospital and having a rape kit done. She survived climbing that mountain of sterile anxiety up to the police precinct in New York City, alone, where a detective told her that if she could get her rapist to maybe send a message, or corroborate her story, they might investigate. They might investigate. If she couldn’t get her rapist to corroborate, then she could be arrested for harassment. Is that a gamble you want to take right after living through the unthinkable? Imagine…Man robs store, but thief doesn’t corroborate the story, so the owner is arrested. Sounds unthinkable, unless you have survived rape in the United States. Yet this is the upside down world of so-called justice that women wake up to survive everyday and today, she was surviving knowing that for her there would never be justice. Justice would have been not being raped, because it isn’t a store, it’s your physical being. It is the murder of autonomy and physical self-determination. It is the genocide of agency. You think invoking “genocide” might be going too far. You might reserve the word “genocide” by its legal and international normative standard. Yet, how many women’s agencies must be invaded en mass, murdered self-determination annually, to confront this reality and turn the world right side up in the direction of women’s inherent dignity?

Yet she survives and so does her dignity, unscathed.


1 in 5 New York Kids Are Sexually Abused. Help Prevent That

The CDC reports that 1 in 5 children are sexually abused.

9 out of 10 of the perpetrators are never brought to justice and never appear on sex offender registries.

They are protected by New York State laws.

Sign this petition and change that. Protect NY Kids.

Sign Petition Now

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