Sunday, February 26, 2012

Faces of Rape - Part 2

Continued from yesterday. Please remember that this content is sexual and graphic.

It was 2 A.M. on a week night and I was somewhere I should not have been.  Even though I had work the next day, I had chosen to go with my in-laws to the casino. We were much later coming back home than we had planned and I was dozing off. Little did I know, something was about to happen that would open up doors I had long kept locked.

We were cruising down the road when suddenly there was a flash of white on the side of the road. My father-in-law said, "Was that a woman?" We backed up and, sure enough, it was a disheveled woman staggering along the road as if in a stupor. He asked her if she needed help and she said, "Yes, help me."

We got her into the van and I helped her to the seat beside me. I already knew what had happened. I knew that look in her eye. She was shaking and crying. She gripped my hand so hard that I thought she would break it. She simply said, "Why did this happen to me?"

Through tear-stained eyes and frantic gulps, she told her story. She had been at a different casino just enjoying a night out. On her way to the car, a man grabbed her and forced her into his vehicle. He drove her out to a dark, secluded spot by the river where he repeatedly raped and sodomized her. Then he left her there to suffer alone, not knowing where she was or how to find civilization again.

It seemed to take forever for her to tell this story. I could tell she was in pain but, as time went by, I felt she was slipping into shock. I urged her to keep talking. She couldn't believe it had really happened. She kept repeating, "Why did this happen? I'm a grandmother!"

Yes, this wasn't another scantily-clad slut. This was somebody's grandmother. Lots of older people bus in to go the casinos. Probably none of them thinks that they will be abducted, raped, and sodomized.

We made it to a gas station and I called 911. I stayed with her against the wishes of my family who apparently just wanted to leave her there at the deserted station to wait for an ambulance. She kept trying to go to the bathroom saying, "I've got to wash my hands. I've got to pee." I knew she wanted nothing more than to scrub off the feel and the scent of the rapist. I didn't let her go. I told her she had to stay strong a bit longer so they could find the bastard who did this. The bastard who thinks it's fun to anally rape someone's grandmother...

The last time I saw her, she was in the ambulance. I never knew her name. I never knew what happened to her. But her situation unsealed the memories of my own attack that I'd kept hidden for so long. For the next ten years, I would relive some of my own assault through flashbacks and dreams until I finally got some much-needed therapy.

Rape isn't something that happens just to sluts who you think are asking for it. I happens to little kids. It happens to grandmothers. It happens to women of every age, race, religion, color, and creed. It is a disease of humanity, born of our animal natures and sustained by religions and cultures that treat people as territory to be conquered or property that can be bought and sold.

How is a rape victim supposed to carry the product of that rape against her will? How does one cheerfully put on a smile while her rapist's seed is growing inside her - every bout of morning sickness, reminding her of how she vomited when he sodomized her; every night of heartburn reminding her of the tightness in her chest when he was on top of her pushing so hard; every kick the fetus makes reminding her of his hands digging into her skin as he hurt her over and over again. How is that a blessing? How does that heal a victim who doesn't want to relive her rape? It doesn't. It simply re-traumatizes her.

But, you say, "It's not the baby's fault how it was conceived. It's innocent." Again, this is not a game of "Saints and Sinners" for you to play at your leisure. This is about the brutality of real rapes in the real world. This is about someone's daughter getting attacked at church. This is about someone's grandmother being raped and sodomized by a stranger. This is about women you know and love who have never told you their story. 

You may be absolutely convinced that if you were raped, you'd want to keep the baby. That's fine - more power to you. But for you to make that decision for other women, to force your preference upon them by taking away their sexual choice yet again, is to become part of the religions and cultures that view women as chattel to be controlled rather than people whose choices must be honored. For if society says that it is fine to make sexual choices for women, then it follows that it is fine for men to individually make sexual choices for women also. Such a thing cannot be tolerated in a free, egalitarian society.