Beverly’s Story: “I was raped at 55. Here is how I responded.”

Purposefully Scarred

“Before the trial, the judge mandated that I talk to a court-appointed psychologist to assess whether I’d been damaged by the attack. The psychologist was embarrassed by his task and apologized for his ‘backward country.’ He told me that if the rapist were found guilty, the severity of his sentence would be determined by how much damage he’d caused. I told him I no longer wanted to sleep in, or even live in the house I’d built and loved; I told him I couldn’t sleep through the night and often awoke screaming, convinced there was an evil presence in my room. Later, at the trial, the judge asked me why I didn’t fight. I told her about my foreknowledge of what had happened to the other victims. I did not even think to say with high indignation, ‘He had a knife, [you moron].’

As a society, we subliminally hold ancient…

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