LETTER TO THE EDITOR: There’s a reason women don’t talk about sexual assault

Why don’t women tell they have been sexually abused or raped?

Because men don’t get it. From the beginning of time, men have been the aggressor, the “hunters,” the ruler of their “kingdom,” big or small. Women have, for hundreds of years, been considered property to be owned. There have been cartoons of cavemen conquering enemy tribes and taking females of all ages as captives. Black women held in slavery were victims of rape at the whim of their masters.

When a man excuses his behavior, he makes the claim “she wanted it.” After all, she wore a dress with a plunging neckline, a slit in her skirt, or a top with no sleeves. Really, a current style is an invitation to rape?

Why don’t women tell they have been raped? They have been conditioned to believe it must be their fault. They know they will not be believed. “Why that boy is a star athlete; that man is president of a bank; that young fellow helps old ladies cross the street. They don’t need to rape, they can have any woman they want.”

Victims never forget being attacked. Guys say, “it was all in fun.” Really?

I will be 90 years old soon. At the age of 15, I was attacked as I walked home from a friend’s house. Fortunately, I was able to get away and ran the last block to my home. However, as an adult woman, I was raped by a friend in the game room of my home, with my four children asleep upstairs in their beds. This person and I served on the board of our community P.A.L. He had kindly offered to drive me to the meeting and then drive me home. I asked him if he wanted to come in for a drink and more discussion about the concerns addressed at the meeting. His agenda was obviously different than mine. Of course, he apologized after … what a gentleman.

I am a retired licensed clinical psychologist. Much of my caseload involved working with child molesters, their victims 3 years of age and older. I worked with adult survivors of childhood abuse. Victims never forget, but they all remember the lies that aggressors tell, which only adds to their pain. Society finds it difficult to believe that “good men” rape. Believe me, they do.

Comments range from, “it was all in fun,” “she asked for it,” “well, my daughter shouldn’t sit on my lap.” The sad and painful stories I could tell.

Gloria Bakin

Dover

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