When I was 12, I was raped. By a stranger. At knife point.
I didn’t tell anyone for more than 5 years. Not my family, not my teachers, not my friends. Even today, the only people I’ve told are my sister and a few very close friends, along with various psychiatrists and psychologists.
To say I have been angry in recent months about the media’s coverage, as well as the water-cooler banter, of the rape cases of Bill Cosby, Brock Turner, Austin Wilkerson, Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump, and others, is an understatement.
Most people and media outlets are blaming the victim. “Why didn’t she come forward when it happened?” (a number of them did), “She must be a fame whore” (my personal favorite), “I bet it didn’t even happen.” Let me tell you… it happened.
No woman of rape would open herself up to the kind of scrutiny to which women are subjected had she not been raped. Can you imagine having to tell again and again and again about your sexual assault? Can you imagine sharing intimate, personal, possibly embarrassing details, over and over and over?
After 40 years, I’m finally going public with this very personal, very intimate, very violent, very secret chapter from my life because I feel it’s time.
Women are raped. And many, like me, may not report it at all. Many may not report it for days or months or years. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.