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More than anything else, the writer of this essay drives home the idea that the discourse about rape needs to envision a world in which the accountability process for rapists is more important than congratulating people who are raped for dealing with something they never should have had to deal with at all.
What hit home, in particular, was the sexual assault survivor's powerful impact statement, read on-air by CNN's Ashleigh Banfield.
Hearing the victim's words read aloud, listening to the gritty details about the physical and emotional trauma she endured, has caused some commentators to label the letter "required reading" for everyone from sons to college freshman.
While the furor from this case will inevitably die down, millions of women (and men) will continue to be victimized, continue feel the brunt of our culture's inability to tackle the roots of rape, assault and abuse head-on.
Until the day when teaching boys not to rape is commonplace, the words of assault survivors will be paramount.
She goes into a scathing indictment of the culture that requires even victims to be polite about their trauma, to be quiet and center the needs and feelings of those who violated them over their own pain.
The Stanford rape survivor's statement, she countered, is an important divergence from this norm, one powerful enough to compel Gattuso to confront her own rapist.The victim's statement had an immediate impact on me, as a sexual abuse and assault survivor myself — it reminded me more than ever that people need to hear and read the words of sexual assault victims.They need to know what we go through, know what we endure, and know what we survive.In an essay written in response to the Turner case, writer Reina Gattuso opens her article by saying she sent a "strongly-worded text message" to her rapist following the fallout from the Stanford rape trial controversy.Sending this message, she said, caused a ton of anxiety due in large part to the fear of being impolite and showing her emotions publicly.This essay is important for so many reasons: it documents the experiences of a queer and trans rape survivor who isn't a woman, and tells about the importance of the imperfect victim narrative, in which they didn't say no and were in a relationship with their rapist.Rape, we’re told, is not about sex; it’s about power.Allard, who didn't tell her children about her rape until she could no longer stand to hear her son's apologist opinions, found the power of her own story, and how finally speaking up about being raped gave her back the power her rapist took away from her.In this excellent essay, non-binary writer, author, and activist Aaron Kappel describes a tale of two rapes — one in which they were assaulted and fought back as an example of the "right" kind of rape, and the other about the realization that their ex had raped them multiple times throughout their relationship, even though they didn't necessarily say "no" in the moment.This anonymously-written essay details the anger of someone who experienced sexual assault and feels the "strong survivor" narrative places the impetus on those who are raped to deal with it and "move on" rather than on rapists who shouldn't have raped in the first place.This person's story is an incredibly important in light of the statement of the Stanford rape victim, as it's important to place the entire blame on Turner rather than force those traumatized like this writer and the Stanford rape victim to move on.