I was raped when I was 19 year’s old.
I became pregnant from being raped.
I had an abortion as a result of being raped.
Today of all days, I boldly admitted this. Today, I was unapologetic and unafraid. Today, the comments made by Republican Senate Nominee Todd Akins that “Victims of Legitimate Rape Don’t Get Pregnant” were heard around the world and because of the blatant ignorance of his remarks, I reiterate:
NO ONE except an actual rape survivor can comprehend the horror and terror of being raped.
I am personally offended by the way politicians are using rape, and abortion in the cases of rape, as a discussion platform for election with no regard to how their comments impact actual survivors.
Why are rape survivors treated as if this horrific act deserves no sensitivity, respect or dignity? Why is this issue and the choices surrounding this issue thrown around with no regard to the hundreds of thousands of us who have actually been victimized and had to make these excruciatingly difficult choices?
Try living with the fact that while you slept soundly, you were overpowered and violated in a way that is only experienced in the darkest, cruelest of nightmares. Then after trying to push that horror of epic proportion out of your mind and your life, you come to the realization that it’s not over: you’re pregnant from the rape.
The punishment a survivor puts themselves through is bad enough: the shame, the guilt, the fear and self-loathing are intense and constant. It’s like chains are bolted instantly to your ankles the second the terror begins and you spend a lifetime trying to overcome this violation of not only your body – but your thought process as well. No one gets to casually and irresponsibly comment on that – No One.
The Speakers Bureau at The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) contacted me to schedule an interview with Metro New York, a newspaper that publishes in New York City, Philadelphia & Boston. The article made the front page of the national online site. People like Senate Nominee Todd Akins and those who support this biologically uninformed and denigrating thought process should not be allowed anywhere near the decision-making process for the rights of people of this country.
It’s this insensitivity to rape victims on a national platform that propels me to use my voice and speak out in support of survivors everywhere … and I assure you I won’t stop until this madness ceases.