Posted by: joshjasper | August 23, 2012

Last night your daughter was raped.

Last night you woke to a phone call from Mercy Hospital letting you know that your daughter is in the emergency room.  The nurse on the end of the line told you that she was raped.  Your world has just been turned upside down.  Nothing makes sense moving forward.

As you make your way through the entrance of the emergency room you spot your daughter sitting in a hospital gown, crying with her hands over her face.  You run to her with tears running down your face.  You would give anything in the world to take her pain away.  She did not deserve this.  How could someone do this to your daughter?

She struggles to tell you what happened.  She’s trembling.  She’s afraid.  Surprisingly to you, she is blaming herself.  You hold her tight and reassure her that this is not her fault.  You can’t imagine why she would think that way.

The police officer on the scene begins to ask your daughter questions about the assault.  It’s clear that she is uncomfortable and is struggling to repeat her story to a complete stranger.  You both feel like the officer is questioning whether or not the assault actually took place, whether or not this was a legitimate sexual assault.  The police officer is trying to reassure your daughter that she is believed and that they are just trying to get all the details.  You understand, but it’s hard.  You all just want this nightmare to end.

After 5 hours in the hospital, you finally get your daughter home.  You feel like your heart has been ripped from your chest and you feel nothing but sadness…..sadness and anger.  Anger is beginning to well up inside of you.  You are angry at the person that raped your daughter.   You are angry at yourself for not preventing this from happening in the first place.  The anger and sadness are beginning to consume you.

The day ends with you hearing about fellow community members and elected officials discussing instances of “legitimate rape.”  How could this be possible?  How could anyone, for any circumstance, think that any form of rape is legitimate?  How could people be so insensitive?  Do they not know what your daughter and millions of other women and girls have experienced?  There comments suggest that some rapes are not legitimate.  How could such ignorance exist?  The pain that you and your daughter feel has been amplified by these remarks.

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted before they turn 18 in our country.  More than 90% of all sexual violence is never reported.  Is there any wonder why so many are raped every day in our community and why so many never ever report it?  We must begin to speak out.  Speak out against the violence perpetrated against others and speak out against the violence supported through this flawed and very dangerous thinking. 

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