The Leadership Studies students who have been working with me on getting the second edition out have entitled it,
Three of Our Stories:
Thoughts After a Class About Rape
The last couple weeks of class have been very emotional for me and at times, a little hard to digest. Although I myself have been in less than desirable sexual situations, I feel that now more than ever, I will never be able to fully understand the wide array of feelings that a victim experienced after this crime has violated them. I have friends and friends of friends that have dealt with this, but I still don’t feel that I will ever be able to know their whole story because of all they have had to deal with.
My friends and I have been dealing with a lot this semester.
One of my very close friends was raped a year ago at a party and after much support and consideration, she has decided to push forward with legal proceedings. It feels as if he has infiltrated our lives, our social circle, and the way that we view others around us. He is there at Pat’s, Rusty’s, or Tubby’s. He is sitting around drinking a beer with his ignorant buddies and laughing about something that I’m sure isn’t that funny. He is stalking unsuspecting women with his eyes as they walk past his table unknowingly. They have no idea the amount of pain and destruction he is capable of. But we know.
We have seen the wreckage and damage that he has left behind as a personal calling card on our very dear friend. We feel the rage bubbling up inside when we see his smug face or hear of another woman’s story.
It is as if we too have a relationship with him that will just never go away.
If I ever see him again, which I know that I will, I will not be able to just walk by not knowing what he is.
The unseen aspect of rape’s aftermath has become a part of my every day life.
I will never know the pain that my friend, his victim, feels on a regular basis. Or the possible fear that invades her heart and mind when we call her and tell her that we saw him out, yet again. I don’t know that I will ever be able to help her ease that pain, but at the same time I don’t know if it’s my place.
She must find that comfort within herself to face those demons and then leave them behind. She transferred to an east coast school. I’m not sure how healing will happen for her. I suspect that for some women, it never does happen. -M.H.
“I Wish I Was There,
In a Wonderful Place
Where No One Knows the Word “Hate.”
I Wish I Was There,
In a Wonderful Place
Where Everyone Knows the Word “Love.”
These phenomenal words, written in a poem by the late Ali Kemp, rang in my ears during my PEERS class today. I have personally known Ali since I was three years old and her murder and attempted rape for some reason came flooding back to me. I’m not exactly sure why this poem by Ali came into my head and rang so true. I guess I have just never taken the time to let it affect me.
Who are these men who think they have the power to do these horrific things to other humans? How is it possible?