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Old January 12th, 2001, 10:28 PM   #1
AuntieWOW
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This discussion is a place for rape survivors and those who love them to be heard and supported.

For additional help the following phone number has been made available to the Women Online Worldwide Website.

Rape, Incest, & Abuse National Network (RAINN) - 1-800-656-HOPE - This is a toll-free number and will not show up on your phone bill!!!
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Old October 16th, 2001, 05:16 AM   #2
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We had a rather excellent discussion about rape and the law last night, in Bird, Wahm and Scribble's chat Woman to Woman.

One thing that was discussed was what kinds of campaigning might make a difference? What kinds of organising might help to change attitudes about what is real rape and what isn't? What ideas does anyone have for helping jurors (in other words everyone) to know that a woman in a short skirt is not asking for anything and certainly not for rape?

What I'm posting here is intended to spark off that discussion again, here on the boards

In the early 1970's some women who considered themselves a part of the the Women's Liberation Movement became concerned that rape was an issue that the movement should be addressing. They realised that rape was probably much more common that we had hitherto realised, and they worked that out because when they had discussions in their "consciousness raising" (CR) groups, so many women had experiences of rape.

So, one way to change the world is to start a CR group now! And it's very easy to do, just get together with 2 or more other women and talk - hey we can do that, right? And talk about whatever matters to you, about the things that bother you in the world and the things that bother you in your lives. Alternatively you can talk about specific issues, and then you might want some topics to get your discussion going. Topics like:

Should young girls be able to dress "dangerously" but still be safe? Why is it that they aren't safe?

When a judge says that date rape is not real rape then what is he saying? Why might he want to believe that date rape is less serious?

Should women be able to go topless in the street? Men can after all. Why can't women do that?

I hope those help

And I'm sure everyone else has a lot of other ideas too ....
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Old October 20th, 2001, 10:24 AM   #3
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First of all, let me say that I'd like to see this folder moved so that it is a main folder. As I peruse the folder of Violence Against Women, it's sadly empty. I say sadly because I know there are many many women who need an outlet to discuss all these issues, but they won't look for it. They need it to stare them in the face. Maybe if we retitled this main directory "Rape, Abuse, and Other Violences Against Women", and instead of having it under "All About Woman", we could allow it a topic title of it's own?

The discussion in Woman to Woman last on October 15 clearly shows that women want and need to discuss this. They won't do so without an invite though. They won't look for it. I know I wouldn't.

For the last 10 years I've come to realize that rape and abuse is a social disease in almost every society. It will remain so as long as women are afraid to talk about it. We're ashamed that someone could gain such control over us that they could invade our most personal spaces. It makes us feel demoralized and weak. It is my contention, that as long as we continue to hide the fact of the act, then we're still being controlled and hurt. So, we need to talk about it. We need to SHOUT about it!

This is a place where we can all come together and share our stories and vent our anger, and stand up for ourselves with pride. We can say, "I survived rape," instead of "I'm ashamed that I was raped." We can have forums about it. We can write about it. We can write to our legislators and we can do lots of other community things, but we can't do anything, until we take control of our own souls.

I was raped. It was many years ago, but I shall never forget the feeling of his hands ripping my pantihose and his fingers probing inside me. I will never forget the way he smelled or the way he looked or his name. I will also share my story so that others might feel brave enough to talk about theirs. When we share the tale, then we've given a part of the pain to someone else.
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Old April 4th, 2002, 12:45 PM   #4
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Doing Something To Help A Little

I don't know how many of you remember me, but I used to be SnoopyWOW...

I just want to say that starting in September, I'm beginning my graduate training in social-developmental psychology, and my field is sexual assault. I can't save the world, but I believe I can make a difference. WOW must be given credit for who I am and what I have chosen to do with my life. Thank you to all the women of this forum.

Anyone want to get in touch with me, try homiecartman@hotmail.com

I miss you all.
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Old April 4th, 2002, 07:11 PM   #5
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I miss you too {{{{Muskrat}}}}!!!

What a wonderful thing you've chosen to do. Good luck to you!
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Old April 5th, 2002, 08:56 AM   #6
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(((Muskrat))) Good Luck!
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Old April 6th, 2002, 12:10 AM   #7
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{{{{{{{Musky}}}}}}}

I always knew you were special.
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Old October 5th, 2002, 01:50 PM   #8
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Over a decade has gone by since I was raped and yet as I read Tupi's post many old feelings surfaced. As time goes on you think of it less, and at some point survival isn't your first thought when you rise in the morning, but nevertheless the wounds are permanent and can be triggered in an instant. When I opened the folder I expected to see so many posts. It made me sad as well to see it almost empty. Not because I relish reliving their stories with them, but because I know statiscally several women have been raped as I composed this message. Can you imagine how many of us are out there? Where do they go with their feelings?

I hadn't planned on mentioning my novel due to be released in November, (Actually I wasn't even researching anything to do with this topic.) but Tupi's description of what she rememebered is so close to the character's in the book that I literally stopped breathing while I read it. Without question I now know I made the right decision in admitting that although the novel is a work of fiction it is in part inspired by my story. Friends warned me not to do it. I worried about what the exposure would do to my family because some of them don't even know about it. But in the end, the message I hope the story conveys is bigger than all of these reasons.

I'm so very sorry this happened to you, Tupi. Thank you so much for sharing. Let's hope more women find this site and do the same.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 06:19 PM   #9
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Thank you, Dawn. I've written about my experience in the WOW magazine Tapestry, as well. Unfortunately, all too many people are familiar with the sick feelings that may continue to fester following a rape. I've dealt with mine by talking about them. The fear and embarrassment no longer hold me captive. Best of luck to you on your book.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 08:14 PM   #10
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Tupi I wholeheartedly agree with you in the fact that the only way we start severing the control our attackers have on us is when we start talking about it. I too was raped 13 years ago by a man that I had been dating for 3 months. I never reported it because at the time I didn't realize I had been raped. You see I am what some would call a repeat victim I was molested when I was nine, again from the time I was 12 til I was 14, and again at 15. My mother had never had the talk with me about being touched in places and the past abuse had conditioned me to thinking that what he did to me was normal. Someone asked what we can do to prevent this from happening, EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION.
I plan on telling my daughters what happened to me. I have already had the talk about being touched where a bathsuit covers and if they feel uncomfortable they need to tell me. I dont care who the person is I want to know about it. Our daughters need to know how to protect themselves. Not be told its all because of the way they dress.
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Old October 26th, 2002, 01:18 PM   #11
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So true (((((((Wolfsong))))))))) I have talked sex education and everything from rape to pregnancy with my three children (two boys and one girl) Why? because I dont want my kids thinking that a person touching them in their 'areas' is allowed nor is it ok for them to grow up ignorant of sex....I was also a peer educator aka sex educator to lower classmen, during my high school days....
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Old October 31st, 2002, 08:23 PM   #12
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Ironically, the one person I had the most difficulty telling about my rape was my mother. I knew she'd be horrified, and even hurt that I hadn't told her about it. At the time though, in 1970, I knew nothing would ever be done to the young man who raped me. I also knew that my mother was dealing with other problems at home, so I didn't tell any of my family about it until last year. It was during a time when my mother was berating my aunt because a friend of hers had been raped and not reported it years before. Mother was full of self-righteous indignation that someone would be afraid to go to the police about being raped. So, she didn't believe it had really happened. I told her she was wrong. Women often made a choice between public humiliation and emotional destruction; neither were a healthy. Then I told her about my own experience. She never looked at rape the same again. I felt so bad that I'd not shared the experience with her before, but, you know, given the time and the circumstances, I'd have done the same thing. Today we know rape is an act of violence, not an act of sex. It's a means of control, not a means of satisfaction. It's a personal attack, not payment for a free dinner and a movie.
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Old January 7th, 2003, 05:52 PM   #13
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It's interesting that y'all have brought up education in this folder... that is the approach from which my research takes. It is absolutely ridiculous, the state of sexual education in North America; it seems that the majority of parents are more concerned with protecting the "innocence" of their children rather than giving them the information they need to make their own choices and set their own boundaries. This is the analogy I use in my presentations: claiming that sexual education leads to people having too much sex is like saying we shouldn't teach math because all our kids will become mathematicians.

I am currently trying to show empirically that sex education is hopelessly inadequate and the unspoken stuff is what perpetuates continued sexual violence. I love the work but no big agencies fund this stuff

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Old January 10th, 2003, 05:22 PM   #14
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((((((((((((((Snoopy-Musk))))))))))))) You go gal! And may I add something? Please do look at what is done in other countries too, because you will find there have been some really excellent models for sex education coming out of other places - so do please look around and find out what women have been doing down there in Aus and NZ, because I know there has been some really innovative work. Good luck
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Old April 13th, 2003, 05:00 PM   #15
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Sex Ed in other countries

I have examined sex ed in other countries; places like the netherlands and france are notably good for sex ed.

There is another problem, however: while I agree that rape is about power and control and not sex, this argument is often used to exclude sexual assault from sex education; but this is problematic because rape, especially acquaintance and date rape, occurs within the context of what should have been normal social interactions. By separating the issue too far from sexuality in general I think leads young people to think that rape is so deviant that it would never happen to them in their day-t0-day interactions, when in fact the people they need to be wary of are EXACTLY the people whom they may trust or have no reason not to trust. What do you all think?
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