Raping with impunity: If you tell, I will kill you (Video)

Many rapes go unreported due to the victim's shame and fear.  Credit:  Holly Craw

Many rapes go unreported due to the victim’s shame and fear. Credit: Holly Craw

Mary Lou was raped in Phoenix on Friday night, one of possibly hundreds of unreported rapes in the metropolis that night. These won’t make the news, but perhaps their effects will be at least as devastating as the high-profile cases.

The victim is a young woman who met the assailant in a treatment group. Under the pretense of being a friend who wanted to watch a movie with her, he took her to his apartment and sexually assaulted her. To aggravate the crime, he threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

This scenario happens all too frequently across the country. The victim is already devastated by an act of degradation and personal violence, and then is silenced by fear of reprisal. The first response for the victim, out of shame and feeling dirty, is to bathe and try to get clean from the vile act and memories of humiliation. Then she feels hopeless and guilty for washing away all the evidence, so there seems to be no point in reporting or doing a rape kit.

In Mary Lou’s case, the rape triggered flashbacks of previous sexual assaults and violations and brought on suicidal ideations. After pretending everything was okay for nearly 48 hours, she finally called a friend and the crisis response team. Before she could be admitted to a psychiatric hospital, however, she had to go to the emergency room for a rape kit and police report. Six hours later, hospital staff told her that they didn’t do the rape test there, so she was discouraged from taking further action.

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Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking

Rage and continual cursing in a child can be indicators of extreme abuse Credits:   Stock Xchange/GeoX

The vile, excoriating epithets fly from Brandi’s* mouth like daggers–well-aimed with intent to maim and mutilate. At times, she seems to delight in her expertise in causing verbal destruction. However, a careful observer can see beneath the surface to a scared little girl who desperately wants to be loved properly and consistently. Each scathing expletive that she hurls is akin to a jagged, shard-like iceberg tip that is a decoy for the mountain of submerged pain lying underneath the surface. The sheer volume of curses that emanate from her mouth gives credence to the immensity of the abuse she has experienced, both at the hands of those in the family circle and the strangers who bought and sold her for sex.

Barely 16, Brandi has probably had more sexual encounters than a happily married couple of two to three decades. Her history of abuse and sexual violation began when she was just a little girl and continued for numerous years. She has been a runaway from the violence at home countless times, only to be caught up in forced prostitution when she was on the streets. Within the custody of child protective agencies, she has been placed in group homes and foster care, but has run or been removed from all of them.

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Child sex abuse may lead to PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder, sex trafficking