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December 11th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Since many people seem to be missing my point, regarding the varying degrees of rape as well as the full scope of the potential physical injuries and/or psychological/emotional trauma, I would like to elaborate:
Quote:
Traumatic fistula is ‘an abnormal opening between the reproductive tract of a woman or girl and one or more body cavities or surfaces, caused by sexual violence, usually but not always in conflict and post-conflict settings.’1 It is a result of direct gynaecologic trauma, usually from violent rape, mass rape, including forced insertion of objects such as gun barrels, beer bottles and sticks into a woman’s vagina. The brutal rape can result in genital injury and can lead to the formation of a rupture, or fistula, between a woman’s vagina, her bladder, rectum, or both.

Women with fistula are unable to control the constant flow of urine and/or faeces that leak from the tear. Affected women are often divorced by their husbands, shunned by their communities, and unable to work or care for their families.2

Traumatic fistula, therefore, compounds the psychological trauma, fear and stigma that accompanies rape—with the same risk of unwanted pregnancy, vulnerability to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and diminished opportunities to marry, to work or be participate in the larger community.

Expert surgeons trained in fistula repair can mend the damage. Post-operative care should include trauma counseling, rehabilitation and even physical therapy. As with obstetric fistula, however, some women are unable to heal even after several surgeries, and are left permanently damaged.[/b]
Source
Quote:
Two of the eight youths accused of beating and raping a woman who was jogging in Central Park last week were indicted by a Manhattan grand jury yesterday.

Assistant district attorney Elizabeth Lederer said in Manhattan Criminal Court that Yusef Salaam, the 15-year-old boy who told the police that he had struck the victim with a pipe and took part in her rape, was indicted on a complaint charging him with rape, attempted murder and assault.[/b]
Quote:
At Metropolitan Hospital last night, the victim was put back on the respirator she had been taken off Tuesday.

Stephen Ramaswamy, the hospital's night administrator, said she had developed pneumonia, as bed-ridden patients who cannot clear their lungs of fluid sometimes do. He said she is now getting enough oxygen into her blood, but remains in critical condition in a coma.[/b]
NY Times story
Quote:
The plight of a young Lancashire woman who faces permanent disability after being ruthlessly beaten and raped in Cyprus has shattered the sleepy calm of the island and stirred fierce debate over police handling of sex crimes.[/b]
Quote:
The British tourist was found, partly clothed, bruised and battered in a field. She had been sexually assaulted and beaten with a sharp wooden implement, and had lain there for hours before local residents were alerted by her groans the next day. 'It was very vicious. It is the first time I have encountered anything as severe as this in the all the years I have had this job,' said a state pathologist, Eleni Antoniou. Doctors, who have since conducted extensive surgery, say it was only a matter of luck that she did not die from internal wounds. 'This woman has suffered severe psychological trauma and irreparable physical damage,' said the regional deputy police chief, Costas Melanides.[/b]
Story
Quote:
Bonds are $1 million for two illegal immigrants arrested and charged Thursday in connection with a brutal attack on a recent Mexia High School graduate who was run off a rural road, raped, beaten, stabbed and left to die in a ditch.[/b]
Full story

Quote:
Royi and her 78 year old aunt were attacked and gang raped over two weeks ago outside Royi’s Extension 6 home. Covered in paraffin and set alight, Ngwendu was found by the police unconscious and critically injured. She later died from her injuries in Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth. Royi had been strangled by her attackers, and died by the time the police had reached the scene.[/b]
Story
Quote:
The effects of rape are both physical and psychological.

Physical effects on the victim may include:

injuries from beating or choking, such as bruises, scratches, cuts, and broken bones
swelling around the genital area
bruising around the vagina
injury to the rectal-vaginal area (for example, tearing of the tissue that connects the anus to the vagina)
sexually transmitted diseases (such as, herpes, gonorrhea, AIDS, and syphilis)
possible pregnancy (in a regularly menstruating female).
Psychological effects on the victim may include:

severe anxiety
depression
difficulty concentrating or sleeping
dreaming about what happened
inappropriate guilt feelings
emotional numbness or irritability
flashbacks
nightmares
extreme fear.[/b]
source

What if any of the women in the above stories had become pregnant? Could anyone honestly say that they could forecast their reactions to any of the above scenarios? I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that no one, but those women with the experience, has the capacity to comprehend the attack and the emotional aftermath. Again, I fully deny that anyone has the ability to predict their reaction to rape because you cannot forsee the details of the attack and, therefore, cannot make an accurate prediction of what measures and methods would be necessary for your physical and psychological recovery.

I can promise that no amount of personal reflection or consideration to a hypothetical rape would prepare you for the full impact of it's reality. I can tell you that the experience is unimaginable, I would not wish the knowledge of the experience on my worst enemy. In those moments you learn the meaning of total and complete helplessness, desperation, fear, guilt and self loathing. You cannot understand what it is like to, suddenly, not have any control or choice, until those rights to consent are stolen away from you. Your body is not yours and, a lesson many victims will continue to believe after their rape, it is not worthy of any respect. It is the most demeaning form of dehumanization to be forcibly subjugated to such a violation, it is indescribeable.

If you were able to observe a session of a rape survivors group you would be privvy to numerous individuals reveal their stories and the innermost thoughts and feelings that they, personally, associate with their experience. Every story is different and every perspective is different, as well as every reaction.

I respect that everyone has differing, usually passionate, opinions on the issue of abortion, on both sides of the debate. I, for instance, was once vehemently pro-life but I, gradually, gained a different perspective due to various influences. That is not to say that the foundation of the pro-life opinion is weak or unstable, pro-choice POVs have also been shifted to pro-life, just that experience, among other things, has the power to influence our opinions and choices. Every single pro choice person that was once pro-life, and vice versa, never believed that anything could shake them from that position. Up until a few years ago, there was nothing and no one that could or would cause me to dissent from my opinion, until I dissented from my opinion.

I find it to be dismissive of the physical, personal and emotional obstacles that most victims encounter during, both short term and long term, recovery, for anyone to claim to have universal cognizance of the full impact of rape, including and especially the psychological effects. Rape is never the same attack that produces the same results. To clarify, I am not trying to insinuate that anyone is being intentionally insensitive on the issue but the attitude that you "get it" portrays just that, regardless. I acknowledge and admit to my inability to grasp the nature and depth of the emotions resulting from another's personal experience with rape. It is different for every single person. As I have stated, multiple times, there are just too many facets and possibilities, the resulting injuries, phsycial and emotional, are unforseeable, so one's reaction is unimaginable.
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