What Is There Left to Say About Rape? Ask Survivors.

Many times I crawled to my computer, trying to formulate words about reports of rape and sexual violence in 2012.  Each time I found my through-line of how I wanted to write it, a new headline caught my eye.  First it was the high school rape story from my home state of Ohio, the Steubenville football rape case, located just a few hours north of me.

Then it was the gang rape of a young woman in Delhi, India.  Then it was the news of her death.

What is there to say about rape that hasn’t already been said?

What moronic statements are left to utter about how women’s bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing” down?  Or how rape is comparable to having a child out of wedlock?  And these are just the national headlines.

One thing I am certain is that most rape survivors do not turn on the news to understand rape culture, they need only look at their own lives, their own communities.

What is there to say about rape that hasn’t already been said?

How many US-centric statements are there to make about India’s uproar, as if the United States stands at a pristine pulpit to judge?

The only thing left to say about rape has to come from survivors themselves.  And that was the Dear Sister Anthology does. It gives the first and last say, it gives what is not often ignored: the voices and stories of the survivors who want to share their stories with other survivors and the world.

I had a whole blog post planned, a gathering of thoughts about all the sickness of rape, the harrowing world we live in that teaches our young children to accept despicable violence, but I don’t think the world/internet/readers need that.  You don’t need to hear more of the same.  You need to hear from survivors.

Wait for the Dear Sister Anthology (Fall/Winter 2013, AK Press) and hear from them yourselves.

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