In the wake of Todd Akin’s comment about pregnancies conceived from “legitimate rape”, CNN asked survivors of sexual violence to write in, telling their stories or sharing their feelings about Akin’s grossly insensitive and inaccurate statement.
More than 40 people sent in stories from across the U.S. and beyond. Some had not spoken of what had happened to them, even to their own families; others used the traumatic experience to go public to inform and reassure others. Many were angry; others were reflective over what had happened. Some spoke of, inasmuch as it was possible, coming to terms with what they had survived, while for others, emotions were still as raw as the day they were assaulted. – CNN News
I believe that their is power in sharing experiences and even greater power in expressing how a statement, such as Akin’s, can be detrimental to the well being of anyone who has previously experienced sexual violence or could experience it in the future. Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, a licensed psychologist and director of the Culture and Trauma Research Lab at Pepperdine University in California, wrote:
“It is 2012, and we continue the legacy that seeks to invalidate victims, to call them in essence all liars, because if you are pregnant, you are not a legitimate survivor” – CNN News
At CALCASA, we believe all survivors are legitimate, and believe everyone has a right to be safe, supported, and access the services they need to thrive. Share this article and blog with others if you agree!
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