Rape survivor to TPC: "Say something and be barraged with accusations"


rape victim it could be you Awhile back, our own David Garber posted this: Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible. Under that post is a comment by one of our regular readers/commenters, flan59 . She has graciously given her permission to post that comment here. She was raped by a "bad guy with a gun." Her words are electrifying, terrifying, brave, and deserving of a post of their own. Verbatim:

It's fear. At least in my case it was. Paralyzing fear. Of everything. It was over and I wanted to forget it happened.

I have always felt guilty and have worried that my attacker went on to rape others. It is the shame I live with every day... not the attempted rape...as I fought off my rapist successfully....who had a gun, by the way...

... and still, my boss yelled at me for sleeping with my window open as if the attack was my fault.

Yeah...so even me...asleep in my own bed...gets the lecture...I should have known better...sleeping with my own window open...what was I thinking? So you can imagine how a woman who was date raped feels...

Say something and be barraged with accusations...that is what women who are raped deal with.

And it seems the guy threatened them. That is why incest victims don't speak out either.

Flan followed up with an email:

By the way - all of the gun rhetoric and blaming the victim talk that is all over the news and social media has caused flashbacks and I am now in treatment for PTSD. My PTSD is caused by other traumas too - entire childhood with a verbally abusive alcoholic father - losing my twin brother Paul at 16 to schizophrenia - and then at 48 to lung cancer. I have lost several jobs recently because of it and am in serious debt, further sending me into my black hole.

I have found a great therapist and psychiatrist and have been in treatment for the last month or so. It was a good thing I started when I did because I lost my nephew in Jan and my sister-in-law two weeks ago, both under very tragic circumstances.

It seems the bad shit will never end. Then I hear the horror stories from my friends who have "Pauls" of their own who are getting incarcerated, victimized, becoming homeless, and dying from suicide or by cops - and it is all too much. I am so glad I got into therapy because I didn't know how much more of this I could take.

This needs no further commentary. Thank you, Flan, for allowing TPC to share your story, your feelings, your pain, and above all, your courage.

Note: Headline edited.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Flan, it must have been difficult - but you've helped a lot of people understand the true repercussions of violence against women. Super pleased you've found good therapy, it's the only way to lasting healing for many. Best of luck and take strength from those who respond - it is offered sincerely. Even though sharp, overwhelming feelings are stirred up by honest posts like yours and movements like #YesAllWomen, healing moments can come along behind. I give thought to Maya Angelou's pain and years of silence - and the beauty of her voice despite all. I was told more than once traveling overseas as a very independent young woman, often alone, that any violence I incurred was in my lap - quite literally - and thirty+ years later I still feel some responsibility. Guess it might be time to let that go. It's kind of heavy at times. Condolences about your nephew and sister-in-law, stay strong. You are already helping others - I think that is a good part of the battle? 🙂

  • flan59

    So even when they try to stop their rapist from raping someone else...blame the survivor...from a friend of mine after reading the post...

    Yes and my mother and father blamed me because I picked up a hitch hiker. My SIL blamed me because I saw a police man parked on the side of the free way and she said insted of going over the speed limit past him hoping he'd stop me, I should have pulled up behind the cop who was reading a news paper by his dome light. Blame the victim. I went to court and they held up my see though under wear as the rapist took them, and asked how I could go home with out my underwear to my husband. They pointed their fingers at me every chance they had and in the end after a hung jury, after a second trial my rapist and would be murderer walked free. Free to rape and murder at least 5 other women.

  • Rape SURVIVOR. I changed the headline. I had a brain fade and apologize for that error.

  • flan59

    I can still feel his hands all over me and his you know what pressed against me as he had me pinned to my bed. Ugh!!!

  • flan59


  • flan59

    You are quite welcome. I forgot to mention that I still had the powder burn on my forehead where he put the gun to my headn when my boss berated me... talk about adding insult to injury!!!

    I'm just glad the gun jammed or whatever caused it not to put a hole through my head

  • Bill Nilsen

    This makes me sad. But I am happy Flan has found a good therapist. I wish her all the best. Cruel society we live in.

  • Dave Fouchey

    Victim Blaming and Shaming is almost as bad as the original attack. It is like being attacked all over again, and again, and again.