Facts & Quotes

Quotes

The ordinary response to atrocities is to banish them from consciousness.... Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word "unspeakable".... Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried.... Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.... When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom....

Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 1992

"I prefer to characterize rape simply as a form of torture. Like the torturer, the rapist is motivated by the urge to dominate, humiliate, and destroy his victim. Like a torturer, he does so by using the most intimate acts available to humans -- sexual ones."

Helen Benedict, Virgin or Vamp, 1992

"I survived this torture which left me paralyzed for years. That's what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violence through sex. I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and now I'm trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability."

Tori Amos

In giving language to my experience, I hope I can make rape less 'unspeakable.' I hope to dispel at least some part of the fear and shame that has made victims mute.

Nancy Raine, After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back, 1998

"Words seemed to make it visible.
But, speaking, even when it embarrassed me,
also slowly freed me from the shame I felt.
The more I struggled to speak, the less power
the rape, and its aftermath, seemed to have over me."

Nancy Raine, After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back, 1998

Traumatized people suffer damage to the basic structures of the self. They lose trust in themselves, in other people, in God...The identity they have formed prior to the trauma is irrevocably destroyed.

Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery, 1992

Most commonly, rape is a crime of opportunity; the victim is chosen not because of her looks or behavior, but because she is there.

Helen Benedict, Virgin or Vamp, 1992

African proverb: "The ax forgets, the tree remembers."

Maya Angelou, Even the Stars Look Lonesome, 1997






Facts & Quotes