Letter to the Editor

The following letter was in the Argus Leader on Saturday, July 26, 2008.  Bravo Dianne!

July 26, 2008

Reporting rape helps healing

Dianne S. Heynen
Sioux Falls

As a licensed professional mental health counselor who specializes in stress, trauma and grief, I would like to respond to the recent letter in the Argus Leader that accused Initiative Measure 11 of exploiting victims of rape and incest.Psychologically speaking, the requirement of reporting the rape or incest enables the pregnant victim to take important first steps in healing. Using her voice to hold the perpetrator accountable for his actions helps to break the shame that a victim of rape or incest likely experiences.

One of the most significant tasks for a woman in healing from rape or incest is the telling of her story. When she begins to speak the truth about her experience, her sense of shame diminishes. She begins to move from being a victim to being a survivor. The woman gains a further sense of empowerment as the perpetrator is held accountable. This allows her to protect herself and others from more potential harm from the perpetrator.

 

Taking this significant step helps the world become a better place and enables her to bring some sense of good from the horrible experience she has had to suffer.

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