Survivors of rape – whether their stories are told around the world or held close – face mixed reactions, ranging from support and empathy to victim-blaming.
When a woman has a child resulting from rape, she may be fortunate enough to have family and friends who help her move forward in life.
But often such women can feel isolated and concerned about how their children will be treated. And they can confront strong reactions, such as people telling them the child is the “spawn of an evil act” and should have been aborted or adopted, which happened to Analyn Megison [pictured right], a mother in Florida who was raped and had a daughter as a result. (Her daughter is now 9 years old.)
A study in 2000 estimated that 25,000 rapes result in pregnancy in the United States each year, and other studies have found that at least 32 percent of the women keep and raise the child, according to a Georgetown Law Journal article by Chicago lawyer Shauna Prewitt….
… [I]t’s important that society not stereotype rape survivors and end up ostracizing women who choose to keep their children.
“People ridicule you and distrust you because you chose to have your child – ‘Oh, you must not have been raped,’” Megison says. “It’s such a strange world we live in where you have to be questioned as a mother why you love the child that… you nurse and play with and pray with and read stories with.”
~ Stacy Teicher Khadaroo, The Christian Science Monitor, May 23
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