When I was working in ER, while going to law school I saw a young girl come in who had been raped. To tell the truth, the system raped her again, over and over and over. I was a unit clerk, and had no power to say anything, I did call the Y rape support phone line and ask for a volunteer to come and be with her. After I thought, that was so not OK. I know that it was important to find her friend. She and her friend had sneaked out and were hitchhiking in the midnight hour, they were raped in a park, she was beaten up and left, the rapists took her friend. For whatever reason they took one, left the other, who knows. But the police and the nurses treated her very rudely and seemed to think she knew more than she was telling. I did not feel that way. I joined a rape support team for many years, but it did not seem to be getting what needed to be done, so I went to the judges who were my teachers in criminal law, and help set up programs for young men to help them realize that rape is NOT OK. That no does not mean force me. We gave the juveniles a choice, a program until they were 25 in which they could invent, implement and teach other young males to not rape, and to treat women with respect. ALL women. and if they did, plus paid restitution, and apologized to a group of women who had been raped (not the woman they had raped, that was not in the best interest of those raped the women felt) and sat and listened to the reality of how those women felt about their rapists, AND I guaranteed them not one was going to say, WOW what a great experience…………what a man! Those boys and young men had no idea prior to that that some women do NOT just like it rough.
That experience made me realize, it does not take money, it does not take a degree, it takes courage and asking as many times as it takes to get a program that educates young people to keep safe, and to let others BE safe, and to respect ALL women and girls and not sexually harass, molest, or rape them.
I hope everyone will find at least one program to volunteer in, or one young man to discuss the reality of rape with, or donate money to programs that help stop rape and sexual harassment globally……………..or do something in each area, until this is no longer a global horror.
Elizabeth Wiley MA JD
National Homes for Heroes/Spirit Horse II