SALT LAKE CITY–(ENEWSPF)–October 14, 2016
Rape and kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart shared her thoughts on the lewd and vulgar statements Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has made about women and his sexual abuse accusers. The correspondent for “Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen” was interviewed by Rachel Piper of the Salt Lake Tribune . They talked about Smart’s experiences dealing wth sexual assault.
“I’m always reminded that there’s a big need for this,” she says. Rape and sexual assault are not isolated events that happen once in awhile, she says, and they’re life-changing for victims, who need support to address their grief, pain and anger.
The worst part about it is listening to people trying to belittle it, just saying, ‘Well, it’s locker-room talk, it’s locker-room banter,’ ” she says. Anyone belittling sexual violence, sexual abuse, they’re doing a huge disservice to victims of violent crimes, violent sexual abuse. There’s no justifying it — ever.”
Smart talks about growing up in Utah and how she was taught not to say “no”—as if it were a bad word. It “wasn’t polite.” But she now sees how wrong that kind of teaching is and that “no” is a good word when it comes to your personal well-being. The interview also touched on abstinence-focused teachers in public schools and Sunday School. They might not intend to be cruel, but “tying a person’s value to sexual cleanliness is harmful.”
“When I was first raped, I didn’t realize there was a difference between rape and sex,” she says. “Immediately, in my little 14-year-old mind when that happened, I thought, ‘I’m impure. Who will ever want to marry me now?’ If my parents knew what happened, would they even want me back, or would they think, ‘Good thing we had six kids ’cause we still have five others’?”
Smart believes it’s important for her, as a parent, to give her daughter unconditional love. She adds:
“And that if she’s scared, if she feels threatened, to fight back with the knowledge that her mother will be there to back her up — whether that’s in a courtroom, a police station or just the principal’s office.”
An amazing young woman who continues to use her voice and horrific experiences to help others.
If you or someone you know is, or has ever been, a victim of rape/sexual assault, it’s never too late to seek help. You can find free support via the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (4673) and/or by visiting the Rape, Abuse Incest National Network/RAINN.org website online. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. You do not have to live with horror, guilt, and/or shame. If you can hold on to one thing, remember this —It. Was. Not. Your. Fault.
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