The last rape taboo

After Richard Morgan was raped, he chose not to report the crime to police. Instead, he wrote about it in the Washington Post, making a most remarkable victim-impact statement. He explains both decisions; first, on why he did not turn the horrific experience he described in graphic detail into a court case:

I don’t want anything to do with him. I don’t want him in my life, even in a courtroom. I kept imagining, perhaps too cinematically, that he’d toss off some haunting quip as he was hauled away. I won’t let him. I won’t even let him have a name now. He’s a nameless demon who has taken so much that I don’t want to give him even the possibility of taking more.

And on why he made his story so public:

I don’t want the sort of closure that turns incidents like this into a neat three-act “Law & Order” episode. I’ve decided instead — and writing this is the first step — that the resulting self-awareness, and hopefully, beyond me, a truer social awareness of rape, is a sufficient coda. It would be pretty ironic for me to force my takeaway upon anyone else, but in the year since my trauma, I’ve rededicated myself to kindness and hope and intimacy, which has made me feel comfortable enough to realize that my story can serve a purpose, too.

That purpose, he explains, is to be open about a fact rarely considered in our ongoing discussion of rape: that adult males are victims in surprising numbers. Rape in the public consciousness, he writes, means a male stranger dragging a woman into an alley. Or, I would add, it’s about men abusing their power over women: on campus, in the military, on the job. When we think about males as victims at all, it’s likely about prison rape or pedophiles abusing children.

Morgan’s experience is something else entirely. “I’ve never heard a story told from my perspective, and certainly never expected to be the one telling it,” he writes.

By bravely and thoughtfully sharing his experience and its aftermath, he forces us to confront that reality and what it might mean to a victim.

One thought on “The last rape taboo”

  1. Interesting and initial same feelings of my young niece and her father, not going to relive her horrific experience in court, but she eventually supplied her testimony. That serial rapist is in prison. Life sometimes fortunately helps those whom cannot help themselves: In Tulsa this week serial rapist caught after he was in news story upon crashing his car and hospitalized in coma. Police Googled this suspect’s name and found news story link of his accident and found him in hospital. DNA provided match. He had been let out of prison early.

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