Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf & Her Triumph Over Rape
Unfortunately, there truly is no one way in which everyone will cope with that happening to them. The variables involved not only lie in what the tragedy is, but also in the individual since we are so vastly different. Tragedy can sometimes paralyze the ability to speak up, even at the times when it’s the most necessary.
This month is sexual assault awareness month.
Every two minutes, a sexual assault is taking place somewhere on the planet. It transcends the age, race and gender lines.
More than 70% of these victims never go public with their experience out of fear and a feeling of being isolated. The knowledge is clear there that it happens to others; however, once again, the fear and the shock of the experience can force one’s voice into a paralysis of silence.
An artist named Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf is no exception to this silence.
Today, Jennifer proudly holds her head high; she has broken her silence and has gone public with her story of a terrifying morning in August of 1988. She has written a book called One Voice Raised: A Triumph Over Rape.
Jennifer converses with me about that fateful morning, the aftermath, finding acceptance and closure and how going public with her story has helped other victims.
Often there exists a negative stereotype about women who have been raped; the question is always asked how the woman enticed her attacker? Did she string him along? Clearly, the lines of flirtation exist between the sexes; the mode of thinking that a victim is “subliminally” asking to be sexually assaulted is one of ludicrosity.
“That’s exactly what is going on today,” Jennifer said. “That’s the problem and I think that’s one of the reasons why I wrote the book is because that is still going on.”
The ramifications of reporting a heinous crime in which one has been victimized has its negatives in the eyes of society. Apparently, having been a victim can make one a victim all over again, this time in the eyes of public opinion.
“There’s a feeling of shame, humiliation and embarrassment. Then there’s also the feeling that if you did report the crime and got as far as the courtroom, then you have to defend yourself in the courtroom too. Then against the defense attorney; the three beers I had that night, how I came across the candle that the guy who raped me picked up and left his fingerprints on. I felt like I was under attack, even though this was 20 years later. What does this have to do with the fact that the guy came into my house and raped me?”Continued on the next page