Perhaps the most brutal thing about the crime of rape is that it enacts a brutal physical attack on a person in a manner which is normally reserved for the most personal and intimate of acts. The sinister logic behind the violence is that in despoiling this highly private part of one's life the violation will leave one damaged much more intimately than would be the case in a simple physical assault.

      My father once told me that they used to look at a rape as something less than a clear-cut assault because of the sexual component. There might always be shades of gray, but when a rape is committed with the clear-cut intention to harm a person it should be looked upon as almost the most heinous of all crimes. Think of the borders crossed and the deep nature of the damage done!

Rape Victim
photo by Nina Berman, Sipa Press

An 18-year-old Muslim woman in Bosnia recovers one day after aborting a pregnancy resulting from rape in September 1992. Rape was used systematically as an instrument of war in the Bosnian conflict.   More than likely everyone knows someone who has been a victim of this highly personal type of crime. It is all too plain to see the damage people can cause on this earth. The healing part is more subtle, but no less powerful, in my opinion. Healing! Us men especially, earn the confidence of a woman who may have trust problems with men because of this kind of trauma in her past. Show her that kindness, gentleness, and patience are as strong a force in this world as violence, pain and cruelty!