The New York Times published an essay from Jenny Wilkinson, who writes about her experience both with the legal system and a university panel following her sexual assault on a college campus. This happened almost 20 years ago. The tag line reads:
I am sharing this not because I agree with all the writer's conclusions, but because it has occurred to me, over and over again, but especially lately, that there are lots of good, kind people who don't know what a rape survivor goes through in order to prosecute her attacker. This is in part because they never hear anyone they know talk about their rape. It becomes too easy to imagine you don't know anyone who survived a rape; it's something that happens on Law and Order.
And rape survivors have very good reasons for not talking about what they went through: the stigma remains profound. The onus remains on the survivor to "translate" for the listener. I am grateful to Jenny Wilkinson for providing some of this translation. And I long for a day when this will no longer be necessary.