From Our Readers
Thank you for the article “They Resisted Rapists.” (February 22, 1984) Eleven years ago I was attacked by the son of people I cleaned house for. I was only 16 years old at the time. I remembered that I must scream and not give in to him. I bit his lip and tried to scream but he yanked my hair and put his hand over my mouth. I tried to bite again and I also prayed to Jehovah to help me in my fight. I kept struggling until he suddenly got up and sat in a chair, staring at me. Then he left the house. I feel that it is important to note that he wasn’t a total stranger to me. It is good for women to be on their guard and think ahead as to what they would do if such a nightmare should ever befall them.
C. H., Illinois
I was deeply disturbed by the article “They Resisted Rapists.” I am very upset that anyone would even consider a victim of rape guilty of fornication. The scripture at Deuteronomy that you quote only requires that the woman scream, not fight to the death!
C. W., Indiana
Thank you for your article “They Resisted Rapists.” I really appreciated its fine counsel to “use our lungs,” and treat the rapist respectfully. I also found enlightening the experiences of those women who resisted the rapist successfully.
T. C., Florida
Your article “They Resisted Rapists” disturbed me very much. I was raped by a man who attacked me with a knife. I could only scream once because of being choked and having a large hand pressed against my mouth. I fought until I was unconscious. Because I survived, it disturbs me that it is fornication on my part. You say to show a rapist respect. These men show no respect for their victim. They don’t care that they are shattering a woman, leaving in her memory horror for the rest of her life. Unless you have personally experienced the horror of this crime, you can never truly understand.
A. G., Massachusetts
For the victim to be considered guilty of fornication there would need to be proof of willing consent. Apparently the requirement of Deuteronomy 22:25-27 for the woman to resist by screaming would clear her from any suspicion of such consent on her part. The value of resisting was emphasized by University of Illinois sociologist Pauline Bart who made a study of women who foiled rapes. In her studies, as reported in “The Edmonton Journal” of Canada (November 10, 1983), she states: “By fighting back, a woman significantly increases her chance of avoiding rape . . . Not resisting is no guarantee of humane treatment.” She further stated: “Raped women who used physical strategies were less likely to be depressed than raped women who did not physically resist their assailants.” As to showing respect for the potential rapist, it is not that he deserves it, but treating him civilly might help to elicit a considerate response and serve as a means for the potential victim to get out of a very dangerous situation.—ED.