Thursday, October 15, 2009

From a Fellow Advocate

from Amanda Maggiotto, Hotline Advocate since Spring 2009

Rape Survivor “Uses her Voice”

The following story was highlight on MSNBC’s The Today Show this week. This is a story of an eight year old girl, Jennifer Schuett, who was abducted, raped, and left for dead 19 years ago. Today she and her family celebrate the arrest of her perpetrator.

After the perpetrator assaulted Jennifer, he slit her throat and left her to die. Doctors did not think Jennifer would be able to speak again, but amazingly, she made a full recovery and has used her voice to tell her story. Jennifer’s story is a paragon of what many sexual assault survivors go through. Like Jennifer was literally silenced by her horrible injury, so many sexual assault survivors are silenced by those around them.

Survivors are silenced by their perpetrator, again by those who do not believe their story, and again by a society that does not want to hear about sexual assault. I commend Jennifer for telling her story—in my eyes, using her voice is the perfect revenge for her abuser.

This story also offers s another example why a hotline advocate’s job is so important. Every day we give survivors the chance to tell their story and use their voice. I hope Jennifer inspires you to use your voice to combat sexual assault.

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