chapter  9
The Emotions of Rape Work: “You Need Some Really Soft Handling”
Pages 30

I’ll say the biggest thing … the biggest issue is self-blame. “I feel like it’s my fault” or “I shouldn’t have done X, Y, or Z” or “My mother, my father, my brother, my sister, my husband, or whatever said I should have done X, Y, or Z” … that sort of thing. It’s sort of internalized. … A lot of people see how rape victims are viewed in the larger society so when it happens to them they sort of know all that is out there so they are very fearful. I would definitely say self-blame. … It’s not only the simple self-blame from the incident itself but it’s compounded by the victimizing experiences [when others blame her too]. … I’d say that the other big emotion is depression … also fear, anxiety, stuffed anger, anger that’s been pushed down and is coming out in other ways. [How can you tell?] A lot of these people will be having trouble. They will lash out at loved ones. They will have pains, like problems with your jaw or chest or other physical things associated with clinching down, you know, holding something down. And alcoholism, you know, and drugs … that’s real big too. …

In general, people have no idea of how to deal with rape victims. And when I say people, I mean the professionals that have to deal with them-law enforcement officers, sheriffs, doctors. They have no idea what they are up against and they are freaked out by it and they don’t want to do it, whether or not they feel sorry for her. They may feel sorry for her but they just don’t want to be involved in this messy, messy stuff. Men or women don’t know how. Women are facing up to the fact that this could be them when they are dealing with it, so it’s just as much [a problem] for them.