the impact of rape, sexual trauma and forced pregnancy
Tell me — what will happen to the life of the adolescent girl forced to carry her rapist’s child full term?
How will she move forward with the trauma of the rape and added responsibility of pregnancy and possible motherhood?
What will become of her?
With the new anti-abortion law signed in Alabama, the bill outlaws all abortions and makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
In the United States a child is deemed by law an adult at the age of 18.
An adolescent girl isn’t even self-sufficient or deemed mature enough to life judgments.
How can we force her to go through through pregnancy much less motherhood?
According to Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN), the effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and affect the victim’s mental health.
Victims are more likely than non-victims to experience the following mental health challenges:
About 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse
About 4 times more likely to experience PTSD as adults
About 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults
In America, every 9 minutes, a child is sexually assaulted.
As a result of this bill, we will see the mental health epidemic increase, drug abuse increase and more dysfunctional unhealthy families.
Young girls deserve more.
My heart breaks for the adolescent girls who have been and will be raped.
My heart breaks for the girls who will be pregnant with their rapist’s child.
I was 12 years old when the sexual abuse with my father started.
For years he made sexual advances towards me.
He would sneak in my room late at night and touch me while I was asleep.
I remember feeling terrified that he would rape me.
I can’t imagine if he did rape me and I had gotten pregnant.
I can’t imagine being alive today with his child.
I can’t imagine this life for a young girl.
The trauma of sexual abuse is enough on it’s own.
To force a young girl to carry her perpetrator’s child full-term and bear the responsibility for an unwanted life is outrageous.
There are some things that are just morally wrong to do.
A young girl shouldn’t have to be forced into motherhood or to carry her rapist’s baby.
The innocent don’t get a choice.
Young girls don’t get to choose what happens to their bodies if they are raped and pregnant.
Their lives become unimportant compared to the life that is inside of them.
They are seen as vessels to birth a human in the world no matter what happened to them.
They don’t get a choice. They don’t have a voice.
Who gets to say what happens to the victims of sexual assault?
The most important years of their lives are already robbed from them as a victim of sexual assault.
They won’t know what it feels like to feel safe in their bodies.
They won’t know what it feels like to grow up and enjoy their teen years.
Their bodies will carry the imprint of sexual violence and trauma.
They will bear the burden of giving birth to an unwanted child from a horrific experience.
And then be forced to decide to keep it or give it up for adoption.
No young girl should have to face these circumstances.
The impact of sexual trauma.
As a victim of sexual abuse as a young girl I have lived with the suffering of that experience for years.
I walked in shame.
I walked in silence.
I feared judgment and criticism from stupid people accusing me of it being my fault.
To live a normal healthy life takes work from such terrifying acts of violence.
Recovering from sexual violence and abuse is a long journey.
Anti-abortion laws will only add trauma to the victims of rape and incest.
Being raped is a matter of force.
To abolish the choice to get an abortion for a rape victim is also a matter of force.
They will live in shame. They will suffer.
They may never truly be okay.
I look forward to being a part of the change where young girls don’t have to be forced to go down this road.