Dear Priscilla Bennett Community,
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and today is the last day. Bringing awareness out into the open is so important in relation to destigmatizing abuse. Back in the ‘90s when I was working as an emergency room nurse, there was but little recognition of sexual assault—if there was, it turned out to be the woman’s fault—she was asking for it—she was wearing too much makeup or her skirt was too high or her blouse too low. Rape in marriage was not discussed—it was as if it didn’t exist. One night, a young woman came through the doors on a stretcher—barely conscious—black and blue marks around her neck and trouble breathing—blood dripping from between her legs. Her windpipe had been compromised, her urethra had been punctured and her privates were torn. Later, when she could, she whispered that her husband was a cop and had threatened to kill her if she didn’t comply.
When I retired and decided to write SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR, I wanted to raise the issue of rape in marriage out of respect for the women I’d treated and to show it’s connection to domestic violence. It’s all under the same umbrella—the need to control, dominate and terrorize, so the victim won’t leave. Abuse doesn’t discriminate. It has no boundaries.
Thank you, my friends, for listening. I know there are so many of you out there that are suffering and feel trapped, but there is help. Please go to my website www.priscillabennett.com and click on the RESOURCE button. Read my blogs and the articles if you can, and reach out to someone with a touch, a smile or conversation. Don’t forget the Priscilla Bennett Pledge and remember that we all have SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR.