A friend sent me an article yesterday that is stirring up quite a bit of controversy. Rocker Chrissie Hynde was gang raped by a group of motorcyclists when she was in her 20s. She admits to being on drugs at the time and trusted them when they promised they’d give her a ride to a party when instead they took her to an abandoned house and raped her.
Over 20 years later and she continues to own their shame. “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” … But if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who’s already unhinged — don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense. You know, if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him. If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and [expletive] me’, you’d better be good on your feet … I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”
It breaks my heart to read this article. And yet I know the shame she is owning. Had I not gone to his house when his parents weren’t home. Had I not flirted with him as much as I did. Had I not said the things I said that might have enticed him to take what he wanted. Had I … 1 in 3 of you can fill in your own blank.
I don’t care if Chrissie had been walking NAKED, and stoned out of her mind, those men had NO RIGHT to rape her.
No one, no man or woman (yes women can rape too), has any right to force sex upon another. Even if …. even IF the person says one minute they want to and the next minute they don’t. A person has a right to change their mind. If they say no, then they mean no. If they are wishy washy, better to let it go and cool off!
Unfortunately, it would be a rare day to get those who have it in their mind to take what they want at any cost to suddenly respect their victim and let them go. I wish I could say we are close to achieving a world where there is no violence or sexual, emotional or physical abuse. I wish. I PRAY.
The enemy has too far a hold on the world as a whole sexuality, therefore there will continue to be even good people that fall into that selfish way. But that is their shame to own, not yours—not the victims.
Yes, we need to respect ourselves! Yes, we need to carry ourselves in such a way that expresses we mean what we say and we claim our dignity. Of course! But you never know the mind of one who has already decided to take what they want regardless of your self-respect and dignity. You could be in a full dress, head to toe robe, and still be a victim of such insidious acts.
As my friend said this weekend, “Don’t allow 15 minutes of abuse to take 30 years of your life.”
Granted for many it isn’t just that moment, that time span. For many I work with it is years … and it claims a powerful hold. But we have to take that power back, at some point we have to say ‘enough is enough’ and not allow those moments of another’s sin and shame to claim our entire lives.
If you need help to unclench your fist from the shame of the abuse please pray this prayer with me:
Heavenly Father, I am weak and weary from fighting this battle to overcome this abuse. I did not ask for this to take over my life. I want my life back. This is their shame and not mine. Please help me to see discard this cloak of shame and put on the brilliant robe of Your LOVE and MERCY. I give them over to You for forgiveness. Help me to not waste another moment of the life I’ve been given to LIVE on the memory of what had been done to me in the past. You have given me a purpose in this world, help me to look ahead to the blessings that are waiting to unfold for me. In Jesus Name I pray – Amen.
Shannon is the author of EXPOSED: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him and founder of Hopeful Hearts Ministry, an advocacy non-profit organization (501 c3) giving a VOICE to survivors of abuse. She is a featured columnist with Choose-Now Ministries.com “Shannon Deitz: On Hope,” has been featured on CatholicLane.com, Lifestyle & Charity magazine and Catholic Women’s magazine. She and her husband, Neal, live in Kingwood, Texas, where they are active in their local church and community. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Seth, who provide them with endless joy and reason to continually count their blessings.