On Living With a Rape (Survivor)

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Today I stumbled across this 2006 interview with writer John Stoltenberg.   When asked about  how he  supported his partner, Andrea Dworkin, after her rape, Stoltenberg said:

I didn’t understand what the aftermath of that kind of rape is typically. I didn’t know what I should be expecting or paying attention to. There was a sense in which I wasn’t there for her [Andrea]. We came through it. But it was really a tough, rough patch in the relationship. I don’t want people to think that Mr. Anti-rape, Mr. Pro-feminism was exceptional here. Relationships really, really suffer in the aftermath of rape. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it. There was nobody I could go to and say: Hey, my partner’s just been drug-raped, what should I be thinking about, what should I know about, what should I know to expect? I was really clueless.

For that matter, Andrea didn’t know anything about drug rape . . . . She did a lot of reading and talking to people who knew about drug rape after that. But it’s a real common thing in rape survivors — very self-destructive behaviors. Really, just the opposite of self-care. These are common patterns. I didn’t know. We got through that hard time. But we almost didn’t. The aftermath of the rape almost ended our relationship.

Rape hurts everyone.

-Bridget Crawford

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