Tag Archives: Tori Amos

Does God Care About A Rape Victim?

25 Aug

Here is a place where you’re allowed to be angry, hopeful, triumphant.

After doing a series on famous people who have lived through rape (read part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 here if you’re interested), I wasn’t planning to write anything depressing as my next post, but today I was hit by a nasty wave of depression. Have you ever had a day where everything suddenly feels hopeless and futile? The kind where you find yourself crying so hard that you can’t talk, your thoughts are dark, and every bone in your body aches from the pain of just existing? That’s the kind of depression I’m feeling. To pretend like it’s anything else would be dishonest of me.

"Footprints in the Sand"

After my second rape and the psychological aftermath, I’ve found that I spend a lot of time questioning why I’m alive, and also where God is in all of it. If you know my story, you might remember that I once was a religious Christian. I grew up Catholic and went to church with my family every Sunday, and I was the kind of kid that loved the idea of a great fatherly spirit watching over me – maybe because I grew up in an unloving household. I always believed that God was my only guaranteed friend, and when I became an adult and decided that the Catholic faith wasn’t for me, I still wanted to be part of a church and still wanted to know how to be closer to Him. I wasn’t “Cathy Christian” at all, I mean, I still sinned like everybody else. But I tried to live by the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments and was introduced to a church that I thought supported those beliefs. That was where I met N, the man who raped me last year and pretty much destroyed my public reputation and life.

I don’t understand why God would allow so many miserable things to happen to me, all in such a short span of time. I’m trying to file a lawsuit against N for personal injury with the evidence I’m still holding, but I’m frustrated because although I’ve contacted a handful of lawyers this week looking for representation, I haven’t heard from anyone. I still remember what it felt like to have the district prosecutor’s office call me in July and tell me that my case wasn’t worth pursuing, even though the recorded confession that I had from N was what got the prosecution to take the case in the first place. What will I do if no lawyer wants to represent me even for a civil charge? I don’t even want to imagine being cast aside again. I don’t think I can bear that agony again.

But that’s what happens to so many rape victims around the world, and also sexual abuse victims, incest victims, victims who were molested … they never get justice. According to RAINN – the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network founded by alternative rock singer Tori Amos – 15 out of every 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail. Of the estimated 39% of attacks that are reported to the police, only 16.3% of those reports lead to a jail sentence for a rapist.

Isn’t God keeping track of all of this?

I was taught that God is all-seeing and all-powerful, and that even though He doesn’t just hand out blessings and happiness like a spiritual Santa Claus, He is a God of justice and mercy. It was hard for me to see where some atheists and unbelievers are coming from until very recently. I don’t mean to give the impression that I’m trying to convince anyone reading of being for or against any religion – I believe in religious tolerance even if I am/was a Christian. But now I can’t decide what I believe anymore, and I feel rather betrayed at times for trusting God. I’ve stopped going to the church where N and Pastor D are, and haven’t really felt the need to look for another church of any kind. I don’t pray that much anymore, just sort of argue with God and cry – it feels like I’m really talking to myself. It’s like, what is the point of all this suffering? To teach me a lesson in how to absorb pain? Why does God deny justice to the family of a 4-year-old child that’s molested and murdered by a psycho caretaker? Why does God allow the courts to throw out complaint after complaint and devastate so many victims trying to seek help from the legal system? Should anyone look at the example life of a suffering or paralyzed victim and be excited to believe in God?

Today I really don’t know what to think, but I’m welcoming any and all feedback. I know somebody out there can help me find some clarity.

Famous Survivors of Rape: Part 4

23 Aug

This is the final post of a 4-part series that began last week. Click the link if you would like read about Ashley Judd, Billie Holiday, Connie Francis, Fiona Apple, and Fran Drescher, here if you would like to read about Joyce Meyer, Kelly McGillis, Mackenzie Phillips, Marilyn van Derbur Atler, and Mary J. Blige, or here if you would like to read about Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Pamela Anderson, Queen Latifah, and Rita Hayworth. I’ve also done posts on Gabrielle Union and Fantasia Barrino that may interest you!

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Here is the last set of 5 rape survivors you may (or may not!) already know about:

Sandra Dee (April 23, 1942 – February 20, 2005)

Sandra DeeThe American child actress of the ’50s was most famous for her starring role in the movie Gidget and her marriage to heartthrob singer and actor Bobby Darin (also once famously involved with Connie Francis). But Sandra grew up confused by the trappings of life as a performer (her modeling and acting career began at the tender age of 2), and later when her mother remarried to real estate developer Eugene Douvan after divorcing Sandra’s father, she was forced into sexual intercourse with her stepfather from the age of 5 until Douvan’s death when Sandra was 12. In an 1991 interview, several years after her career ended and she had married and had a son, Sandra recalled:

“Gene didn’t molest me only in the mornings, but during the day, the night, whenever he wanted to and there was an opportunity. “He’d say, ‘Let’s snuggle’, and I never fought back – I was too small. Too young. “

Teri Hatcher

Teri HatcherToday the 46-year-old actress is most recognizable as ‘Susan Mayer’ from the primetime hit series Desperate Housewives, but Teri first got her start as a showgirl, model, and star as Lois Lane to Superman’s Clark Kent in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Once upon a time she was also the most frequently Google-d woman on the Internet! In May 2006 Teri first revealed to Vanity Fair magazine that she had been a child victim of incest at the hands of her uncle-in-law, Richard Hays Stone. He would take her on car rides under the guise of going to pick up her cousins from school and molest her in seclusion, graduating to rape when she was 7. Teri wasn’t able to tell the rest of her family about her pain until she heard about a 14-year-old girl from Santa Clara County, California, who committed suicide and left a note implicating Teri’s uncle as the man who had molested her. In 2002 Teri helped prosecutors convict Richard Hays Stone of his crimes by telling her story in court, and she is a vocal advocate for sexual abuse victims today.

Tim Roth

Tim RothHe was born in Dulwich, London, England, but the 50-year-old English actor’s most notable roles are in the American films Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Planet of the Apes, and his hit television show Lie To Me, for which Tim won a People’s Choice Award in 2011. Growing up, he was a victim of incest, as he said in an interview with The Daily Mail:

“It happened during my childhood up to my early teens and although I’m not going to say who it was, he’s long gone now – and I hasten to add it wasn’t my father or mother. Things happen to you in your life, but you don’t want to consider yourself to be a victim – you want to be a survivor and the first thing that helps you do that and helps you get through it is speaking and finding your voice. I’d been wanting to direct a film for years and told my agent to start looking for a script. The first one that came through the door was the one for The War Zone. If you are a survivor of abuse and you get the opportunity to tell a story about that subject, then you can really get in there and tell the truth. It was a fantastic chance for me to exorcise a lot of demons. I’m very proud of the film and proud of the fact that it’s even been used as a teaching tool.”

Tori Amos
Tori AmosShe was a piano-playing child prodigy from the age of 2, and after a highly successful career as an alternative rock singer, songwriter, and composer in the 1990s, 48-year-old Tori Amos is one of the top live acts of all time according to Rolling Stone magazine. She was nominated for 8 Grammy Awards and has sold over 12 million albums across the world. But just before her rock career began, Tori was raped by a fan who approached her on her way home after performing in a local bar, and kept the horror of what she had experienced deep inside her memory for years before she wrote the song Me and a Gun, which tells her story. Her song made such a great impact with fans that Tori reached out to do more, and created RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) – the only nationwide-available toll-free hotline for rape and sexual abuse survivors in America. She is still a supporter of the organization to this day!

Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry When he dons a woman suit and totes a rifle as the wild matriarch character ‘Madea’ from his well-known plays and films, Tyler Perry is almost unrecognizable as a 41-year-old actor, director, playwright, screenwriter and producer who ranks as the 6th-highest paid actor in Hollywood by Forbes magazine. He’s friends with stars such as Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, and Janet Jackson, and worked with stars such as Gabrielle Union, Idris Elba, and Whoopi Goldberg, to name a few. He’s been outspoken about once being homeless, his abusive father, and Tyler has also shared his story of rape with the world. The mother of one of his childhood friend’s would lock Tyler into a room with her in her house and refuse to let him free or give him the key to let himself out unless he would allow her to have sex with him. His movies may be obnoxious to some, entertaining to others, and downright offensive to many more, but say what you will about Tyler Perry – he’s pulled himself out of a history of horrors.

There are so many people in the world to draw hope from, survivors who have been brave and willing to share their stories and sympathize with you. Who inspires you most?