Elizabeth Smart: Abstinence Education Teaches Rape Victims They’re Worthless, Dirty, And Filthy

"Smart said she “felt so dirty and so filthy” after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn’t run “because of that alone.”

“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value,” “Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”

Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum.

Elizabeth Smart: Abstinence Education Teaches Rape Victims They’re Worthless, Dirty, And Filthy

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"As Smart’s story shows, administering broad sexual shaming to children can have disastrous effects for victims of assault. The same goes for all of the other “tips” that put the onus on the victim to prevent rape. When we instruct teenagers to dress modestly, abstain from alcohol, never go out alone, and certainly never engage in sex, we’re not actually helping them prevent rape—but we are telling them that when they are victimized, they are partially to blame. Sex educators can’t equip children to escape horrific crimes like the ones committed against Elizabeth Smart. But they can help build a society that refuses to compound the psychological effects of those crimes by shaming victims before the abductor even breaks in."

Elizabeth Smart Says Pro-Abstinence Sex Ed Harms Victims of Rape

The basis of all that seems to me the fact that women were chattels in patriarchal societies, and traces of that idea are everywhere - some women don't even resist! Heard one on TV this week: "Who is going to give me away when my father isn't there at my wedding?" I'd love to kick someone like that.

I remember my mother comparing me to bread with the butter licked off, when she had seen me with a boyfriend. I was lucky: I understood quite early that such things were only said to control me and that it was just a web of lies. I really pity the women who believe that crap!

Chris, it doesn't have to be that way, and we can prove it. I felt pain when you wrote of bread with butter licked off. So subtle, but so sick! 

Being able to stand, shoulder to shoulder with another person, or stand alone knowing we have value in our own right is happening. The younger generation in my family have it figured out and I am so grateful. Sadly, far too many young and old do not recognize their own power and value. 

Chris, a bouquet of flowers for you in celebration of being a woman free of mindbinding. 

Thank you, Joan, I love anemones! And here's a flower of my Kaffir Lily for you:

Chris, this is a lovely Kaffir Lily, a beautiful orange color. I have never grown one. Do you grow it on your rooftop garden or in your home? Is there an aroma to it? What a nice way to tumble into bed. It is 12:55 AM here now. It is so much fun to have you for a friend. Good night, dear friend.

Sleep well Joan! I enjoy your friendship very much! For breakfast this about the Kaffir Lily: it's a houseplant here. I found out it originates  from Namibia or thereabout, where it grows on the banks of rivers that are dry for half a year, so there's your recipe to keep it happy and growing: no frost, plenty of light, water and compost and no water at all between half October and April. When the stalks of flowers are some 30 cm. high it's time to start watering again. A very easy plant.




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