The adult pregnancy rate associated with rape is estimated to be 4.7%. This information, in conjunction with estimates based on the U.S. Census, suggest that there may be 32,101 annual rape-related pregnancies among American women over the age of 18.
Taken from Center for Diseases Control Rape Fact Sheet 2/2000
Becoming pregnant as a result of rape happens much more frequently than anyone really knows.
It is not my intention judge anyone's decision regarding carrying a child. This section is to help create an awareness of the complication of rape and offer comfort to those who have found themselves in this position.
Some of the material below is graphic.
If any of this makes you uncomfortable stop.
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"Trigger Warning".Trigger WarningThis open letter was sent to me and written byBy Lori A. Scriver, Feb. '97My Dearest Friends and Sisters,I'm a rape survivor. It's been fourteen years since my attack and it is time to tell my story. When I was sixteen, I unfortunately attracted the attention of a mentally unbalanced individual. He followed me, waited for me after school, even left an engagement ring in my locker at school. I could not make him understand that I was not interested. He tried to scare off other guys that were interested in me.
I have always been a sucker for a hard luck story. One night he called and told me that his parents were kicking him out and that they were disowning him, he was contemplating suicide. I couldn't let something like that happen. I knew my mom wouldn't let me go to his house, so I told her I was going baby-sitting and left to go "help" him.
When I got there it looked like he had been crying. There were boxes scattered all over his room, like he was packing. So I had no reason not to believe him. He told me he was falling apart and was glad that I was there to help him. I gave him a hug and offered to help him pack. He told me to start packing his books on his bookcase. I was busy packing, my back to him, when he hit me on the back of the head. I remember falling down. The next thing I knew he had my hands tied to the leg of his bed and had me stretched out on the floor. He hit me again across the face with the back of his hand. He kept telling me that I should have loved him. If I had loved him he wouldn't have to hurt me. Now he was going to make sure I was his and that no other man would want me.
I was a virgin and he meant to change that. He started to take off my jeans, I kicked and tried to scream, but he was very big, 6'5" and 225lbs. He covered my mouth with his hand while he took my jeans off then knelt between my legs and started to masturbate with one hand and held a cigarette in the other. He was telling me how good it was going to feel and how I deserved what he was doing to do because I didn't love him. I screamed, but there was no one to hear me. He took the cigarette and burned my nipples, my labia, and up inside and around my clitoris.
All the while he was kneeling there with tears rolling down his face, masturbating, telling me that he was sorry, but that I deserved it. He kept calling me a slut and a bitch and a fucking whore. Then he pushed his penis inside me. It hurt so bad. He just kept ramming into me telling me he loved me, that I should have loved him. I was crying, but it didn't stop him. He told me I was a no good slut, that no man would want me now because he had taken my virginity. I can still see his face above me as he came, it is a sight eternally etched into my nightmares.
After he was finished he cried some more, telling me he was sorry as he untied my hands. He told me that if I just loved him he wouldn't have had to do it. I couldn't look at him, I was hurting everywhere. He hit me across the face again with his hand, slapping me. Then he told me to get dressed and never to tell anyone or he would make me pay, he would hurt me and my family. All I could think of was leaving. I just wanted out of there. He told me to get the hell out of there, so I ran. I remember getting in the car. I remember him coming out the door after me. I hurried and got in the car and locked the door. He kept beating on my window, I remember his angry face through the windows. My car wouldn't start. I kept trying. I remember praying that it would start, then it did. He was banging on the hood and the windows. I drove home, thankfully my mom was in bed.
I ran a hot, hot bath and just sat there in the tub scrubbing, trying to erase his touch. I couldn't get rid of it. I was so dirty. I was so ashamed and violated. I knew it was my fault. I knew it was MY fault! I was a slut just like he said.
I had always been a good girl. I didn't drink, I didn't smoke, and I didn't sleep around. After this happened I KNEW I was a slut just like he said, so I started acting like one. On one hand it just didn't matter anymore, in another way it was open defiance to all the horrible lies he said to me, that there was someone else that would want me.
I didn't tell anyone for along time. Not until I started having horrible stomach pains, ulcers. I spent a lot of time in the hospital, the doctors gave me lots of pain medicine. I lived from pain shot to pain shot not only because it stopped the physical pain, but the mental pain and the nightmares too. Finally after four months, I couldn't take it any more. I told my mom. She called the rape crisis center and two very nice ladies came to the hospital. We talked and I told them my story. They asked me if I was going to report it. I told them I was afraid, he had told me he would hurt me again. I didn't think I could bear that. They told me I could third party report it. My name would remain anonymous unless there was another reported attack by the same person. In that event I would be contacted to testify and tell my story, but I didn't have to if I didn't want to. I said okay. I told them his name and everything. Some how he found out.
He started calling me and threatening me. The police wouldn't do anything because he hadn't done anything that they could prove. The harassment continued. My parents left strict instructions that I was not to be left alone. One day I was at home with my friend. She needed to run to the store and was going to get us some lunch. I didn't want to go, I needed to stay and finish cleaning the house. I told her I would lock the door and be fine. I was sweeping the floor when I heard her leave. Almost immediately I heard the door open again. I called out thinking it was Kathy asking her if she had forgotten anything. I turned around...it wasn't Kathy. It was a man I hadn't ever seen before. I remember standing there thinking, "No, not again, please, not again." He told me that he was a friend of my first attacker. He was here to pay me back for talking. I just stood there looking at him, I just couldn't believe it. He told me then to cooperate or he would wait for Kathy to come back and then "do" us both. He started unzipping his jeans. He told me to kneel down in front of him and suck him good. I just stood there thinking; "This can't be happening. Not again! Not again!" When I didn't do what he told me, he slapped me across the face and pulled me down to my knees by my hair. He had a knife that he held at my throat. He made me suck him until he was close. Then he raped me. Afterwards, he stood up and told me that I was the best he'd ever had and not to tell or he would be back. Then he was gone. Again I got up and took a shower. Again I didn't tell anyone, after all they had made good on their threats so far.
I thought a lot about suicide those days that followed. I just wanted to die, I wanted it over. I remember being in the hospital again. I was sleeping and all of a sudden I woke up. My grandfather was standing there. He had been dead for many years. He came over and sat on my bed and told me that he and our Heavenly Father were sorry for what had happened to me, but there was nothing they could do to stop it. I needed, to remember that Heavenly Father loved me. He was giving me a special gift and that I was to take good care of it. Again he told me he loved me, then he was gone.
Eight weeks later I found out I was pregnant. I knew it wasn't any of the other guys, it had been six weeks before the attack since I had been with anyone else. It was the second rapist's child.
I remember sitting there at Planned Parenthood as they told me I was going to have a baby, them telling me that I didn't have to have it, that I could abort it. I remember thinking, I can't die now, I have to take care of my baby. Not that animal's, but MINE. It was my baby and I would take care of it. So I pulled myself together, walled up the unpleasant memories, and prepared my life for my baby. The first time I felt him move, there was such joy in my heart, all the pain was forgotten for a time. Those that knew the story kept asking me how I could bare to give birth to that animal's child. Some one from my church even went so far as to tell me it was the "spawn of the devil." I never felt that way, not for an instant. My baby was a precious gift to me from My Heavenly Father. As the time grew closer for me to deliver there was a lot of pressure put on me from people outside my family to give it up. My mom was great, she supported me and wanted the baby as much as I did. My brothers, while angry at the circumstances that brought my pregnancy about, eagerly awaited the birth.
One day about six weeks before I delivered, I was sitting in the doctor's office, the door opened and in walked my first attacker, and his new wife, who was also pregnant and showing signs of pregnancy. He just looked at me and then smiled smugly. About that time, the nurse called me back and by the time I got out, he was gone.
The threats started again, they weren't going to let this baby be born. The baby and I deserved to die. I started carrying a gun around with me, it was my Dad's 22 pistol. This was my baby and they weren't going to hurt it.
I ended up giving birth four weeks early. While he was 6 lbs.6 oz., his lungs were developed to only 32 weeks instead of 36. He was on the respirator for six days, during which time his lung ruptured. It was a scary time. My little one was sick and the "Goon Squad" was still harassing us. They tried to come to the hospital once and demanded to see him. I had left orders that no one was to see him without my permission. The hospital staff put
him in a special room, instead of out with the other babies in the window when he was well enough to be in a regular crib.
I had been writing to a very special man before the attack. I couldn't write and tell him what had happened, I knew he wouldn't want me, but I didn't want him to hear it from someone else, so my mom wrote to him and told him. He still loved me and still wanted me, baby and all. He came up to where I lived and went through labor and delivery with me. He was there for me and my son. He put his name on the birth certificate as the baby's father. We got married two and a half months later.
We have been married almost fourteen years and have a total of five children now. I managed to suppress the feeling from the rape until just recently. After the attacks I became very heavy. If I was fat, it wouldn't happen again, right?! Just recently it became necessary for me to lose the weight because it was affecting my health. The more weight that came off, the more feelings that surfaced. I don't want to deal with these feelings now anymore than I wanted to deal with them then; however, I realize I must. I have let those bastards control me long enough. My husband deserves a whole wife and my children a whole mother. I deserve to be whole again. I have recently started counseling to deal with all of this.
I hope that by writing this I will help someone else. We are not alone. There are many of us. We can not allow these things to control our lives. We have each other, those who love us, and yes, we have God. We are all His children. I read once that when a child is hurt, He has to go to the farthest corners of heaven so that He can not hear the cries. While He has the power to stop the actions of others, He will not. One of His greatest gifts to us is the freedom to choose our own way, because of the agency He gave each of us, He is powerless to prevent such occurrences. It isn't Him letting it happen, it is someone else's choice to perform these acts. I know that He cried for, and with each of us, as we suffered. We are His children, He loves us unconditionally.
Please be strong my friends. Know that I love you all as does our Father in Heaven.
Your sister and friend,
The Gift You came to me through pain, You came to me through terror, A tiny piece of heaven, You dwelled beneath my heart. You came to me when I needed you most, You came to me and brought with you a hope, A gift of wonder, You dwell forever with in my heart. You saved me, my precious, You saved me, my strength, A gift sometimes misunderstood by others, You dwell forever with in my soul. You're a gift of love, You're a gift of joy, A treasured child of spirit, a child of light, I love you forever, my dear, tiny one. By Lori A. Scriver, Feb. '97
Coalition Against Sexual Assault
America's Pregnancy Helpline
Rape and Abortion
Rape-related pregnancy: estimates and descriptive characteristics from a national sample of women.
Sexual Assault Service
American Civil Rights Review
TUTSI WOMEN BEAR
CHILDREN OF HUTU RAPE
Against Sexual Assault
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