Hidden Truths - Spousal Rape

It was just a couple of weeks ago I wrote about finding the article in the web which told a story I was, myself, familar with - spousal/marital sexual assault. Just two posts ago I wrote about the emotions I had when I read the story about Crystal Harris  .

I can still feel that strong and lingering emotion I had when as I read how she audio taped that assault and it lead to her husband being charged and ultimately prosecuted. Just knowing her fears that caused her to even think about taping it, and then the courage it took to turn that audio over to the police...well, I don't even know if words can relay the connection I felt since I, myself, walked a similar path back in 2007.

Just admiting that the man you've married could carry out such a heinous crime...the man that together you've created two beautiful children with - the man you vowed to love and stay committed to til "death us do part" ...is gut wrenching - Crystal knows that...I know that.

But in going one step further in not only admiting it, but taping it and playing it for others in pursuit of justice...there really are no words to describe the emotional tsumami that follows. Crystal and I both know that as well ....

What I haven't had a chance to write about is how Crystal and I have since connected beyond walking similar paths. Just days after I wrote that post about her we spoke on the phone. Her in San Diego and me here in rural Juneau County, Wisconsin.

It was an hour and half conversation where we confirmed so many mutual truths about our stories...lenghty marriages, two sons each, children were in the home at the time of the attack, audio taping the attacks...to even both of us at one time owning a dog named Cody.

Perhaps what was more telling in that conversation were the things that made us individuals...me and my liberal viewpoints and her with a strong coservative background. She has a strong family support system near her, and while I may have some family left - when that assault happened it was just myself and the boys -we were each other's support system.

So alike, and yet so different - however both of us know that our stories can reach others...we know there are other women out there...wives...partners...experiecing that path we've walked. Armed with that knowledge, we also know our stories can reach them and provide hope...make that connection we've now both felt with each other...in knowing they are not alone.

Marriage should never be a prison
Vows taken are not licenses to abuse...to hit...to choke...to terrorize with words...to use sex as a control weapon.

Attitudes have come a long way ..but there is still much work yet to be done. Just last week I had someone ask me a question...and they did it just because they really wanted to know -it wasn't out of judgment nor an attempt to degrade me but probably more because spousal rape is not something that's ever discussed...they wanted to know how a husband could rape a wife.  It's not the first time I've had that question, and actually I welcome the opprotunity to answer questions like that - it's when I hear "rape doesn't happen in marriage"  - those statements...that I get frustrated.

Rape can and does happen in marriages and when it does it is a form of domestic violence. Abuse of power and control. It's often after verbal...emotional...and physical abuse no longer satisfies the abuser's attempts at control - Sexual assault in a marrige shatters a victim. Demoralizes them...rips at their heart and soul - it shatters them into pieces, especially if they do not know how to start picking those pieces back up and reclaiming who they are as an individual...the woman  - not someone else's property.

Women do not speak up when it happens because society doesn't always allow for it. Women do not speak up out of fear of ridicule...being labeled...shame...and for many because of the children and life without that other income doesn't seem to be livable. There are so many reasons why a wife stays slilent, we know this about domestic violence....but when that domestic violence includes sexual assault...all those fears are compounded.

Crystal emailed me this morning to let me know where her story is at, and how she is moving forward in trying to change some laws in California. It takes courage to do what she is doing and I congratulate her for it...because even if those laws do not change, every time her story or someone else's like ours reaches ears of the public...seeds are being planted, and more and more women know they are not alone. A sisterhood of an unlikely nature...hidden truths...is being born.

Bravo Crystal!

See for yourself a recent news story that appeared about Crystal and what she is trying to do - > here


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