I am writing in response to the recent articles published regarding rape and sexual violence. I thank The Post and Courier for providing coverage on this devastating crime that happens much too often in our community. However, People Against Rape has three concerns about some of the information that was reported.

First, the recent articles focused on stranger rapes which may inadvertently contribute to the stereotype that stranger rape is the only type of rape there is. While the sexual assaults described in the articles were perpetrated by strangers, over 80 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

Second, we at PAR believe that these articles may inadvertently send a message to the public and to victims that they are doing the wrong thing if they do not fight back. In the two cases described in these articles, the women were able to fight off their attackers, and we applaud the survivors’ courage and success.

However, it is extremely important to understand that every incident of sexual violence is different and every survivor’s response to trauma is individual and distinct. There is no “right way” to react to being sexually assaulted. No matter how a victim responds during an assault, it is not her fault.

Third, PAR was disappointed that there was no mention in the articles about resources and services available for victims, survivors, and their loved ones in the tri-county area.

PAR has been providing support and services to victims and survivors of sexual violence in the tri-county for over 40 years.

PAR’s mission is to prevent sexual violence and its consequences, and to provide essential services to victims and survivors. PAR stands ready with specially trained advocates who are always available to support survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones through our 24-hour Crisis Line — 843-745-0144 — or by hospital accompaniment for sexual assault forensic exams.

PAR provides these critical services for adult victims and survivors of sexual violence confidentially and free of charge.

If you, or someone you know, has been sexually assaulted, help is available.

Janie Lauve

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.


Executive Director

People Against Rape

Meeting Street

Charleston

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation at our Post and Courier Subscribers group on Facebook.