Marina, Brenda, Emily,<br> Barbara and Christine's Stories
Thoughts from Andrew

Rape Chapter IX

Women who conceive through rape and choose to keep their children often face stigma and disgrace. They must constantly struggle to engage with these children without blaming them for the trauma that produced them.

Whether, what, and when to tell the children about the circumstances of their conception are loaded questions: it is awful to know that one was conceived in brutality, but it is also awful to have been ignorant of one's origins and find out through happenstance.

These children may belong to an identity group without knowing it; they may struggle all their lives with their mothers' ambivalence about them without having a clue about its cause.

"My friends keep saying, 'You have to be able to forgive him in order to accept it and move on.' I want to punch people when they say that."…

Marina James said she related to veterans returning from Iraq. "They've seen horrific things that they could never express. They come home and they…

"My grandchildren are my heartbeat. I didn't think that I could love like that, and I didn't love like that with my own children—maybe I was…

The standard treatment was to send them to maternity homes where they were encouraged to surrender their children for adoption. They were told this would…

"I named my daughter Eliza. Sad news is she was born dead." Six months later, she gave up Marcus; he was placed with a foster family that was…

"Because I knew it would mean a lot to Corinna, I actually called Donna and asked her to call Corinna and say that she loved her and that she was…

One woman told me that when her child was born, she had the rapist's eyes. "Her beautiful baby daughter has her eyes," this woman said. "Now…

"I love her, but when she touches me, it feels like hundreds of razor blades scraping across my skin, like I'm going to die. There's always that…

"I have physical scars on my body from his abuse of me. He's made her into another scar. I can't even stand to look at her. I wish I had never had…

Mirveta was twenty and illiterate; her husband had abandoned her because of the pregnancy. "He was a healthy little boy and Mirveta had produced…

A man killed her family, including her husband and three children, took her in sexual slavery for the duration of the genocide, and then fled. She gave…

"Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?" she asked. "I want to love her so much, and I try my best, but when I look at her I see…

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