JANE-DOE-SUPPORTI have had a rather telling e-mail exchange within the past few days with someone with whom I have had a rather contentious relationship over the past few years. We never called ourselves friends as we have had some rather severe differences.

In all these years that I have known this person, I had no idea that she was a rape survivor. I had not known that for 30 years this woman had kept this chilling secret even from her own family.

It was a secret she had not chosen to reveal until recently. Out of this exchange of e-mails came an agreement. That agreement is that our relationship will from here forward be cordial.

Our differences between each other will remain. We have disagreements with each other and for now, we will continue to have those disagreements.

I understand that there are those out there who do not agree with me or my actions who do not agree with this person either. They are judging her past actions and are making accusations regarding her motives for disclosing her rape and how she has chosen to deal with it.

I feel that regardless of how someone chooses to judge this woman, they need to understand that she is a rape survivor. As a male, I cannot even begin to understand what she has had to go through all these years.

Not even those women who have not had this experience can understand the turmoil she must have gone through and still goes through to this day.

In closing, my heart and prayers go out to her and I hope that she continues to heal. I pray that her family is able to stand behind her during this struggle.

Rape is much to important of an issue to be used as a tool to divide. It should be, instead, an important issue for all of us, friend or foe, to discuss in a neutral setting to see if there are ways to prevent there being more rape survivors.

Stay tuned

MURT

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