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“It was like a horror story.”

August 19, 2009


Police are calling it a “horror story.” A northeast Minneapolis woman just a few blocks from her house was accosted by a man who appeared intoxicated. She tried to stave him off, offering him a beer from her bag, her cell phone, a bag she was carrying, and her purse. He was not placated. She tried to flee, but he caught up. He raped her.

That is a horror story. But that doesn’t make it an anomaly:

This is an isolated incident in this area,” [Police Sargeant Jesse] Garcia added. “It’s not like she was going far. There was nothing that could have been done differently on her part. It was an attack that was going to happen.”
I appreciate the lack of victim blaming, even with a little twinge of anger that the survivor had to be exonerated at all, but it’s the last sentence that makes me shake and pale. It was an attack that was going to happen. She did everything she could, he says; there was nothing else to be done.

In the United States, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes. It is more often than that that someone makes a joke about rape, that someone catcalls a woman on the street, that someone asks a survivor what she was wearing. This is a horror story. They are all horror stories.

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