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Speaking of Rape

The Limits of Language in Sexual Violations
  • By Danielle Tumminio Hansen
Product Description

This book proposes that, while communication is essential for rape victims to recover, the words survivors have available to them to summarize their experiences--including "rape" and "sexual assault"--do not reflect the actuality of this form of harm.I propose that these words primarily reflect rape myths, including the myth that physical violence, a perpetrator who is a stranger, and penetration are all necessary components of the trauma.These often-repeated myths compound the trauma, making it difficult for survivors to narrate their own experiences and, ironically, contributing to their silence and, as psychologist Mary Koss documents, their lack of acknowledgment.

There are multiple consequences to this problem of words--survivors face additional barriers in their own healing because, as trauma theorists postulate, speaking about trauma is essential for transforming it.The linguistic stalemate also enables the perpetuation of harm because the inability to effectively name this form of trauma makes it difficult to hold perpetrators accountable.Recognizing the first and second difficulties also facilitates the conclusion that these words are tools that ensure the perpetuation of patriarchal power that most English speakers subscribe to, thereby making English-speaking society at large complicit in the ongoing crisis of harm and in maintaining the silence of victims.

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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9798889831327
    • Manufacturer: Fortress Pr
    • ISBN 13: 9798889831327
    • Publication Date: 03/19/2024
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Author: Danielle Tumminio Hansen

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