What I know for sure
As a rape survivor, I found Betsy Koepke's essay deeply offensive. [OnYourMind, MWP, April 2017] Her declarations of self-empowerment deny harsh realities and trivialize women's pain.

The potentially life-threatening, career-destroying, health-degrading effects of rape, battering, incest, racism and poverty cannot be reduced to "giving in to negative thinking."

Whatever we do to help ourselves survive - whether that's yelling, hitting, being silent until it's over to stay alive, and/or loudly disrupting business as usual to protest - are some of the best ways we empower ourselves. What I also know for sure is, no society ends violence unless people join together to make the violence stop. Any hierarchy isn't chosen by those it hurts. It's an abusive system perpetuated by those who control access to the resources needed for survival.
Trina Porte, Minneapolis .

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