Following a woman's arrest after she broke news of her rape to foreign journalists in Libya, I feel moved to comment. To naysayers, I seriously doubt she is making this up. I believe her story, and any story of rape automatically, and here's why....
Imagine for one moment if your loved one - your wife, your mother, or your sister - went through the same unspeakable atrocities this woman claimed to have suffered. Would they lie about it? Of course, not. Why would they? There is no gain in admitting to rape, and so much more to covering it up.
This Libyan woman is probably no different. She went to the foreign press since they have acted more responsibly than the Libyan police. She had nothing more to lose. Even the social humiliation of talking about rape did not stop her.
False accusation of rape is inconceivable to me. Victims often will not talk about rape out of fear. In some societies, rape has bad consequences for the unfortunate, innocent victim, as has happened here. Anyone who thinks a woman talks about rape without cause, unnecessarily, seriously mistakes the gravity of the crime and its consequences.
No one claims rape, in my limited experience, without having been a victim. It is an unspeakably uncivilized crime that cuts to the core of human life. The traumatic event is personally embarrassing and humiliating. It is impossible for me, and likely all women, to imagine gaining any political, social or material advantage in some warped scenario in Libya or anywhere, really, by claiming rape (and more abuse) as this lady has. One can only imagine the punishment her assertion has caused her to endure since rape is, by definition, an unwanted physical intrusion.
I always automatically believe a woman has been raped if she says so with no exceptions. Rape is a crime, after all, of power over the powerless. I feel so sorry she is back now in harm's way. The people who took her away, whatever their motives, are not behaving as rational, civilized human beings. The tragedy is human; her rape was not. It was unnecessary and tragic, and my heart goes out to her.
UPDATE 1: An article quotes a top Libyan official who insulted her and diminished her worth as a human being amid reports she has now been freed. A woman's social status has nothing to do with her allegations of brutality as claimed, and is a classic example of "blaming the victim." Whatever her profession or wealth, I continue to truly believe whatever she said, not some "official" with many reasons to cover up the crime and deny the truth.
UPDATE 2: More coverage in the media makes this story continue to be hot, and yet it seems to me that some say I am wrong, that women do accuse men of rape when it is not true, for many reasons. Unfortunately, I can't agree, and do not waiver...I think it probably never happens without justification of some sort. Usually, the accusation fades away. It's can't be denied that the number of unsolved rape cases remains astronomically high in America, according to endthebacklog.org. It's just that I think accusations tend to be justified.