Reno letter published

In a letter to the editor of the Nation magazine, reacting to a previous article about how decades of changes in rape law have not changed cultural attitudes, an unnamed Reno resident wrote in part:

“I have just learned that my 18-year-old grandniece was raped by a college football player at a party recently. No one is supposed to know about this assault—it's a secret, a big secret kept by her family because of shame.

“The attacker has been charged. My niece had to leave college because she couldn't hold up under the harassment of the perpetrator's teammates and others because she pressed charges. She is recovering at home without support from other family and friends because of the ‘no talk' rule. The rape was devastating, but barring friends and family from giving support is devastating as well. The adage ‘Your secrets keep you sick' applies here and could have the most severe consequence: suicide. Receiving love and care outside the immediate family would promote her processing this violation and is imperative for her healing. I believe our ‘jock' culture is to blame, along with the media's portrayal of women as toys to be used for the glory of men and their supremacy.”