There is a brutal movement in America that legitimizes child abuse in the name of God. Two stories recently converged to make us pay attention. Last week, a video went viral of a Texas judge brutally whipping his disabled daughter. And on Monday, the New York Times published a story about child deaths in homes that have embraced the teachings of To Train Up a Child, a book by Christian preacher Michael Pearl that advocates using a switch on children as young as six months old.
What many people may not realize is that in the evangelical alternative universe of the home school movement, tightly knit church communities and the following of a number of big-time leaders and authors, physical punishment of children has been glorified for years.
As the Times illustrates — “Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate” — the books of Michael Pearl and his wife Debi have been found in the homes where several children were killed.
I was talking to my counselor the other day about my sexual abuse and how left out I feel in support groups because I’ve never been vaginally raped. The closest thing I’ve ever come to being vaginally raped was when my mom’s ex boyfriend would stick objects inside of me as a punishment (by most technical/legal definitions this counts as “sexually battery”). Every time I’ve ever been ‘raped’ it was all oral or anal.
She told me that in actuality, many women are anally raped and embarrassed to come forward and say it — so they pass it off as vaginal penetration. She said that even when women get rape kits they sometimes are required to allow an anal swab as well as a genital one.
Me? I openly talk about how I was anally raped in my support group, and when I advocate against rape culture. I hope maybe it will inspire or motivate another victim to open up and tell their story.
So if you’ve been anally raped I would be really interested in hearing your story. My submit link it up if an ask if too short. Really, if you’ve ever been raped feel free to talk to me about it — I love talking to survivors. You’re all so strong.