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Reader: Will the abuse ever end?

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When I was 14 I had an experience very similar to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's. That was nearly 70 years ago, and sad to say, it wasn't the only one. I didn't tell anyone for many, many years. Why did I remain quiet?

I didn't want to "disappoint" my dad. I didn't even know about sex, but I knew that what that young man was trying to do was not right. Thankfully he did not succeed.

I thought I was at fault. I was just so glad to escape that the relief was even more powerful than the fear. I didn't call the police because I was a naive 14-year-old girl to whom it didn't occur. Girls' rights were just about nonexistent then. Sometimes I question if they are still nonexistent.

Throughout the millennia, women have been mocked, stoned, ridiculed, whipped, raped, starved, chained, beaten, hung, enslaved, scalped, sodomized, kicked, blinded, decapitated and tortured. We've been murdered for not being virgins. We've been burned at the stake for supposedly being witches. We've had our genitals mutilated. We've had acid thrown in our faces. We've been imprisoned for no reason. We've been denied the right to vote. In short, denied every basic human right.

Even today, much of the above abuse is endured by women in many parts of the world. So, as a woman I'm well aware that I have to fight for every right, then fight some more to keep it, because the majority of men and even some women rise up in righteous indignation when I claim my rights.

I can't help but notice the cynical attitude of these self-righteous people when they comment about women who have come forward and put their lives and their families' safety on the line, who have to apologize for being raped (think about that) and defend the fact that they came forward. It's bad enough to be victimized once, let alone multiple times.

No wonder women, girls, females tend to remain silent. Make no mistake, whenever a female (or male) has a horrific experience that threatens her or his well-being or that of loved ones, the fear remains permanently and colors every aspect of life.

Today it's called PTSD. Will it ever end? Probably not, or at least not until women win more political power. And that, my friends, can only happen through your votes.

— Jan Zeis

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