On the medical frontline, where the numbers are very raw
Vanessa Graamond; 8/3/10
Sometimes it is easier to think about numbers than what it is that these numbers stand for. But the reality is that these numbers are people. They are people who seek medical care after being beaten, broken, violated and raped, sometimes by strangers, sometimes by people they know, sometimes by those closest to them, people they loved and trusted. There’s a big debate about what we call such cases — victims or survivors? The people we see are mostly women and children; they are mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters. Victims or survivors? It differs from person to person, but today I will call them victims. We must remember, however, that they are also survivors, or at least each day, that is what I hope they will become. I will refer to these victims as she and her. Men can be raped and can be victims of sexual violence both here, and all over the world. But the people I have cared for have been women and children; that’s what I know.