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"One year ago, I locked my door and went to sleep; like we all do on any given night. Unfortunately, this night was like no other before and was one I will never be able to forget. I woke up that night to a co-worker who had undressed himself, crawled into my bed and raped me. "
Kathleen, rape survivor

Rape is a crime, talking about it isn't. SPEAK.

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Why is our organization, message board, and chat room for rape and sexual abuse survivors called After Silence?

       The name of our organization is inspired by the memoir After Silence: Rape and My Journey Back by Nancy Venable Raine. Defined by the New York Times, "A book that dignifies the human spirit," After Silence is the written account of Raine's journey of recovery from victim to survivor.

        In her book, Raine explores the pain, the silence, the stigma and shame that still surrounds rape and sexual abuse survivors, shading light on the fact that the trauma doesn't end with the attack but continues in the aftermath.

        Nancy V. Raine was told by her rapist to "shut up," over and over during the hours of her rape, and these words continued to hunt her for years after the attack.

"Silence has the rusty taste of shame. The words shut up are the most terrible words I know.... The man who raped me spat these words out over and over during the hours of my attack -- when I screamed, when I tried to talk him out of what he was doing, when I protested. It seemed to me that for seven years -- until at last I spoke -- these words had sunk into my soul and become prophecy. And it seems to me now that these words, the brutish message of tyrants, preserve the darkness that still covers this pervasive crime. The real shame, as I have learned, is to consent to them."

        After Silence. Rape and my Journey Back speaks to anyone, female or male, who has experienced sexual violation, gives a voice to victims, exposes the myths and injustices that still surround this "unspeakable" crime, and inspires the reader to heal and emerge with a new energy and powerful knowledge.

"Rape has long been considered a crime so unspeakable, so shameful to its victims, that they are rendered mute and cloaked in protective anonymity... The victims of rape must carry their memories with them for the rest of their lives. They must not also carry the burden of silence and shame."

        Here at we embrace Nancy Venable Raine's courage and inspiration, and dedicate our time to make sure that no survivor of rape and sexual abuse is left alone and that no survivor is left carrying the burden of silence and shame.

Why the Lotus Flower?

       The lotus flower grows out of mud. Yet, it rises above the surface clean, blooms with remarkable beauty, and its beauty remains untouched by the mud. The flower closes and sinks underwater at night, but it rises and opens again at dawn.

       Lotus flowers have strong symbolic ties to survivors. They start as small flowers down at the very bottom of a pond and then slowly grow and rise towards the surface, continually moving towards the light. Once the lotus flower has reached the surface of the water, it begins to blossom and turns into a magnificent flower.

       The lotus flower is a symbol for courage, purity, and awakening, and it mirrors survivors' journey toward healing and recovery. Like the lotus flower, survivors have been at the bottom of the pond but can rise above it to show their worth, courage, and untouched beauty.

"A lotus is a flower that blooms in the mud, the deeper the mud the more beautiful the lotus blooms."

If you have been a victim of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest or molestation, you are welcome to join our message board and chat room for support and validation. Use your voice, connect with other survivors, and heal. You deserve to be heard and supported.

© 2007 After Silence - rape and sexual abuse survivor message board, support forums, and chat room.


This site is offered for support of other rape and sexual abuse survivors. It is not meant to be a substitute for any kind of professional help.
If you are in a crisis situation we urge to contact your local rape crisis center or health care professional.

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