Liz Spikol explains:
I was raped at 17. My rapist was not a powerful celebrity. He was a nobody. But I didn’t go to the police. I didn’t go to a hospital.
Why don’t we tell…? Because our skin burns with shame. I thought my body would never get clean, not only from him but from my own stupidity and weakness. The minute after it ended I felt like I was being torn into pieces, like I was on fire, and I just wanted to shower. I felt crazy, confused, angry, beaten, lost, like I had a zipper running from throat to naval. I felt more alone than I’ve ever felt before or since. I felt like the severed pieces of my body were floating in darkness. I felt savaged. I felt terrified. Here’s what I did not feel: capable of calmly picking up the phone. Capable of walking to the hospital and talking to one functionary after another. Capable of filling out paperwork. Capable of being touched by another person without exploding into flames. Capable of functioning at all like a human being because I wasn’t a human being. I felt like if I even went outside of my room my organs would explode out of my body. How would I explain that to the cops?
Ultimately, I told one person who I swore to secrecy. Had I allowed him to tell others, my rapist would perhaps be serving time rather than serving sandwiches in a vegetarian restaurant in the Bronx where, last I heard, he was a manager. But I believed I was to blame.