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“For years, I blamed myself for what happened”

Thursday, Sep 27, 2018

* From January

The National Crime Victimization Survey, released last month, estimates that people in the U.S. experienced over 320,000 incidents of rape and sexual assault in 2016. That works out to 1.2 such assaults per 1,000 people age 12 or older. […]

Only 23 percent of incidents of rape and sexual assault were reported to the police, according to the NCVS, which makes these crimes the least likely to be reported of any type of crime recorded in the survey.

* Scott Reeder offers one explanation for why these crimes are so underreported

Regular readers of this column will remember that last December, I wrote about being assaulted when I was 12.

And it took me 40 years to talk about the attack I endured.

On a day when we were baling hay on our family farm in 1977, a man grabbed me in the barn, held me down, repeatedly kissed me and groped me. I was able to break away before worse things could happen.

For decades, it was a family secret.

Most folks who know me now think of a big man. But back then, I was slight, no match for a full-grown man. I’ve never had a more terrifying moment. Never.

At the time, I told my mother what happened. She listened quietly as we sat at the kitchen table. She told me to take a shower and then instructed me never to speak of it again.

For years, I blamed myself for what happened.

* The Cook County State’s Attorney offers more…



- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    Scott Reeder — that’s what real courage looks like.

    Thank you, in hopes that your bravery and honesty will give strength to those who need it to bring the predators among us to justice.


  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 11:26 am:

    Scott Reeder….brave. (wishing I could use several exclamation points on this one.)


  3. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Scott Reeder — Thanks for setting an example of being brave.

    In the cases of clergy sex abuse, most kids were taught a priest could do no wrong. Hard to believe, but in the 1950s, parents may even have beaten a kid for telling them such a thing.

    Abusers count on the child’s fear and shame to make them stay silent.

    Whether it’s children or women being abused, it’s about power. What a sad comment on our culture that a victim should feel shame from abuse.


  4. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    The stuff in the news of the past week (or longer) has been so mentally and emotionally exhausting.

    I can’t stop thinking about a good friend of mine who was raped at a party in the early 2000s by a guy who to that point she had considered a close friend. Not that it matters but I am pretty sure she was still a virgin before this despite being in her early 20s.

    She told me about the rape the next morning on our drive away from the house where we had crashed. I had been at the party with her but either was blacked out or passed out when the rape happened so I didn’t witness it.

    I think I tried to be as supportive as I could in the moment but in hindsight I wish I had done so much more. We didn’t immediately go to get a rape kit at the e.r. or file a police report. Before this whole thing happened my friend had kind of had a crush on the guy and so much drinking had happened that had a police report been filed I doubt it would have gone anywhere. The rapist in question was from a rich family.

    But anyway, because this traumatic event didn’t happen to me directly, for a long time this event that had happened to my friend had just kind of been filed away and not really thought about. Until last week and Dr. Ford’s account was published in WaPo. It’s all I’ve been able to think about.


  5. - Earnest - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    Thank you Scott Reeder for sharing your experience. It’s hard but critical for people to be able to talk about abuse.

    For me, as it often does, it comes back to social services and the supports that need to be out there for people who aren’t fortunate to have family and community ready to help them.

    And, for me, social services will keep coming back to the impact of the impasse on Rauner’s hostages. This discussion came to mind: https://capitolfax.com/2015/12/07/rauner-stay-strong/#comment-12400604


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    I reported my groping to the nearest authority. I was laughed at and asked if I enjoyed it. I was 12.


  7. - CharlieKratos - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    I hope something good comes from all this bad. The dark underbelly of the “boys will be boys” and “locker room talk” mindset has been exposed. Will it change things? Man, I hope so.


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 1:06 pm:

    Really brave and stunning Scott Reeder. Thanks for your bravery.

    I suspect the quietness on the blog today is because so many of us - myself included - are watching the incredbly compelling testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.


  9. - Northsider - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    Anonymous @ 12:49: Fox “News”; there, I’ve fixed it for you.


  10. - Archpundit - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    Thank you Scott Reeder. It reads a lot like the story in the Prince of Tides in how the mother treated it. That wasn’t uncommon at the time, but telling.


  11. - Matt Vernau - Thursday, Sep 27, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    The right thing to do is always the hardest thing to do. Holding this kind of pain in for years helps no one and puts others at risk. It is good to finally put it out there but we need to change the process,,, the expectations of our society.


  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 4:46 am:

    Why do the Republican Congressmen NOT want the FBI to investigate the sexual assault?


  13. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Sep 28, 18 @ 8:05 am:

    4 Republican governors are asking the Senate to delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation til there is an investigation. Rauner is not one of them.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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