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A Young Hasidic Woman’s Tale of Sex, Shame, and Rape

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It was a Shabbos morning when I awoke and realized that my virginity was gone—against my wishes. But instead of seeking the help I desperately needed, I felt shame. For many years I did not fully comprehend the harm caused by that traumatic experience because at the time I was simply too afraid to admit to anyone that I was sexually involved with someone. So taboo was the subject that, at the time, I didn’t even consider the word “rape” to describe what had occurred.

Now I think that word is appropriate: It was a Shabbos morning when I awoke and realized that I’d been raped.

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