February 20, 1987

Rape Victim Advises Report Attack, Get Help

JAMA. 1987;257(7):895. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390070015004

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ACCOMPANIED BY her counselor, a rape survivor—a woman in her mid-20s—agreed to talk with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS & PERSPECTIVES about her experience.

She told of the chance meeting with a male acquaintance after work one night more than a year ago. As they walked near her home, the man suggested they go into a deserted park and talk for a while. Once there, he began forcibly fondling her. When she resisted, he threatened to hurt her, pulled off some of her clothing, and raped her.

The victim broke loose, ran out of the park, and began knocking on doors across the street. No one answered; she ran several blocks before spotting a police car. The officers were unable to locate the attacker; they took the victim to a hospital.

How did you manage to break away from your attacker? "At first, I tried to reason with him, but he started