Trivializing the Trauma of Rape

FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2012 file photo, Todd Akin, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from Missouri, takes a question fro
FILE - In this Aug. 10, 2012 file photo, Todd Akin, Republican candidate for U.S. Senator from Missouri, takes a question from the audience after speaking at the Missouri Farm Bureau candidate interview and endorsement meeting in Jefferson City, Mo. Until this week, Rep. Todd Akin was virtually unknown beyond his district, associated more with his deep religious convictions than any legislative achievements. Long before his comments about women's bodies and "legitimate rape" made him a flashpoint in the fall campaign, this congressional backbencher was a favorite among home-schooling organizations and conservative church groups. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Christian Gooden) EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

As someone who has devoted more than two decades to the understanding and therapeutic approach to emotional trauma, I was absolutely appalled by Todd Akin's ludicrous remarks about rape. To even speak of "legitimate rape," a glaring oxymoron, trivializes the terrible trauma of being raped. The experience of being raped is a trauma that shatters its victim's emotional world, destroying any sense of personal inviolability and safety that he or she may have had. A victim of rape is changed forever -- he or she will never experience himself or herself, or the world, in the same way again.

Thoughtless remarks like Akin's exacerbate the horrible shame that victims of rape often already feel. Shame on you, Mr. Akin!