As y’all know, I have some issues with rape culture – and by issues I mean a rage that spans the globe and burns hotter than a million suns. Usually when I am ranting about victim blaming and age, I am shitting verbal fire at the slut shaming of little kids. The only thing I hate more than rape culture is when it is aimed at young children. That’s when the million suns of my rage go Vex Nova.
Nevertheless, I shall not shirk in my duty of venting my ire when rape culture slams into the other direction. Take, for example, this hellish case involving the slut shaming and denigration of an 89 year old rape victim who was sexually assaulted by a caregiver in her nursing home.
After the 89 year old victim told Edgewood Vista senior living facility that 30 year old Andrew Scott Merzwski had raped her, Edgewood Vista forced the victim to spend three days in the mental health unit of a hospital, EVEN THOUGH MERZWKI HAD ALREADY CONFESSED TO RAPING HER.
“The room [the victim] was in was dark and cold … and they locked her in at night and all she had was a blanket,” nurse examiner Theresa Flesvig said in testimony filed with the court. Only later did [the victim] receive a complete examination for evidence of rape. In court testimony, Flesvig said the laceration that resulted from the rape was the “biggest tear” she had ever seen in her six years of work in the field … a sexual assault advocate who visited the victim at the hospital said she had multiple conversations with Edgewood staff but was never told about Merzwski’s admission to police. Days later, an administrator at Edgewood Vista appeared to defend the rapist even after his admission to police. According to court testimony, Marilyn Moore, clinical services director at the home, asked Flesvig, “Did she tell you that this was consensual? Did she tell you that she flirts with this boy mercilessly?” In a separate conversation with Mary Salisbury, a sexual assault advocate, Moore said she thought the elderly woman “was making it up,” and referred to the woman as a “flirt.”
In short, Edgewood Vista didn’t tell anyone else that the police had a confession from the rapist, thus ensuring that the victim would be left untreated for her injuries in a mental health ward, and director Marilyn Moore tried to convince the people helping the victim that the 89 year old woman was a lying whore who was asking for it.
I cannot see how people continue to insist there is not such thing as a rape culture and if there were a rape culture there certainly isn’t one here in the USA. I cannot tell if the people denying rape culture are stupid, ignorant, or deluded. I suspect all three.