Shepherdstown Police Department, Shepherdstown West Virginia

Another side of sexual assault

THE PICKET) – Working in the emergency department at a hospital I have become immune to the sickness I see around me. I stop letting the psychiatric patients get to me, the cries of sick babies no longer pierce my heart, and I’ve gotten used to the police bringing in sick inmates.

The one thing that I never get used to however, is the rape victim with bruising down her face and neck. Her face will continue to haunt me every time I walk outside alone at night. I see her emotionless glare, every time I’m out and a stranger tries to talk to me. When I look in the mirror at my outfit for that night I remember that she was wearing sweats. I go to a family gathering, where I should feel safe, but then recall that she was with family and it still happened to her.

Sexual assault victims aren’t always 20- something women who go out often and wear revealing clothing. Sexual assault happens to men, women, and children. It happens to people at parties, in public, at home, and places that would never even cross your mind to worry about. Many are assaulted by people they know. Sometimes sexual assault victims are left with more than just bruises. They are left with serious physical and emotional damage and the worst part is, is that most victims never come into the emergency department. Most victims go day to day dealing with this trauma on their own and most rapists are left walking free.

Haley George is a staff writer for The Picket. She can be reached at

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