The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Editorials

August 31, 2013

Editorial: Rudolf's courage an example for sexual assault victims

Amelia Rudolf is a courageous woman, and an example that victims of sexual assault need not feel they have anything to hide.

Early the morning of July 16, someone invaded her Anderson home and sexually assaulted her. Any such crime is reprehensible. When the victim is 93 years old, as Rudolf is, the crime seems especially heinous.

Some victims of sexual assault, out of fear and needless feelings of shame and guilt, decide not to report the crime. Other victims go to the police but choose to shield themselves from public attention. Privacy should be any victim's right, and this newspaper, like many other news organizations, observes a policy of not reporting the names of sexual assault victims who wish to remain anonymous.

But Rudolf's courage sets a shining example for other victims. They should feel no shame; they've done nothing wrong. If victims, witnesses and others with knowledge of sexual assaults speak freely about what they've seen or what they've endured, it casts a white-hot light on deviants who would victimize others.

A 17-year-old boy, Iquise Taylor, has been arrested on suspicion of attacking Rudolf. Police say his DNA matches that found at the crime scene. Rudolf's family is asking, should Taylor be found guilty, for him to be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. This is a natural response.

Most of us, thankfully, will never know the sort of physical, emotional and psychological pain that the attack inflicted on Rudolf. And most of us will never be asked to muster the sort of courage she has displayed in response to the attack.

Perhaps Rudolf's willingness to be identified as the victim will make it a little bit easier for other victims who've heard her story to talk about what has happened to them. The more light is cast on sexual assault, the more difficult it becomes to perpetrate and to avoid prosecution.

In summary The more light is cast on sexual assault, the more difficult it becomes to perpetrate and to avoid prosecution.

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