Sexual Assault Prevention and Support Services decided to submit this letter post-election to avoid the political rhetoric on the issue. But I need to respond to Eric Brakey’s reported comment that he “felt like he had been raped” after he was denied the ability to vote for Ron Paul in the presidential primary, saying he felt like he had no power or control.

What Sen.-elect Brakey experienced may have been disappointment, frustration or anger. People who have been raped experience extreme humiliation and violation of their bodies, minds and spirits. While being raped, many people have no control or power over whether they might live or die as they are being physically violated.

It is nowhere near the same issue.

Rape is not a term that should be used to describe general situations where one feels powerless or has no control

Sen.-elect Brakey’s comparison is disrespectful to, and dismissive of, the one-in-five Maine people of all ages and genders living in our local communities who report being the victims of rape, attempted rape, sexual assault or sexual abuse. It undermines their experience and their pain, and minimizes the sometimes life-long impact of the trauma they endured.

SAPARS invites Sen.-elect Brakey and other legislators to join us in a discussion of the issues of rape and sexual assault to assist in appropriately addressing our communities’ needs regarding those issues.

Bill Lowenstein, Auburn

President of the Board of Directors,

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services

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