Speaking out about rape takes courage


Courage. That’s what four young women in Akron have. They are in the midst of testifying against the man accused of raping them.

The trial, which started Tuesday, is expected to last two weeks. The four women will have to muster all their courage to get through it — and the rest of their lives.

Three of them are University of Akron students. The fourth is a young married woman. They were raped in the University of Akron neighborhood during the fall and winter.

So far, the Beacon Journal gave the trial of accused rapist Christopher Butts page one coverage on both Wednesday and Thursday. The 24-year-old gas company salesman from Columbus has been indicted on 22 counts.

As Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh put it during opening statements, “This case is about four young women who were sleeping and were woken up by the terror of a stranger raping them.”

They have many courageous women standing in their corner. Some have tread the same hard path. Others can only imagine it.

Read about the Plain Dealer reporter who shared her rape story earlier this year — and how her courage continues to inspire courage in other women. A few share their thoughts in the comments section below that post.

For assistance with rape trauma, contact The University of Akron’s Counseling, Testing, and Career Center or the Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties.

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One Response

  1. I have been reading the articles in the Akron Beacon Journal. I am sick over what these young women have already had to experience, and now what they have to endure as this trial proceeds. I am sick that this man’s crimes are gaining so much attention and that as a result these young women, although unnamed, are also dragged through the papers with him, as if their victimization is not enough for them to cope with. I am sick when I see his picture and I cannot see an ounce of remorse, not that forgiveness will make it better, and certainly not that any explanation will erase the action. Each article I read my heart breaks a little more for these survivors, in knowing and feeling the reality of what they are going through.

    At the same time, each article I read, each mentioning of their strength and their testimonies, there is a little flicker of hope. Hope that the more survivors that stand up against their attackers, against these crimes, the more women will stand and TAKE BACK THE NIGHT.

    My heart is with these courageous women.

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