Come hear these brave, inspiring women speak

Can we provide women impacted by pregnancy from rape a better answer than abortion? These women, who will share their extraordinary testimonies, say we can.

They will speak  as guest of Unbroken Ireland at the  “Ending the Silence: women impacted by pregnancy from rape speak out” meetings in Dublin and Cork as follows:

DUBLIN: The Spencer Hotel, IFSC, (Near the Convention Centre) Thursday, 28th September, 8pm.

CORK: Silver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, Cork City, Sunday, October 1st, 4pm.

 

Shauna Prewitt

Shauna Prewitt was in her senior year in college when she was raped. Nine months later, she gave birth to a baby girl. “We live in a culture where children who are conceived in rape are still spoken of in terms of an animal’s child, a monster’s child. She is not a monster’s child, she is my child. She’s wiped away my tears when she didn’t understand why I was crying and has just been with me through the darkness,” she says.

 

Jennifer Christie

Jennifer Christie was on a business trip when she was attacked by a serial rapist. She says that the pain was immense – and that the lack of understanding as to how to best help her through the trauma was devastating. “My child had nothing to do with the attack on my body or the scars on my soul.  He had everything to do with my healing — giving me a reason to hope.  I did not save my son.  He saved me. I am not raising a ‘rapist’s baby’.  I am raising my baby,” she says.

 


 

Rebecca Kiessling

Rebecca Kiessling was conceived in rape. She explains: “I was conceived in rape … I am no less of a human being, worthy of love, and deserving a right to life.  She says that society’s misconceptions and lack of understanding forces women and their children to feel stigma and shame. “Many people make an assumption that a ‘real’ rape victim would have had an abortion, and, shamefully, women are sometimes doubted or questioned if they chose life for their child.“

“The only person who should feel shame is the rapist,” she says. “My mother was innocent, as was I. The rapist is the criminal who should be punished.”

 

Next week, these brave and inspiring women will come to Ireland to share their stories, and to explain why they believe abortion is not the answer when a child is conceived in rape.

They will speak at two major public meetings in Dublin and Cork on September 28th and October 1st as guests of Unbroken Ireland – an initiative which gives a voice to those impacted by pregnancy after rape, and seeks a better answer than abortion for women.

Laura Ní Chonghaile of Unbroken Ireland says that the debate around abortion, and the 8th amendment, in Ireland, has almost never heard from those actually impacted by pregnancy from rape.

“Our voices are never heard, and our children are stigmatised, but we will no longer be silenced. For too long, society, motivated only by misguided compassion, has assumed that abortion is the only answer, when the needs of women in this situation are complex, and we must be heard,” she said.

She said that previously,  Miss C, the rape victim who case attracted so much public attention, had now spoken out to say that, for her, the abortion was harder to deal with than the rape. “Most women are fearful of raising their voices, but women were drawing courage from each other, and the Unbroken Ireland meetings will be an important step forward,” she said.

“We hear all-too-often that rape victims need the 8th amendment repealed, but we hear nothing from women like us who have been directly impacted by pregnancy from rape, and who want a better answer than abortion,” she said. “Abortion would have hurt me more, I needed to be safe, to be cared for, and my daughter deserved that too.”

Contrary to what was previously believed, pregnancy from rape is not as rare as society imagines. According to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, most women who become pregnant in this way go on to have their baby.

“We hope the Unbroken Ireland meetings will start a real discussion around what women need, and about ending the stigma and shame too many women have felt when the only person who should feel shame is the rapist,” said Ms Ní Chonghaile.

Unbroken Ireland’s guests will speak at the  “Ending the Silence: women impacted by pregnancy from rape speak out” meetings in Dublin and Cork as follows:

DUBLIN: The Spencer Hotel, IFSC, (Near the Convention Centre) Thursday, 28th September, 8pm.

CORK: Silver Springs Hotel, Tivoli, Cork City, Sunday, October 1st, 4pm.


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