How To Help Someone Facing DV

Learning that someone you know is in an abusive relationship can come as a surprise to many. The warning signs are not always clear, and most people suffering DV put on an Oscar-worthy performance that the relationship is A-okay all around, when in fact it is anything but. 

So what can you do if you do learn that someone you care about is in an abusive relationship? Though it is only natural to immediately want to jump in and save them, it isn’t often the best choice. There are many reasons why it is difficult to leave a violent relationship, and just as many reasons why it can be downright dangerous, too. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to offer your person the best form of support, regardless what stage of their journey they are in.

If they start talking about it

Maybe you suspected your friend, family member, or coworker had a rocky relationship. Maybe you’re hearing about it for the first time. Regardless, the first two things you must avoid doing when your person comes forward and confesses that things are bad, are:

  • Do not express doubt or disbelief (“Well, that just can’t be! Are you sure?”)
  • Do not side with their abuser (“But so-and-so is such a wonderful person/great parent/active church member!”)

Instead, let them know that you heard what they said, that you believe what they just told you, and most importantly, let them know that you are there to support them however you can. 

Some things to say to your person when they confess that they are in an abusive/toxic/violent relationship:

  • I believe you
  • How can I help?
  • Do you have a safe place to stay if things get bad?
  • You can stay with me/us if you need to (assuming this is something that you are genuinely able to provide)
  • Can I help you find a safe place to stay? (assuming you are not in a position where you can offer them shelter in your home)
  • Is there anything that I can look up for you? (abusers frequently keep close tabs on their victim’s cell phones and search history. Your person may not be able to look up the number to a hotline, or explore what their legal rights are, etc)

What your person needs most at this stage is to see that they are not crazy. In nearly every abusive relationship, the abusive partner will use tactics to convince their victim that they (the victim) are “crazy”, or overly emotional, or too sensitive. This ensures that the victim will be less likely to talk about the abuses going on at home, because they will doubt themselves. So if your person has come forward and they have let you in on some of what has been going on at home, the most important thing for you to do is reassure them that they are not overreacting, nor are they “crazy”. Your person needs your help gaining clarity that their abusive relationship really is “that bad”, and that they really do need to, for their own well-being and safety, escape their abuser. 

When they start planning their escape

For those of us lucky enough to have never experienced an abusive relationship, it may seem like the idea of an “escape plan” is far-fetched and unnecessary. But with an abuser, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Statistically, abusers become their most dangerous selves when their partner voices their intention to leave, or if they catch their partner leaving them (this can happen if the victim attempts to leave without informing their abuser, but they wind up getting “caught” if the abuser returns home unexpectedly). 

Escape plans help assure that the victim of DV has everything they need in order to leave swiftly, safely, and with resources in place so that their departure is a sustainable one. 

Some things that you can do to help:

  • Help your person secure a place to stay. Be it at your home, a friend’s home, or a shelter
  • Offer to safeguard your person’s important documents, new bank cards, new cell phone
  • Help them find an appropriate support network. For some this can be a church, for others it can be groups that come together at a local shelter, but a group of people who have been through similar hardships can be invaluable to someone who is just getting out of an abusive relationship
  • Help secure material resources for your person. This can be clothes, so that they don’t have to leave with bags and bags full; transportation; basic furnishings and or kitchenware if they are able to get set up in an apartment of their own
  • Advise them to set up a new bank account and start putting some money away in it
  • Advise them to get a new phone
  • Help them document instances of abuse. Many victims are too afraid to report their abuser to authorities (and with good reason, because this can often lead to even more dangerous and violent behavior from the abuser), but it can still help to have a journal of listed events that have taken place. Even better if these instances are dated, or if there are any text messages, emails, written letters, or photographs supporting the incidents. 

When they are ready to make their escape

Even with all of the planning that has likely taken place up until this point, your person will still need some help in getting out of their current dwelling and away from their abuser. Sometimes this may involve helping them carry their packed up personal effects out of their home. Other times, it can mean being ready with transportation. And yet other times, it can be as simple as showing up with a trusted friend or two, cell phones in hand, ready if the abuser comes home unexpectedly so that authorities can be informed immediately. 

  • Be available to pick them up if you can, or arrange other transportation
  • Do not post about any of this on social media. It doesn’t matter how vague you think you’re being, or how tight you think your privacy settings are, this is one of the worst things that a person can do. It is one of the easiest ways for the abuser to catch wind of what’s happening, and again: abusers become their most dangerous and violent selves when they learn that their partner is going to leave them
  • Help them settle into their new space, even if that means accompanying them to a shelter
  • Remind them that you are their for them, even after they’ve safely left their toxic partner

After they have safely left their abuser

This, to most people, may seem like a good time to return to things as normal. Your person is safely away from their abuser, and you have done all you can to help them reach that point. But, alas, transitioning to a life free from one’s abuser is a whole other can of worms. Interestingly, some victims find the calm after the storm to be its own form of unexpected anxiety, and the support of a dear friend can be tremendously beneficial. 

Here are some ways you can continue to show your support:

  • Ask them what other things they might need as they transition to a life free from their abuser
  • Help them research their legal rights. These vary by state, and they vary based on whether the two parties were married, shared property, or had children together
  • If your person permits you to do so, advise their new neighbors of the situation and give them a description of your person’s abuser. It is not at all uncommon, in fact it is to be expected, that the abuser will come around their victim’s new neighborhood, dwelling, and/or place of work. It can be helpful for those living or working around your person to know what’s going on, and what to be on the look-out for

If they decide to return to their abuser

This can be the toughest situation for a friend or family member to have to witness. When we are not the ones in the abusive relationship, it can seem like the most illogical decision a person could possibly choose for themselves. But because we are not in that situation, we cannot pretend to know how we would behave if we were. 

To be supportive if your person decides to go back to their abuser, consider the following:

  • Remind them that you will remain there for them whatever they decide to do
  • Check in on them regularly. Whether it’s via phone, text, or email, make sure that you reach out regularly, so that (A) they know you still care, and (B) you know that they are well enough to be able to respond to you.
  • If you do not hear back from your person, report it. Most police officers will insist there is nothing to worry about. Most will remind you that you are asking them to check up on an adult, who is old enough to do whatever they please, go wherever they please, and associate with whomever they please. Report it anyway. Make a stink at your local station if you have to, until you are heard and the officer you are dealing with sends out a car to perform a welfare check. 
  • Take care of yourself so that if/when they decide to leave again, you will be able to provide them with the same level of support

Though it may seem like leaving a relationship should be a relatively easy endeavor, it is absolutely not so when it comes to leaving an abusive relationship. It takes tremendous courage, a great deal of support, and a very skillfully thought out escape plan. This can be all the more complicated and difficult if there are children involved. So if it does happen that you find yourself listening to someone in your life talk about the difficulty they are experiencing in their relationship, and that it isn’t in fact all smiles and sunshine, be prepared to help them seek the support they are surely going to need in order to get out safely. Though the list of things one can do for someone facing DV may seem long, don’t feel that you have to do it all on your own. Ask your person if there is anyone else they trust to help start planning their escape. Guide them towards helpful resources like support groups and hotlines. And most importantly, do not judge. There are a multitude of reasons why it takes a victim a long time to even come forward and confide in another person about how bad their relationship is, and there are even more reasons why they don’t escape sooner. Give them your ear, your support, and your compassion, and help them remember that it will be better on the other side of things, and that once they get there, you will still be there for them.

A Poem for Grieving Mothers

An event no Mother should ever have to attend. 

A day no Mother should ever have to see. 

When a child is born, no Mother imagines or thinks she’ll have to bury her baby. 

No Mother should have to shed tears filled with grief and pain. 

No Mother should have to cry and pray and hope that grief’s sting will go away. 

No Mother should have to live without her child’s embrace. 

No Mother should ever have to worry about her child’s memory being erased. 

No Mother should have to cease to hear her child’s voice. 

No Mother should have to watch her child’s life come to a pause. 

Mother, dear Mother, we see the pain on your face. 

Mother, dear Mother, we know that this pain cannot be erased. 

Mother we know sometimes your face is smiling 

While on the inside, you’re crying. 

Mother, dear Mother, we see your tears 

Even when it has been a few years. 

Inside your heart the pain still lives. 

Sometimes, we feel we don’t know the right words to say, 

But please know, Mother, that we want to be here to comfort you today. 

Today, Mother, it is you we want to embrace. 

We want to wipe the tears from your face.  

Today we want to hold you up and help you stand. 

Today, Mother, we want to hold your hand. 

We want to encourage you and let you know that even though  

Things will never quite be the same  

You still remain…  


Our love and support continue today,  

Mother’s Day,  

and every other day.   

10 Ways Domestic Violence Impacts Children

10 Ways Domestic Violence Impacts Children

Meg McCann
Meg McCann

One in seven children and young people under the age of eighteen have lived with domestic violence. Being a victim or witnessing domestic abuse, especially at a young age, can affect one’s well-being and development.

Aggressive behavior

Victims living with abuse at home often display similar, externalized behaviors. Fighting, lying, cheating, bullying, and impatience are all effects of domestic violence on children and young adults. Behavior deemed ‘out of control’ becomes normalized, which can be interpreted as acceptable to the child. The act of toughness can lead to violence, such as fighting and bullying, and lying and cheating can be used to avoid confrontation, running parallel with things seen in households where domestic violence occurs.

Lowered self-esteem

There are a plethora of conflicting feelings that children and young people have being raised in an abusive environment. They will often search for answers as to why something is happening and may even blame themselves for abusive situations that are no fault of their own. However, feelings of grief, shame, and low self-esteem likely accompany children.

Normalizing unhealthy relationships

Growing up in a violent household creates the narrative that violent behaviors are seen as acceptable behaviors. Therefore, unhealthy relationships are seen as the norm – children are influenced by their environment.


The trauma that comes along with living in an abusive environment can lead to long-term mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Separation and stranger anxiety are specifically present in children as they grow up. Attachments are formed to specific family members, whether they lie with the abuser or the abused. Many children subject to domestic violence have trouble creating relationships, as is discussed further on.


Increased and prolonged depression is one of the most prevalent impacts domestic violence has on children and young adults. Suicidal thoughts, insomnia, phobias, and fears are frequently internalized behaviors accompanying depression. 

Poor academic performance

Research shows that children develop various problems, many of which impact their school performance. There is an increased risk of school truancy and a lack of concentration on schoolwork both at the academic institution and at home.

Lack of social skills

Young people exposed to domestic violence lack a sense of foundation concerning safety. It is common for many people to become desensitized to things that children typically would not be. Research has shown that children from violent homes have lower levels of social competence, including a lack of empathy, poor problem-solving skills, and immaturity. There tends to be a pattern of isolation, making it difficult to create relationships with people outside the immediate home.

Change in the family dynamic

Family dynamics in cases of domestic violence can become highly complex. There are multiple ways in which children react to such instances, including trying to protect themselves or the victim in their family as well as maybe even siding with the abuser. A heavy sense of responsibility is put on the child, making it seem as though they can try and control the situation. This burden can lead to various outcomes, some of which have been mentioned above, such as aggression and lack of self-esteem.

Involvement in risky behaviors

Substance abuse, unsafe sexual behavior, eating disorders, and self-harm have been linked to the long-term effects of domestic violence exposure on children and teens. These behaviors can be linked to isolation and seeking things these children and young teens are not getting at home. 

Probability of becoming a victim

Children and young people who grow up in households where domestic violence occurs are fifteen times more likely to experience sexual, physical, and emotional abuse than the national average. The link between domestic violence and child abuse creates a sense of normalized, patterned behavior that increases the likelihood of these children becoming victims themselves.

Domestic violence has a profound impact on children’s physical and mental health, affecting their behavior, self-esteem, relationships, academic performance, social skills, and overall well-being. Understanding these impacts is essential to address and prevent the negative effects of domestic violence on children and young adults.

The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: A Warning Sign You Should Not Ignore

The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence: A Warning Sign You Should Not Ignore

Alyssa Dover

You are a busy and hard-working woman. You work long hours and take care of everything at home as well. You hear your man upset when you get home and walk into the house. He tells you how bad your dog has been all day and has gone to the bathroom inside. Instead of arguing back, you want to keep the peace and clean up the soiled areas. This process happens almost daily, and you can see him getting increasingly frustrated with the dog that is both of yours! Eventually, you discover he is not letting the dog outside during the day, walking, or feeding him. He is also yelling at the dog and disciplining the dog when the dog barks back. He expects unrealistic behavior from the dog and then hurts him. Then when you show affection to the dog, he gets jealous and upset at you.

The Connection Between Animal Cruelty and Domestic Violence

The anecdote above is animal abuse and a huge warning sign of possible domestic violence for you in the future, if not already. Witnessing animal abuse can affect you mentally with deep depression or sadness. When the abuser sees your connection with the animal and the hurt it causes you, it gives him pleasure. He will likely see it as a vulnerability, leading to them abusing you more mentally and exposing you to further physical violence. Beware of the time when pets become weapons. They are used as leverage to control you and the relationship. People are often seen as animals to them that don’t deserve any love or affection. Power for this type of abuser is the most important thing. Nothing will stop them from their desire to gain control. They get satisfaction from controlling others and never take responsibility for their actions or words. The abuser might even shift the blame to you or someone else.

The animal can also be a huge warning sign for you. If the animal is abused, its mood changes toward people, kids, and animals. They might show signs of abuse, like having physical signs of injuries or scars. Being traumatized emotionally, they will be more aggressive toward you or people. They might also show symptoms of anxiety, separation anxiety, and fear responses. Reactions like those towards a person might also get them abused again. When a person is being abused, the animal suffers as well. They are often neglected or forgotten in the cycle of abuse and will often hide in fear. In some cases, the abuser will even eventually kill the animal.

These signs are also vital to recognize. The connection between animal cruelty and domestic violence is so common that the FBI tracks animal abuse to help tell them to know where humans may be at risk for domestic violence. It is proven that abusers that abuse animals are more physical abuse than those who don’t. These abusers are more dangerous, so it has the FBI’s attention. It is important to report animal abuse for that reason and more!

Leaving an abusive relationship might also be more challenging because you don’t want to leave the animal. Not being able to take the animal with you could delay or stop you from leaving a domestic violence situation. Your priority in any abusive situation is yourself. Make a safety plan, but always consider everyone affected by the abuse, including pets.

In December 2018, PAWS (the Pet and Women’s Safety Act) was introduced to provide programs assistance for providing housing and shelters for women with pets. There are a lot of resources, from the Domestic Violence Support | National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) to the US Domestic Violence Support Line (breakthesilencedv.org), that provide information on pet option-friendly shelters. Also, pets became part of federal law in over 29 states to have them included in protection orders. That is huge! Pets are protected in the process as well as you.

Animals are so important to us and our hearts, but never forget how important you are. Don’t ignore the red flags or warning signs in an abusive situation. Know that in a crisis, shelters and laws are in place to protect you and your loved ones, even the furry ones.

Why I stayed in an abusive relationship for over 18 years: My story

Why I stayed in an abusive relationship for over 18 years: My story

Iris Pendleton

If it was so bad, why didn’t you leave? Why did you stay for over 18 years if it was so bad?

These are the questions people have asked countless times since I left the abusive relationship nearly 3 years ago. 

I had several reasons why I should have left, but I did not. There were numerous violent episodes over the years, but I still stayed. 

I stayed after he hit me the first time.  I stayed when he called me explicit, obscene 4 and 5-letter words. I stayed after having my glasses smashed into my face by his fist.  I stayed after constant criticism, manipulation, and ridicule.

Yes, I had a car, money, and a job, and I knew people I could ask for help. With these resources available, why didn’t I leave? There is no simple answer to this question. 

I will discuss some of the reasons why I stayed. Other people’s reasons why may be different since no two survivor stories are exactly the same. On the other hand, one thing all survivors of abuse share is that we know leaving an abusive relationship is not as easy as it may seem.

Here are some of the reasons why I stayed. 

#1 – Low Self-esteem

My low self-esteem contributed to my staying. I had struggled with low self-esteem and self-worth from childhood. Life and people had taught me that a skinny, dark-skinned girl was ugly and worth less than others. Over time I started to believe this lie. When I went into early adulthood as an 18- or 19-year-old, I aimed to find someone to love me and make me feel valuable. I did not realize that I could only attract someone who believed what I already believed about myself. When he started calling me names and hitting me, I just figured it was a part of the process of love. Besides, from early childhood, I had seen women beaten by men who said they loved them. Although it was an unhealthy relationship, I was afraid to let go. I was also convinced that no one else would want me. I thought he was my only chance at love. Although the “love” he gave was not always lovely, in my mind, it was something.  

#2 – The Abuse Cycle

Riding the abuse cycle roller coaster contributed to my staying. He was not always abusive. The abuse cycle has periods of calm, followed by buildup and an explosion. It is a cycle that keeps going. Sometimes, he would shower me with small gifts, cook elaborate dinners, say sweet things to me, be affectionate, and pour on the romantic charm. Those times would remind me of the things I liked about him. Those times would also convince me that it could get better. I hoped the period of calm would stay because I enjoyed the person he was during those periods. The calm was always followed by a buildup of tension. He would slip and call me a name, throw something across the room, use profanity, or yell angrily. Soon after, a significant explosion would occur, sometimes resulting in me being physically attacked. The good times in that relationship were good, but the bad ones were equally bad. The good times served to keep me working hard to try to get back to the good and try to ward off the bad. I did not realize that I was not in control of the abuse. The abuse was a choice he made, and I could do nothing to stop him from being abusive. I could not end something I did not cause. 

#3 – Single Parenting

I feared being a single parent. When I got into the relationship, I had no children. By the end of it, I had two children. I was advised that a single-parent home is no place to raise children, so I convinced myself that I would stay for the children. Constant messages of “a woman cannot raise two boys to be men” echoed in my mind. The stigma of being a single mother is laced with shame and embarrassment. Although single mothers are doing the good hard work of parenting, society often paints the picture that they are the problem. I was told that no one worth having would ever want a single mother with two kids, so I stayed because I had convinced myself that being in a bad relationship was better than being single.

#4 – Fear of Starting Over

I stayed because, in my mind, I had convinced myself that starting over would be hard. Then I found myself there for nearly 2 decades. People sometimes celebrate a relationship’s longevity without questioning the long relationship’s health. I had made an enormous investment in that relationship. I had worked hard to try to keep it all together. It crushed my soul that I would be walking away from the years of effort I had put in. I feared starting over, not knowing what might be on the other side. I feared what it would be like to be single and back in the dating pool. I feared being physically alone.  

#5 – Fear of What He would do if I left

I stayed because I knew that leaving would be dangerous. I feared that I would not live to enjoy the freedom of being free. My abuser had threatened me many times about what he could and would take from me if I left. Among his threats were: burning down the house and taking the kids. The history of violence in the relationship also scared me. He was bigger and stronger than me, and I feared he would end me if I left. Staying was dangerous, but I feared leaving could be even more dangerous. 

#6 – Fear of What Others would say

When I met the abuser, I was young and worked in fast food and retail settings. I stayed because I feared the gossip that would come after I left. I feared people saying that he had “helped” me get ahead in life, and I left him. When I left, I had earned 3 degrees and had a well-established professional career. People looking in from the outside were convinced I accomplished these things because of him. What they did not know was that I completed them despite him. He did not regularly work for most of our relationship, so I was the breadwinner. I took on most of the house and parenting tasks while pursuing higher education. He told people he paid for me to attend school, which was a lie. So, between his lies and people’s misperceptions, I worried that people would paint a picture and make me look like I had taken advantage of him. 

#7 – His Illness

I stayed because he was ill. During the last few years of our relationship, he dealt with a chronic illness. I helped him set up his medical equipment, coordinate doctor’s appointments, and monitor his medication schedule. I felt so bad about his deteriorating physical state. As a Christian, I thought my duty was to stay and care for him. Even though he did not deserve my love and care, I thought about all the instances in the Bible when God gave grace and mercy to those who didn’t deserve it. So, I felt guilty about trying to leave at a time when it seemed like he needed me most. I felt like I needed to stay. 

#8 – Embarrassment

I stayed because I was ashamed of what I had been through. I did not want anyone to know what I had gone through. On the outside, no one could have guessed how bad it was for me to live in that relationship. I felt ashamed being who I was professionally and having gone through that situation. 

So, the answers to the questions: “Why did you stay?” and “why didn’t you leave?” each have complex answers. I have provided some of my answers to these questions. The reasons why you stayed may be the same or similar. Your reasons may be different. The critical thing to remember is that it does not matter when you leave. If you are still in an abusive relationship, you still have a chance to find freedom. So, you must make it out alive whether it takes you 10 months, 10 years, or 20 years to leave. 

After leaving the abusive relationship, I stayed single for a while. I engaged in continuing to heal from the past abuse I faced. I attended counseling watched countless hours of videos, and wrote many pages in multiple journals as I processed the pain and trauma I had lived through.

Today I am building a wonderful life on the other side of all the abuse I suffered. I am now married to a loving, kind, and gentle man. I am rediscovering and embracing things about myself that I had to hide for so many years. I love life and everything it has to offer. 

The History of Denim Day: How a Court Ruling Sparked a Global Movement Against Sexual Assault Myths

denim day jeans

The History of Denim Day: How a Court Ruling Sparked a Global Movement Against Sexual Assault Myths

Sabrina Grey Wilson

Up until 1996, in Italy, rape was not considered a felony. It was considered a crime of “honor,” and the rapist could avoid charges if arrangements were made to marry the victim (italics my own) or if the rapist could prove that the victim had had “many sexual experiences” prior to the rape.

But finally, in 1996, as a major win for the feminist movement and women everywhere, the laws were updated to include rape as a felonious offense. These advancements in the legal system were promising, offering victims the option to press charges without worrying they could somehow be blamed.

That is, until 1998, when a convicted rapist filed an appeal on his conviction using what would come to be known as the “jeans alibi.”

In 1992, an 18-year-old girl went to her driving lesson in Italy. Her instructor was a 45-year-old man. What started as a typical lesson soon went awry as the man drove them to an isolated road, where he forcibly raped the girl. The man took her out of the car, managed to get one of her pant legs off, raped her, and then informed her that, should she tell her family or the police, he would kill her.

Despite his threats, the teenager, upon returning home, immediately informed her family and then the police.

Charges were brought against her assailant, but he was initially only convicted of and sentenced to the lesser crime of indecent exposure. The survivor promptly appealed this conviction, and her attacker was finally convicted of rape.

In 1998, the convicted rapist filed an appeal, bringing to the judges “overlooked evidence”: that the teenager had been wearing “very, very tight jeans.” It was suggested that a pair of jeans as tight as the victim wore could only be removed with her help. If she had helped (which it was argued that she must have because of how tight the jeans were), then her assistance in removing her clothes constituted implied consent.

Jeans cannot be removed easily and certainly it is impossible to pull them off if the victim is fighting against her attacker with all her force

To quote the Italian Supreme Court: “it is a fact of common experience that it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.” To further their stance, the Italian Supreme Court proposed that “jeans cannot be removed easily and certainly it is impossible to pull them off if the victim is fighting against her attacker with all her force.”

The court’s ruling to overturn the conviction sparked total outrage among the female members of parliament, and the following day, they came to work wearing jeans. The demonstration was initially started by Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Benito Mussolini and a conservative member of the Italian parliament, who helped draft the 1996 updated law regarding rape. The day after Alessandra chose to wear jeans, almost all female members of parliament joined her by also choosing to wear jeans to work. It was noted that no male members of parliament participated.

Most Italians, not only its members of parliament, were shocked at the court’s ruling. But not Simonetta Sotjiu. Sotjiu was one of only ten female judges serving on the Italian Supreme Court: a court that, at the time, was dominated by 410 male judges. When asked why she wasn’t surprised by the overturned conviction, Sotjiu replied, “[because] the law is solidly in the hands of men.”

As word of the jeans strikes spread, the California Senate and Assembly joined the strike in solidarity. The news, accompanied by the denim strikes and demonstrations, also reached Patricia Giggins, the executive director of Peace Over Violence (at the time the Los Angeles Commission on Assault Against Women), who established Denim Day in Los Angeles in 1999.

Since its inception, Denim Day has become an annual and international event involving over 12 million people across the globe, according to POV statistics.

Beginning in 2011, at least 20 states across America recognize Denim Day every year on the last Wednesday of April. People are encouraged to show their support and solidarity on this day by wearing jeans. Denim Day has turned the average pair of jeans into a symbol of protest against the harmful attitudes against victims of sexual assault and the myths surrounding rape.

In 2008, the Italian Supreme Court decided to overturn their harmful findings and have since stated that there is no more “denim” defense to the charge of rape.

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