Last nights episode. KaDee Strickland did a beautiful job of portraying a rape victim*. Beautiful. They showed her having to comfort Coop (her fiancé) at one point and I know from my research that was spot on. They showed Addison trying to be close and then backing away as Charlotte described what happened (granted, Charlotte seemed to be trying to get her to back off, but that's another topic). They showed a re-traumatized Violet. It was beautiful.
I stand by, though, what I've already said. A violent, stranger rape is not the most common form of sexual assault. Mad Men depicting Joan being raped by her fiancé, that's the most common form. Did you know that research tells us that a person most often knows their perpetrator for 6 months? And, a good chunk of men would rape a woman if they knew there would be no consequences? And that's terrifying, I openly admit it, and that's why we shy away from talking about it or depicting it. I also think that it's important that they are putting the rapist in the light of a "crazy man," thus furthering the stereotype that only crazy people do this.
A final thought: I've been watching the Private Practice fb page, because I've been curious to see what people say. Most people are judging Charlotte. No one blames her (ahem, violent stranger rape), but most people are judging her character. Why didn't she say it was rape? Why isn't she stronger? Why would she comfort Coop? Why would she lie to the cops? Why didn't she report it? Why wouldn't she have a Rape Kit done; it's just like a pap smear."
And that, dear internets, is a fantastic picture of our society and our tendency to question rape victims.
*Victim: I fluctuate between victim and survivor in my work. I have seen victims who are still daily dealing (or not) with and hurting from and deeply affected by their assault. I have also seen survivors, the people who have stepped to the other side of their assault. For me, Charlotte is clearly a victim at this point.