Rape victim's chastity belt appals feminists

This is supposed to be a real life chastity belt use story. It was found in the London Electronic Telegraph archives. http://www.telegraph.co.uk

It's been posted on usenet before but I thought others might be interested in re-reading the story, or perhaps someone could verify the facts for me.

Sunday September 15, 1996
Rape victim's chastity belt appals feminists
By Catherine Elsworth

WOMEN'S groups have attacked a suggestion that it would help rape victims to recover from their ordeal if they were to wear a chastity belt.

In an article in yesterday's New Christian Herald, a Christian rape victim from Cumbria, said she was helped by wearing a stainless steel chastity belt.

She says the belt, which she has worn for 9 years, gave her a "new lease of life", enabling her to "laugh, enjoy life and be a wife in every sense of the word". She urges other rape victims to consider acquiring one.

The woman, named only as Mrs C Williams, was brutally assaulted 13 years ago by a man she knew. She had been engaged to another man at the time.

The advice she received from rape crisis counsellers on how to reduce her fear of men had been unhelpful, she says. So too were self-defence classes.

"I found myself not trusting God, being angry with God for allowing this terrible thing to happen to me . . .and blaming God for being male," she says.

She married but it quickly became a celibate union. Her husband tracked down a chastity belt manufacturer and now she even wears it in the bath. "It fits like a second skin," she writes.

"It is made of tempered stainless steel, edged and lined with neoprene and locked by a unique system that uses keys that cannot be copied." The British market for chastity belts is growing, she claims and the newspaper has already received several inquiries.

But women's groups and other Christians greeted the idea as a worrying and mistaken approach.

Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod and former campaigner for the ordination of women, said: "The worst thing she can do is strap a chastity belt around herself. She is locking herself in her own little world." Joy Jenkins, president of Women's Health Concern, said: "I don't think women should be so fightened they feel they have to defend themselves in this way.

"It's impractical and seems a very expensive and most unnatural idea. There must be other answers."

A spokeswoman from Positively Women, an HIV support group, said: "If a rapist discovered a woman was wearing a chastity belt he would probably beat her up and there would still be an assault of some kind."

Avedon Carol, of Feminists Against Censorship, said: "I'm so glad no one suggested this to me when I was raped.

"This woman needs help. Psychologically, this is a very unhealthy approach. Rape should not be a life sentence. But if you focus your life around it, you end up not living. And what would happen if you lost the key?"

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