Terry Oakley-Smith on surviving rape, speaking out and dealing with stigma in society and church

Terry was attacked and raped at a popular Johannesburg park while walking her dogs in broad daylight. She immediately sought help. But all let her down, from the police to private doctors and health services — even her priest, who ‘lost it with me’, she said.

Russell Pollitt SJ spoke with Terry about the ordeal and the courage she has shown by speaking out and fighting against all too prevalent gender-based violence.

She tells also of the stigma, judgment and re-victimisation that she has endured from those whom she would have expected would show the most care and compassion — her parish priest and some of her closest friends.

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
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