That morning, Michelle presented her Psychology honours thesis on men’s perceptions of rape. She started her presentation like this, “A woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read …” On that same evening, she goes to a party to celebrate attaining her degree. She and a friend go to the beach; the friend has something she wants to discuss. They are both robbed, assaulted and raped. Within minutes of getting help, Michelle realises she’ll never be herself again. She’s now “the girl who was raped.”
This book is Michelle’s fight to be herself again. Of the taint she feels, despite the support and resources at her disposal as the loved child of a successful middle-class family. Of the fall-out to friendships, job, identity. It’s Michelle’s brave way of standing up for the many women in South Africa who are raped every day.
“Many people think middle class women are magically immune to rape or that if they are raped their easy access to the resources they need will be everything they need to recover completely. A book that discusses the cross cutting nature of the pain all women must feel when a man rapes them can only be welcomed in a time when communities across South Africa struggle with high rape rates.”
“Compelling, clear and beautiful writing on such a necessary topic. She shatters rape myths on every page.”
“Michelle breaks down rape myths while simultaneously addressing the grave lack assistance for rape victims in Cape Town – one of the world’s rape capital cities. A necessary read.”
“Now and then you read a book that alters your life. It inspires you; it redefines you; and sometimes it reshapes your thinking in a way that changes the world around you. One such book for me was Michelle Hattingh’s I’m the Girl Who Was Raped.”