Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Maureen McVeigh Trainor, M.F.A.
Jacqueline Alnes, Ph.D.
Timothy Dougherty, Ph.D.
In most cases where rape is explored in literature, there is very little discussion of religion or spirituality and its impact on a rape survivor. People who subscribe to religious views are typically very dedicated to their faith. They turn to their faith in times of hardship, looking to God for help in understanding their trials. However, there are many cases where faith-based people turn away from their religion out of anger towards their God, furious that he would allow tragedy to strike in their hearts. My piece puts that topic in the forefront of the conversation, as the main character’s religious views and dedication to her faith are a pivotal part of her identity, and therefore her recovery, after she’s been raped.
My manuscript attempts to illuminate the fact that rape can happen to anyone at any time. In my piece, a college-aged girl is walking to her dorm from church one evening. She is stalked and attacked at knife point by two men, where they rape her in the snow in a dark side yard. At first, she fights back, but the knife they have to her neck stops her from kicking them off her; instead, she prays the rosary for the duration of the attack. Afterwards, she is angry at God for allowing this to happen to her. She falls into a deep depression following her attack where she feels betrayed by God after she spent her entire life devoting herself to him and his teachings.
Flynn, Erin, "The Impact of Religious Connections for Victims of Sexual Assault" (2020). West Chester University Master’s Theses. 222.