Yes, kids are cruel and adolescence is challenging, but when we equate sexual assault with the standard teasing of adolescence, we normalize rape culture, and that is not normal. Madden’s story of rape and redemption is still too familiar to the many young woman who men routinely victimize. If America is going to progress as a culture, we must talk openly about our sexual traumas, the victimizers who commit these assaults, and remove the victims’ shame. In this essay, Madden does that her for herself, and for us of all, masterfully.
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