Mother needs surgery after rape

Jennifer's testimony for Life 

Unbroken is a support group for women impacted by pregnancy from rape. One of the women who has been in this situation is Jennifer (formerly using the pseudonym "Julia'" for privacy), who has survived being brutally raped but is now left struggling to pay for essential surgeries she needs for her body to recover after this ordeal.

 This woman is incredibly brave. She is raising her son, conceived in rape, with the rest of her children. She says her little boy helped to heal her. But she also needs medical care to heal physically – and her health insurance is not covering all costs,  which means she may not get the surgery she so badly and urgentlyneeds.

This is so wrong. Please read Jennifer's story and please consider giving what you can to make sure she gets the surgery to repair her body.  We know Jennifer, and her testimony is verified by the rape survivors advocacy group Save the 1, and lawyer Rebecca Kiessling.

“My name is J* and a few years ago I was brutally raped and I became pregnant.

 Even though so many people thought I should, I didn’t have an abortion. I knew it wouldn’t help  me to heal, and I felt the child I saw growing inside me was as innocent of any crime as I was.

I was grateful to escape with my life, especially since at the time I was certain I was going to die. But I discovered that a violent rape often needs physical as well as psychological and spiritual healing.

The last couple of years have been very difficult physically. The man who assaulted me was not content with just a violation of my soul, but he was determined to cause the maximum amount of pain and damage to my body. At the hospital, doctors found broken glass from what appeared to be a beer bottle embedded inside my colon . The sheer rage and hatred that would drive such an act left everyone speechless. 

I've had three surgeries already to repair that damage.  I’ve had to pay for the costs that insurance didn’t cover. It has nearly wiped my family out financially.

Now I need another surgery because the bleeding has started up again. And this time the excess of my health insurance – the amount we have to pay after insurance -  is nearly $18,000.  I am devastated, and we can't afford the surgery I so badly need. The hospital is accepting payments, but missed payments lead to wage garnishment.

I never imagined this would happen. I thought that I would get all the care and medical attention I needed after being raped. I thought women were better cared for, and that we mattered more.

I’ve never even heard this being talked about – that women like me are left to struggle and be bankrupted to pay for our broken bodies to be fixed after something like this happens. And if I am honest, I can’t help wonder where are all the women’s rights groups who think abortion fixes everything, but haven’t ensured that women like me actually get the medical care we need.

Last week, I had to go for an exam.

 I was told  I have adhesions creating an obstruction that is tearing.  This is something that needs to be taken care of  immediately and my surgery is scheduled for next week. If I wait, the obstruction will block blood flow to the healthy colon I have left (after the first surgery) and it will die, and I'll end up with a colostomy bag.

We've exhausted our savings, sold anything of value, and have nowhere else to turn. The hospital wants a deposit of $3500 now before proceeding with the operation.

 When Unbroken offered to try and help raise money via Gofundme, I was so uncomfortable with the idea.. But not as uncomfortable as I have been physically. The idea of not living in pain and being able to move past the brutality of the attack was a like a wish come true.

 My husband works hard, and he is trying to protect all of us after what happened to me. We’ve moved homes, changed jobs, and dealt with the medical bills on our own.

 Until now. Now I just need to ask for help. So that I can feel fixed and whole again.

 Thank you. “


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Jeff Brierly 
Catawba, VA
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