Giving a Name to Strength and Courage

This is in response to “Rape Story Spurs New Debate about Naming Victims” (April 27).

While it is true that public outrage regarding this horrible crime is muted, one of the reasons this is so is that the public is bombarded with statistics about rape that tend to mean more to the statistician than they do to the general public.

By allowing her name to be printed, Nancy Ziegenmeyer transformed herself from a statistic to a flesh and blood person whom the public of Des Moines supported for her strength and courage. It is this public support that will, in turn, erode the shame and guilt experienced by rape victims, and once the stigma is removed, maybe more of these crimes will be reported. The greater the number of rapes that are reported, the greater will be the number of rapists who are tried and convicted and this will, I hope, deter future rapists from committing this terrible crime. A statistic of fewer rapes is something we can all hope for and work toward.