Friday, 6 January 2017

Jill Sager

 I was shocked to hear yesterday of the death of Jill Sager at the age of only fifty one. I remember the case vividly from the eighties. I have never experienced a one off horrific ordeal like Sager's, but I did experience sexual abuse by my grandfather from the age of four to thirteen and so  sexual violence and abuse is an issue close to my heart. I could write so much about Jill Sager and this case but I have written too many grim posts recently and what I want to focus on is her positive response to what happened to her. I think nobody would have blamed Sager if she had remained silent, perpetrators of sexual violence often rely upon the silencing effect of shame and distress. By speaking out, Sager helped improve the situation for many other women and bring about changes in the law. I also hope and believe that transforming such a situation led to post traumatic growth for Sager. Too often we see those affected by rape and sexual assault as victims and not as survivors and this too can be dis-empowering. As I said, I am not going to dwell too long on this post, but you can read here of how Sager help to bring about changes to both the law and the treatment of and attitudes to sexual violence, abuse and attitudes to women. A terribly brief life, but one well lived, I am sure the thoughts of many will be with her family and friends today.

3 comments:

  1. Jill Saward (Drake) was an inspirational woman. So sad that she has died so young, but grateful for the legacy she left through her speaking out about the effects of rape and sexual violence.

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  2. She certainly turned the tables on her attackers and used her dreadful experience to change the laws on rape and the way perpetrators are sentenced. May she rest in peace and be remembered forever.

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  3. This woman is unknown to me, but from what you say here I understand that she could turn a horrible experience in to so much more than bitterness and revenge. Sometimes God really shows a way out of darkness so others can follow! Thank you for making this known to me, Suem!

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