Original Post can be found at http://www.examiner.com/article/two-presidential-nominees-two-different-rape-allegations-will-it-affect-the-el

On Wednesday, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President continued hitting the Clinton campaign hard with the accusation that Secretary Clinton has “enabled’ and helped to cover up the accusations that her husband had “raped” or molested women in his years as Governor of Arkansas, as Attorney General of Arkansas or possibly as President of the United States. Trump has called the former President “one of the great woman abusers of all time.” Women from Trump’s past though, have come forward in regard to his behavior towards women. There are accusations of sexism, groping and in 1989 his former wife, Ivana, accused Donald Trump of marital rape. The question has to be asked of voters, will accusations of rape impact how they vote?

It is a statistic that is sobering and fearful, every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. A statistic that is hard to recognize as fact. In December, the Democratic front runner for the nomination for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, stated that, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” Later, at a rally, Secretary Clinton was asked by another woman if she believed that statement what about the fact that 3 women had accused Secretary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, has in fact been accused of sexual assault or misconduct. Secretary Clinton responded that, Well, I would say that everyone should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence” and with that the audience applauded.

 

These are the accusations. They are ugly, they are deplorable and graphic. The accusation of rape against Bill Clinton comes from a former volunteer who worked for his campaign for Governor of Arkansas. Juanita Broaddrick has accused Clinton of raping her in her hotel room in April of 1978. According to Broaddrick, she had been invited by Clinton to Little Rock to his campaign headquarters to discuss her role in the campaign. Broaddrick states that Clinton then offered to speak to her in her hotel room instead of a public setting like the hotel coffee shop due to reporters who were there to cover the campaign. Broaddrick then stated that Clinton started to kiss her when she resisted but that Clinton pulled her to the bed and had sex with her. She did not scream, she insists, due to the fear that had set in. Broaddrick claims she was traumatized by the incident and scared of Clinton’s influence, and so didn’t report the rape. It wasn’t until 1999 that she came forward and did so at the behest of Kenneth Starr who was then working on the criminal case of perjury against President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Bill Clinton never faced any charges of rape.

 

In 1990, Donald Trump was married to his first wife, Ivana, when he started seeing Marla Maples who would become his second wife. As Ivana Trump has stated the marriage came to an abrupt end when in Aspen, Colorado, both women in Trump’s life came face to face. A winter vacation for the family turned into the catalyst for the end of a marriage. The divorce would be far from amicable with Ivana giving a deposition which was revealed in the 1993 book Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump. According to Ivana’s original statement to Hurt, she said, “he (Trump) jams his penis inside her for the first time in more than sixteen months. Ivana is terrified… It is a violent assault.” Continuing Hurt reports that Ivana told others of the incident, ‘he raped me.’  Since this accusation was first raised Ivana has now said it was not rape but said” As a woman, I felt violated.”

The accusations of rape should never be taken lightly rape counselors will tell you. Survivors should be believed. So who will the voters believe? Does it matter to voters that two major candidates have now been identified with a word that represents brutality and violence? Does it matter that Trump can call Secretary Clinton an enabler” when it appears his first wife took back her accusations with her divorce settlement?

 

The crime of rape has come of the shadows so that those who have been assaulted can be healed and not stigmatized by the assault. The campaigns of the two majority nominees for the President of our United States have now been stigmatized by accusations of rape. In the past such accusation either would have been hidden from view or would have been the end of the road for a candidate. Today, the topic is being broadcast by one candidate against another even when he has faced his own accusations. For the American voter, do you even care anymore ?