NORMAN, Okla. —
Today, she said she feels sorry for Bruce’s family. As she sat reading an article a few days ago written by his second wife, the wife said that he had three children by his first wife and that he was really involved in their lives, Terrell said.
“She tells the story about how he was like the Prince Charming to her. In the article, she says he got down on his knees with tears in his eyes and asked her to marry him. They must be just really good at compartmentalizing their brains,” she said. “When you’re a psychopath, that’s what your brain is able to do.”
As a victim of rape, Terrell has done a lot of research relating to the violence. Some important things she pointed out included that a rape happens in the United States every two minutes and it is not just a women’s issue. It is an act of violence in our communities.
Rape is also one of the few crimes where people hesitate to believe the victim. While researching, Terrell said she read a book talking about taking the stand in a rape trial. The book talked about the trial, which took place in 2010, and said they were trying to discredit the victim in court like she had consensually asked for this stranger to come into her home and rape her.
“It is just amazing to me that in 2013, we’re still asking those questions. We’re assuming that there is doubt there,” she said.
“I don’t want anyone I love to ever have to go through that. But I want our systems to take care of the people that do. It’s time for our system to take care of the victims,” she said.
While Terrell has since retired her label as a victim, she has moved on to calling herself a survivor.
“I was a victim, I didn’t ask for that. But then you become a survivor. I survived.”
Bruha writes for the Norman Transcript, a CNHI News Service publication.