To rape victims and survivors: I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Please accept my apology.

First of all, I want to say thank you for visiting my blog.

I do not have time to maintenance this blog regularly anymore, but I saw many comments were in the cue because of the TV program that aired on my stalking.

Comments are moderated, and I have let them all be posted, no matter what their content. I have also received many personal emails and Facebook messages, some supportive and some not. Thank you for taking the time to write to me. I am sorry that I cannot write back to everyone because of constraints on my time and what I now recognize, thanks to the show, as my inadequate ability to emotionally deal with the stalking, even now.  I have never really had good help about it emotionally.

Despite my limitations, I would like to take time to deeply apologize to rape victims and survivors.

In the program, I was shown in the end saying something to the effect of wishing that I had been raped. Over two days and many hours of shooting, I had explained that there were no laws against stalking in Minnesota in 1990-1991. Therefore, stalking was not recognized as a crime or even something that was wrong, partly because there was no injury to my body. Moreover, I was labeled as paranoid schizophrenic by one psychiatrist, who obviously didn’t believe someone was actually stalking me. It was not an attack of paranoia or delusion. It was real. He would repeatedly come up for parole. At one time, he did get out and immediately went out and bought a shotgun. But no one recognized the reality of the situation, and no one knew how to handle it.

On the other hand, rape was recognized as real, morally wrong, a crime, and a psychologically traumatic event. My perception, perhaps wrong, was that if I had been raped, at least there would be some people who would know how to help me, at least a little. (That said, I know that rape victims are often still not treated appropriately, even now, and where you live affects how well or badly you are treated by authorities.)

What I meant to say, and what I should have said, was that I wanted my trauma to be recognized and treated appropriately.

I did not mean to diminish the pain and trauma of rape victims and survivors at all, although I can understand why one would interpret my remark as that.

I deeply apologize for this clumsy and wrong remark and regret saying it, and even more so, thinking it at all. I would like to be in solidarity with you. I do not want to be your enemy.

I am deeply sorry and regretful to the 1 in 4 American women who are raped. Please accept my deep and sincere apology. I was very, very wrong and used poor judgment (to put it politely) in trying to frame my own experience and express my feelings.  To put it impolitely, that was a really fucked up thing to say. I am very ashamed about it and deserve your reprimands.

I eagerly welcome the comments, stories, and lessons I can learn from rape victims and survivors and will post all of them. I do read my emails, so although I cannot answer all of them, you are also welcome to email me personally at jjtrenka@gmail.com.

I will count myself blessed if you would find it fit to forgive me. Thank you for being patient with me.

In peace,

Jane

(If you would like to read the legal case regarding the civil commitment of my stalker, you can click here. I am referred to as “J.V.”)

28 responses to “To rape victims and survivors: I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Please accept my apology.

  1. stay strong, jane.

  2. Cherie Plante

    Jane, I saw your story, and truthfully, I do not find your violation any less than ‘actual’ rape, Your psyche, emotional stability and your person were violated in a very heinous way. Not to mention the violations your family endured. Don’t apologize to those who are just dying to be offended. You suffered terribly at a very young age, those who say you didn’t suffer as much as they did are dead wrong.
    There is one thing I am wondering about, I observed your family’s reaction to the stalker, they way they seemed to turn away from you, thinking this guy was a boyfriend, even after obvious clues that he was something else entirely.. I understand fully the isolation you felt. The reactions from authorities in your life were surreal. Is that why you do not have contact with your American parents? Please pardon me for stepping out of bounds, but can you perhaps see them as limited as opposed to uncaring or unloving? I get your anger towards them, I really do, I have been there myself. The point I am trying to make is, as an imperfect mother myself, a bit of forgiveness or a benefit of even the smallest doubt might go a long way for you and for them. With much empathy, Cherie

  3. Your anger and bitterness has consequences. My sister-in law who is Korean, came here with her parents when she was a baby. She can not have children and desperately wants to adopt one, I always wondered why it was so tough for her to make it happen, she is wealthy and married. After watching the informercial for your book I now know why ( discovery channel show).

    read this immediately:
    http://relativechoices.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/south-korea-and-its-children/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

  4. I think if one does not know you personally, being quick t judge your words negatively would be understandable. OTOH, I knew what you meant, Jane. Because I felt your pain through your heartfelt testimony and knew you said that in response to your parents’ non-response.

  5. Jane, the people who know you are aware of the fact that you did not mean any harm. We appreciate your compassion and your support to other people who are suffering.

    I am proud to be your friend. I have learned so much about solidarity and bravery from you. Thanks Jane! I like you!

  6. OMG, Jane I was raped many years ago and was not offended in the slightest by what you said. People need to get their head out and see your story for what it was; a horrifying experience for you. It is in my opinion that mental pain is worse than physical any day.
    Please do not feel the need to apologize to anyone, your remarks were appropriate and i knew exactly what you meant. I am an activist for animal rights and online a lot and if you don’t word things just right people love to shred you it is easy for them to do behind a keyboard, if they had any empathy or compassion they would have known what you meant. thanks again for your story. Please post why Steve didn’t help or come back after he left to brush his teeth, it almost made it look like he was in on it although i don’t think that is the case. Please do not listen apologize for your experience to anyone.

  7. no need to apologize; i get it!!!

  8. Good wishes to you – while we are responsible for what we say and think in times off stress and trauma we sometimes say things we regret later. If those who read and hear us have compassion they understand this and are kind and forgiving without fuss and noise.

  9. I just finished watching the program about your stalking, and I am inspired to learn more about your work and to read your books. You turned a horrible experience into something powerful that will help untold numbers of people. Thank you for sharing your story!

  10. Ann-Marie Williams

    I saw the episode this evening and while I understand that people are sensitive about the topic of rape (for reasons which are valid), I knew what you were meaning to say. When you made that statement I knew exactly why you said it and it clearly wasn’t said with malice or in a way that was insensitive towards rape survivors. You did a great job depicting your feelings to the viewer.
    Ann-Marie

  11. I saw that episode on Investigation Discovery. The rape comment is not what stuck with me, however. I was very moved by your adoption story and that’s how I found your blog. I have a close friend who has adopted a teenager from Thailand, and things are not going well at all. I’d like to gently point her in your direction, just to give her a different perspective but am unsure how to do it. This poor kid is having such a rough time (and so is my friend). It’s difficult to watch. Anyway, thank you for telling your story. I’m off now to see if I can get your books on my Kindle! Good luck to you.

  12. JANE DO NOT APOLOGIZE!!! you have been taught to keep your feelings and words to your self your whole life!!!! I am a rape survivor and I understand what you were saying!!! because you had no PHYSICAL injuries people treated your pain as nothing… YOU ARE A RAPE SURVIVOR!!! YOU WERE RAPED OF YOUR PRIVACY, SAFTEY, AND PIECE OF MIND!!!! you are no different than anyone who has been physically raped in the sence that the mental scar is the same!!!! i love you for your bravery!

  13. Apology accepted.. it was very hard to do this though

  14. hey Jane. my name is Gina. i live in nc. i saw the episode with your story. i wasnt offended by what you said and think anyone who was is looking for a reason to be offended. your story saddened me. that it happened to you,that your parents were deaf blind and dumb(that pisses me off). you are such a pretty lady,jane. dont let some weirdo take that from you. age will do it for all us women in time. and you have nothing to apologize for as far as your comments. i lived in a small farmimg town in north dakota as a teen for about a year. i hated it. they were just like frezee. clannish,nonaccepting(i brought a strong southern accent with me). so i can totally picture your parents and your peers. just wanted to tell you i was touched by your story, and after i saw it, i wished peace and joy and freedom for you. freedom from looking over your shoulder, freedom to be the pretty woman you are without thinking youll attract another wacko. i wish you all good things.🙂

  15. Sheila Rainey

    As a woman who was a victim of rape and other acts of violence, both sexual and otherwise, I completely understood what Jane meant when she opined that she felt she would have more reason to complain if her body had been attacked, too. It is common knowledge that emotional abuse and verbal abuse are much more difficult for the victim than physical acts of violence are. This man made Jane’s life a hell on earth, yet she had very little she could complain to the police about. To be that terrified and to have nowhere to turn must have been horrifying. I am simply glad to hear she is safe now.

  16. Carrie Anderson

    Hi, Jane — I saw the show last night (4/1), and I totally got where you were coming from. The thought never occurred to me that what you said at the end of the piece might be taken as injurious, but I do now see how a person who has suffered rape may not agree with that. In the long run, I believe you are doing a powerful service by keeping your story open and in the public. I’m sorry for what you went through; here’s to better healing for you.
    -Carrie, MN

  17. Matthew Short

    Hello Jane,

    I saw the program on your stalking on ID last night. I have watched that network since its inception and I have rarely watched a program that disturbed me more. I am so sorry for what happened to you from your adoption to your stalking. It is just a sad story.

    I am a white man who was raised by parents who welcomed everyone to our home.We were taught to learn about them and to respect them. My father was a minister who preached with Martin Luther King in the 1950s. In the 1960s he integrated churches. In the 1970s we sponsored
    Vietnamese refugee families. In the 1980s we housed over 100 people at our home over the course of a decade.

    In the 1980s I moved to Taiwan to study Chinese and have a master’s in Asian Studies. I married a Vietnamese woman 22 years ago and we have two wonderful children. They learned the language, food and culture of both our families.

    I just want you to know that not all white people are ignorant or uncaring about other cultures and people.

    I wish you peace and happiness.

  18. Dear Jane, I was touched by the Obsession: Dark desires episode. I have daughters but cannot imagine what you must have gone through. As an adoptee, I was troubled by the seemingly cold relationship with your parents as portrayed in the episode. It’s hard to fully understand why, but I was. Best regards, Ed Razzano

  19. Jennifer D.

    Jane – you have suffered enough abuse over the years due to circumstances that were not within your control, it’s heartbreaking to see you now, after all you’ve been through, heaping more abuse on yourself. I am both a rape survivor and a victim of stalking, and I know how both can make you feel. The actions of my stalker made me feel dirty, used, and sexually violated. It brought back many of the same emotions I felt after my rape. At first I was angry with myself for having these feelings because I knew what it felt like to be raped and I couldn’t understand why, if I hadn’t been touched this time, I was having these same emotions. Your final comment in the ID program, when taken in context with the rest of your story, actually made more sense to me than you could possibly know. Physical rape is not just the sexual violation of your body, it attacks your mind and soul. The stalking you experienced (much like mine) was every bit as painful as my rape, it just didn’t include actual penetration. So please don’t apologize for your words and emotions because I understand exactly what you meant.

  20. mia campbell

    I watched the film and wondered why there is no longer contact with the adoptive parents. As a mother of birth and adopted children it would break my heart if any.of them were alienated from me. I wonder why since you stand for ethical adoption what made you so determined to cut your adoptive parents out of your life.when walking through life one hits terrible bumps in that path. But they pwss and fade and from them we can be stronger and braver andore tolerant and kind. Tread softly on the path of life and welcome with opem arms allthose you meet upon the wau

  21. Mia you view the experience of others from the viewpoint of an adopter not an adoptee. Please don’t preach to adults about how they should live or question decisions taken, it is rude and unseemly. Standing for ethics in adoption may or may not have anything to do with our aparents and how we were raised or not raised. No-one cuts their parents out of their lives lightly and there are always good reasons, sad as they may be. Attempts to guilt adoptees are so not acceptable.

  22. Pingback: To rape victims and survivors: I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Please settle for my apology. | Posts

  23. Hi Jane. Just watched your story aired on tv. I just wanted to tell you that, if its how you felt you dont owe anybody an apologee. As a rape survivor Ive often wished I had died.. do I need to apologise to the dying?

  24. I appreciate your story on many levels, glad you made it out alive.
    My one question is, Why did you leave your adopted parents and flee back to Korea, that must of broken them.

    Never have I ever shared my story on a larger scale before, but I can relate;
    I am a adoptee, was stocked as a child by a neighbor.
    Molested by my stepfather and raped at 21.
    I’ve often wondered why did this have to happen to me. Through my life I’ve found that it has made me stronger than I ever knew I was.
    Scared to share for what others might think of me. Isn’t it awful when the innocent feels guilty.
    I’ve learned over my years that my story could and would help others.
    1)Never allow one to take your being, and 2) that only the strong will survive.. With your encouraging story maybe one day I will share..

  25. Hi Jane, All I can say is we adoptees are so lucky you are speaking the truth about this subject. I’m a white American domestic adoptee who is no longer in contact with her adopted family. I did not have to suffer the loss of my country or struggle with interracial adoption. However, as a sociologist and adoptee I feel angry about what’s being done to international and domestic children. I currently live in the Northeast and see white families with their adopted children of color every day and it makes me want to scream!!! Children of color are not accessories!!! My parents were abusive and I couldn’t do anything about it because they “rescued me.” The entire experience has been incredibly traumatizing as now I’ve lost not one, but two families. I am so impressed with your courage and strength to address these issues head on. People who adopt or are considering adoption often want to feel like their motivations are pure and altruistic. Poking a hole in this fantasy is no easy task and I applaud you for your tenacity. No matter what criticism you face in life, I hope you can remember that you are changing the way we think about “abandoned” and “orphaned” children. I cannot thank you enough for your integrity and determination. Very Best, Jenny

  26. Lynn Assimacopoulos

    My new book called “Separated Lives” is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA) http://www.DorranceBookstore.com, Barnes & Noble barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.
    Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

  27. Hey Jane,

    I just watched the episode about your story and as a rape survivor I feel nothing but solidarity with you. What you went through was just as traumatic as what rape victims go through. That man violated your sense of safety, your privacy, and had every intention of harming you and those you loved in order to get at you. The fact that your parents, the police, and even it seems the psychiatrists and psychologists that were supposed to help you offered you no support breaks my heart for you. I completely see where you were coming from when you made that statement, and I could see how difficult it was for you to articulate when it came to talking about your horrifying experience. We are all victims of the same type of monster. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I hope you have found peace❤

Thank you for visiting my blog. I no longer have time to update this blog regularly, but I appreciate your comments, even though I cannot respond to all of them. All comments (except spam) have been allowed to go through unmoderated since June 16, 2014. Any comments you see prior to that date have been read and approved by me. Thanks again, and wishing you peace and blessings.

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