Why We Must Believe Women: My Family’s Legacy of Violence and Murder
My aunt accused her husband of spousal rape. Less than a year after he was acquitted, he murdered her.
In 1980 my Aunt Lydia accused her husband Mark of spousal rape. It was the first case Fresno County had ever seen. Though Fresno is the fifth-largest city in California, it was uncomfortable for people then (and now, I would guess) to imagine that rape could occur between a husband and wife. That Mark—Lydia’s high school sweetheart, the father of her small son—had assaulted her within their marriage covenant.
I guess I should be thankful.
Don’t touch me
Chelsea Bieker is from California's Central Valley. She is the recipient of a 2018 Rona Jaffe Writer's Award, and the author of the forthcoming novel, GODSHOT, and a story collection, COWBOYS AND ANGELS. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Granta, McSweeney's Quarterly, Catapult, Joyland, The Cincinnati Review, The Normal School, No Tokens, and others. Her work has been supported by the MacDowell Colony and the Tin House Writer’s Workshop. Find her @chelseabieker and chelseabieker.com
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Both church and theatre demand from their followers the suspension of disbelief, and the ability to inhabit an imaginary set of circumstances in lieu of the known.