Lois Fraley, the Arizona corrections officer who was raped and held captive during the state prison standoff in January, appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” yesterday to disclose her identity. The Arizona Republic reports that Sarah Kennedy of the Arizona Sexual Assault Network said that when Fraley, 33, spoke of the two sexual assaults she endured on the first day of her captivity, “you could really tell there was no shame. If you were sexually assaulted, there is a stigma, and there is a lot of blame and there are a lot of myths that people bring it on themselves when they don’t. It shouldn’t be shameful.”
Those who work with sexual-assault victims say Fraley’s appearance could help other women who have been raped. By speaking publicly without shielding her name or her face, Fraley chipped away at the stigma of sexual assault and perhaps took a big step in her healing process.
Until the moment she walked out of the watchtower and was grabbed by officers, Fraley said she thought she would die. Fraley has been cleared to return to work. “I am so ready,” she said.
Dan Levey, the governor’s adviser for victims, said stepping forward isn’t for everyone, but he he hoped Fraley’s appearance would prompt other women to report rapes. “I think it is courageous,” Levey said. “It lets the public see the enormity of what she went through.”