DEAR ABBY: I just read a column of yours containing a letter from a girl who had been raped. She was upset about not being a virgin at her wedding.
I was sexually abused as a child, and this is what I was told in my counseling group: "If I hit you on the head with a rolling pin, would you consider that your first experience with cooking?" Abby, that girl is still a virgin. She has not had sex or made love; she was attacked, and the weapon was a penis. Technical terms do not apply to this situation.
Knowing that you are still a virgin can be very important in the healing process. I am mostly recovered; however, some wounds never fully heal. -- "J" IN WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.
DEAR "J": Never say "never." I hope you continue to progress. Your counselor is a wise person. It's troubling that when people hear about a sexual assault, one of the first reactions is to ask what the victim might have done to have brought it on. The truth is, a victim of rape and the victim of a mugger or robber have two things in common. They were both in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and vulnerable.