In tomorrow's Canvas: The hunted becomes the hunter

By Michelle Hurley

Photo / iStock
Photo / iStock

I think most women at some point wonder what we would do if we were raped. Imagining both how we might react at the time and in the aftermath. No one knows, of course, unless it happens to them, but still, we think about it.

It happened to American journalist Joanna Connors. She was 30, and had gone to a university theatre to interview an actors group. There was no sign of the actors, just one man, who told her he was doing the lighting, that they wouldn't be long and he could show her what he was doing.

Instead, he raped her.

Her assailant was caught soon after and jailed. Connors and her husband attempted to put it out of their mind, going on to have two children together, despite her suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, among many other things.

It wasn't until the day her daughter started university and Connors found herself having a panic attack that she realised she needed to tell her daughter she'd been raped, and that she needed to deal with what had happened to her 20 years earlier.

Connors made the extraordinary decision to try and contact the man who raped her, to try and understand what drove him. In an interview with her this week, she tells her story to Michelle Duff.

- Canvas

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