Noa Pothoven was raped at 11 years of age and then again by two men when she was 14.She suffered from depression and anorexia, and attempts at suicide.She was treated in mental hospitals numerous times, having to be placed in a coma in order to feed her when she was dangerously thin.She wrote a book to help others suffering similarly.At age 15 she went on her own to the end-of-life-clinic at The Hague to request euthanasia but was turned down because of her age. She said she couldn’t wait until she was 21 to be evaluated for euthanasia. Her parents, family, and doctors tried desperately to help her.She would not eat or drink and finally they decided not to intervene. Noa died on June 2, 2019 in Holland.
Poem by Mary Sue Barnett ARCWP
Beautiful NoaTell it!Tell it tothe world,to countries,courts,religions.Yes, tell itto The Hague—Rape is evil.Shout it down.Pray it down.Stalk it.Exorcize it.Annihilate it.It burst intoyour “house,”your body,Noa.A fatal toxinseared your soul,the sanctuaryof your selfhood,crushing your girlhood,stealing your joy.“I’m still breathing,but no longer alive,”you explainedas rape traumadefaced your spirit,afflicted your being,though you laboredto heal,fought tosurvive.Women,men,humanity,Come!‘‘Tis the hourto scale themountain,‘Tis the momentto trekthe sharpascent.Fueled withcompassionfor herunbearable suffering,take the arduous steps.Driven byher tragedy,seek the distant skies.Drawn into future,chant the truth—“Rape is evil.Shout it down.Pray it down.Stalk it.Exorcize it.Annihilate it.”Women,men,humanity,Come, circle nowround themountaintop!Shhh, listen,be silent.You cansense Noain the expanseof sunand clouds.You canfeel Noain the softnessof the breeze.You canknow Noa,in shining foliageeverywhere.She’s being free.She’s being recreated.She’s being beautiful.Beautiful as the sun!Shhh, listen,be silent.‘‘Tis only aneternity tohear her song.Tell thisto theworld too.