2 Samuel, chapters 13-15

Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and she ripped apart the fine robe she was wearing; and she kept her hands on her head and walked off, crying out as she walked.
~2 Samuel 13:19

Tamar, King David’s daughter, had just been raped by her half-brother, Amnon (2 Sam. 13:10-14).

In the above text, we can note how her initial reaction to draw attention to the gross act and violation of God’s law was spot on.

Tamar did not blame herself for the rape nor did she try to hide her half-brother’s actions, neither for her own sake nor for her family’s.

However, neither her aggression nor her distress were formally processed.

Absalom, Tamar’s full brother, met her and instead of helping her make a formal accusation, he asked her to keep quiet (2 Sam. 13:20).

Israelite law provided for a formal trial in such cases (Lev. 20:17; De. 19:15).
In this case, though, King David worried more about not hurting the feelings of his son Amnon than seeking justice for his daughter (2 Sam. 13:21).
Absalom did seek justice, but through his own means, and he ended up murdering Amnon (2 Sam.13:22,28,29).

What we learn from this passage is that when a person falls victim to rape, those of us who have the emotional and legal resources to help that person should pay attention to their cry of distress and do everything in our power to help them attain justice through a proper conduct.
We should never quiet a victim for the sake of anyone’s reputation, because “open reproof is better than concealed love,” (Dan. 2:22; Prov. 27:5).