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Tamar (Book of Samuel)
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    Figure in the Second Book of Samuel in the Old Testament
    Daughter of King David and Maacah
    Sister of Absalom; Half-sister of Amnon
    Raped by her own half-brother who had feigned an illness, only to be banished from his house
    Famously tore her robes and poured ashes on her head in reaction to her brother's abuse
    Encounter later led to her brother Absalom's ambush and murder of Amnon at a sheep-shearing party, triggering a civil war within the kingdom
    Portrayed by Gina Bellman in the Biblical epic, 'King David,' with Richard Gere (1985)
    Her situation has made for disturbing, at times borderline pornographic, artwork.
    She is confused with the Tamar of the Book of Genesis, Judah's daughter-in-law.
    That the 'other Tamar' is usually grouped with the evil and promiscuous sirens of the Bible, the confusion can be inadvertently offensive (unless clarified, it sounds like they're calling an assault victim a tramp).
    She tried to talk Amnon out of seducing her by claiming that their father could give him to her in marriage.
    Absalom may not necessarily have been thinking of her when he killed her attacker off in a Mafia-esque ambush; rather it may have been politically motivated (otherwise, why wait two whole years?)
    Case in point, when Absalom invaded King David's palace, he discovered his father had fled leaving behind ten women from his harem. To show he meant business, he took them to the rooftop and publicly raped them (proving himself no better than his brother).
    From what few details are given, she was strikingly beautiful.
    She was thoughtful and considerate, taking care of her brother when she thought he was sick.
    She did everything in her power to dissuade Amnon from violating her but, his being stronger than she was, he easily overpowered her.
    She is proof that the Bible doesn't blame rape victims for being assaulted.
    Amnon couldn't even bring himself to call her by her name when he ordered his servant to throw her out, calling her 'this woman' ('he hated her more than he had loved her before').
    Her story is consistent with the statistics showing that women most often suffer rape at the hands of either relatives or close friends.
    Her attacker went unpunished by her father (who was in no position to judge anyway).
    The rape destroyed her life, ruining any chance for her to be married or have children of her own (Biblical society condemned/isolated women who were raped and unmarried).
    She lived out the rest of her days as a broken recluse in her brother's house (rather than the King's Palace with his virgin daughters).
    A haunting Ivan Schwebel painting reimagined her roaming the streets with torn robes, in a modern setting (near the George Washington Bridge), suggesting the universality of her situation.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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