Nancy Ziegenmeyer

Honored by:Donald Dillion
Brick location:F:27  map

During the summer of 1989, Nancy Ziegenmeyer was profoundly moved by an editorial about rape in the Des Moines Register. In it, the paper's editor, Geneva Overholser, argued that "protecting" rape victims by not using their names encouraged silence and shame about the crime. She wrote: "I believe that we will not break down the stigma until more and more women take public stands. I urge women who have suffered this awful crime and attendant injustice to speak out as a few are beginning to do and identify themselves."

A recent victim herself, Nancy Ziegenmeyer responded. She told her story openly in the Register using her real name and photo. By doing so, she began a national soul-searching about the tragedy of rape that still goes on.

Nancy changed the rules by talking about her harrowing experience. This brave decision has helped other women across America.

The Des Moines Register won the 1991 Pulitzer for Public Service with Nancy's story.

Other newspapers, magazines, and TV talk shows have told her story. There was also a CBS-TV movie, "Taking Back My Life," made.

Nancy also wrote a book entitled "Taking Back My Life." She has been on a national speaking tour at colleges and crisis centers.

As Nancy's father, I am proud to honor her with this tribute in the Plaza of Heroines.

With Love,