It's Women's History Month and I'd like to share a brief description of what life can be like after the experience. Women are asking for tighter laws surrounding the issue, and here's why it's needed. I was assaulted in college in the early 90s by a neighbor. I didn't do anything to entice this person to assault me--he just did it. I, like most college students, was "dorm dating," because as a student we sometimes don't he the money or the time for extravagant outing. When I attempted to leave, and it was before 10 PM, I was commanded to sit down after a gun was placed on a table. In that moment, there was nothing that I could do. I was contained until I could finally figure out a way to get out. It was that time of the month, and I must have struck up conversation about anything o possibly could as a distraction. I was scared. I sought help from campus, and they housed me until I could get back into my apartment because he took my house keys. The next day, he was picked up and even my shoes were in his house because I kicked them off to run. It wasn't hard because they were clogs, but it was hard mustering up the courage to get out. This man contained me for many hours that night, and being grateful for my life and not to have to interact with him--I settled for community service, supposedly.
I carried this inside for many years, fighting against the fears of my insides and demanding that I be strong enough to stay in my freedom. What I didn't know was that as I grew professionally, this same man worked in secret to defame me, to discredit me, to humiliate me by creating situations that made it seem as though I was creating situations that made men do things to me. He grew in his circles of power and used those tools to contain me in my career and my personal life. I haven't received justice, and I am currently a in a prison without bars.
One can imagine how I felt, 20 plus years later after the initial ordeal when he ran up to me, and promised to kill me. I, being naive, saw a baby and a woman in his SUV, and before he said this, I said, "Wow, did you get help for yourself and spoke up forgiveness with a light hug, and he told me that he was going to kill me. My point--predators don't change. Predators cannot change or see the errors of their ways without support from our justice system. Women are not by nature, war machines and the average woman is not capable of defeated a man. Without tighter laws, this is an issue that can destroy families and many times it does. We are sisters, daughters, friends, cousins and mothers. We are a significant part of our society and we deserve to be protected. We deserve to be heard, and perpetrators of sexual assault need to be accountable.
If this issue were handled in a different way back then, I doubt that I would be contained as I have for the past 10 years. It has affected my personal life, my career and I have been deprived of meaningful relationships as I did not understand third party harassment.
Please share with your community and with your legislation how important it is for women to be able to depend on the justice system for our safety. It is a We problem because everyone is affected.
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