Saturday, December 18, 2010

I can't believe it happened to someone close to me

They say that somewhere in America, a woman is raped every 2 minutes, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the last two years, more than 787,000 women were the victim of a rape or sexual assault. (National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S.Department of Justice, 1996.) The FBI estimates that 72 of every 100,000 females in the United States wereraped last year. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Statistics, 1996.) Approximately 28% of victims are raped by husbands or boyfriends, 35% by acquaintances, and 5% by other relatives. (Violence against Women, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Justice, 1994)

I never thought it would happen to me or someone close to me, but it did. Today I got a disturbing call from someone I have been friends with virtually my whole life. Crying, she asks me to meet her outside of my house and talk to her inside of her car so that no one will see or hear what we are about to discuss. I drop what I am doing and run outside eager to help my friend and find out what is going on. I could hear the pain, the fear and the despair in her voice when she called. A part of me was terrified and the other holding it together to provide the strength she needed to get through whatever this was.

I get into the car, and she says "I have NO ONE else to talk to and I trust you." She takes off her sunglasses and her jacket only to reveal that she has a huge black eye and bruises all over her body. Tears start to fall from her face as she describes what happened. She said she was getting out of her car early in the evening on Thursday night from a long day of shopping and running errands when she was punched in the face unconscious. She said the last thing she remembered was the warm sensation from the assault.
The next thing she recalled from her traumatic encounter was waking up in the park about 50 steps from her car, her body aching so bad she could hardly walk. She returned to her home, showered and said "I went on like it never happened."

It's not uncommon at all for victims of violent and traumatic crimes to supress memories leading to and during their experience. She also said that I was the first person and only person she could tell, and this is the first she has even acknowledged the "incident." I shared a few tears myself, as I sat in complete shock trying to process what I am being told. I can't believe it! Why or how would someone do this and someone that I love?

Ofcourse my mind begins to work immediately asking when, who, what, where and why. With the information she has provided, I have come to a pretty obvious conclusion, this was personal. The investigation begins.

I am sharing this with you, as gesture of my sincerity and desire to remain as open as I can without complete invasion to my privacy. I appreciate the support I have received on behalf of this unfortunate situation, as I must remain strong for her.

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