USE YOUR VOICE!

This last week has been full of emotions, that have come from out-of-nowhere. I am, what I consider to be, a strong survivor. I've never wanted to play a poor, pitiful, victim role and want sympathy for what happened to me. I've always tried my hardest to make a "positive out of a negative" and turn the tables around, telling my story in hopes it may help someone else who has been a victim of a violent crime, or in hopes that it may educate just one more person, or because .every.single.person. I tell my story to will in turn tell someone else, who will tell someone else, until someone who knows something relevant to my case will call the police department and give the tip that cracks the case.

This is what I live for.

That moment where I get the call saying, "We've found him."

Because, at that moment, I know he will never touch another single little girl in his lifetime, and I'll be able to sleep better at night. I DON'T FEAR HIM, what I fear is ...what happened to me, being done to another innocent little girl, sleeping quietly in her bed at night. I guess living with the fear of other children going through what I went through, has built itself up inside of me and my emotions have shown this week.

At my Citizen's Police Academy meeting last week, I told my class an overview of my story, and before I even got to the front of the classroom, I started bawling crying. I know it IS okay to cry, but I'm just so used to trying to be strong, that I didn't fully understand, at that moment, why I was crying. And,. I don't want to give anyone an interpretation that has ever been in a traumatic situation to feel that it's not okay to cry or that it means you're weak, because it doesn't mean you are! I feel maybe I was out of my comfort zone, because that was the first time I got up infront of a large group of people and told them what happened to me. I'm used to telling one person, or two people at a time, my story. This time I was telling 20 or so strangers what I went through, but I must admit, when it was all over with, I felt so good that I fought through those tears, and still stood up there, and had just told 20 more people my story.

Part of the tears I cry are also out of anger...because what I don't understand is...how can you take a sleeping child from her bedroom, and rape her, and attempt to brutally murder her, and not eventually turn yourself in? How do you live with that?

Wait, I know the answer to that question.

You cannot bear to turn yourself in, because YOU ARE A COWARD! And YOU FEAR WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU.

And, I want you to know that:

I AM STRONG
I AM A SURVIVOR

and

I WILL SPEND MY LAST BREATH LOOKING FOR YOU IF THAT IS WHAT IT TAKES.

I WILL STAND UP AND USE MY VOICE!

3 comments:

Angela said...
October 13, 2009 at 5:53 PM

You have such amazing strength and solid spirit. You give others such hope. I think you are an inspiraion! Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad that justice has prevailed even though it is long overdue!

Anonymous said...
October 13, 2009 at 6:27 PM

I just saw your story on the news. Congratulations on finally tracking down the man who attacked you. You are an amazing young woman!

I am working with a group of professionals who are trying to start a children's advocacy center (CAC) in Detroit. CACs bring a team of professionals together (police, prosecutor, victim advocates, Children's Protective Services, mental health and healthcare professionals, etc.) to investigate, prosecute, and provide treatment and support to victims in cases of child sexual abuse and other forms of child maltreatment. For most victims, fear and shame figuratively rob them of their voices. CACs give children their voice back.

I didn't hear where you are from, but you would be a wonderful spokesperson for the CAC in your area. If you are interested in finding out more, you can look on the website of the National Children's Alliance at www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

Laura H.

Jill said...
October 14, 2009 at 6:47 AM

Congratulations on you victory! I saw your story on the Today show and what just so touched. Bravery and courage are two things you never seem to run out of!
I'm so happy for you and your family. You have given other women so much strength.Never lose that voice of yous :)

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