1. Identify the scope of the problem
2. Help prevent sexual assault
3. Help schools respond effectively when a student is sexually assaulted
4. Improve the federal governments enforcement efforts, and make them more transparent
5. Begin the discussion
How I will do this:
Immediately begin research
Develop a website and domain name: RECLAIM YOUR VOICE NOW
Begin speaking engagements at the high school and college levels
Write a book that includes my account and other rape survivors accounts
How you can help:
Donate in order to help pay for my research and catapulting my efforts. All donations would be used strictly to pay for my expenses incurred while putting 100% of my time and efforts toward this cause
Spread the word!
More than anything, I want my voice back. I want other Survivors to know they can have theirs back, too. After years of therapy and personal growth, I am on my way.
I remember being at the hospital getting poked and prodded in a place that I never wanted touched again. The rape crisis counselor was there along with the doctors, and a couple police officers. I remember them asking me if I wanted to have a rape kit done and if I wanted to press charges. I also remember not being able to speak anymore. So I never answered. But, because this was not done, when I went back to press charges the police officer said that there was no proof; therefore, no way for them to charge him with a crime. They had me identify profiles to make sure they brought in the right person (he already had a criminal record). They then had him come in and asked him if he raped me. He said, "no I didn't rape her, she was NOT MY TYPE". The officer knew, right when he said that, that he did in fact rape me. Rape is not about type. The officer knew, without an admission of guilt, that he could do nothing about it. But the one thing he knew he could do was put some fear into him. So he told him that he would be keeping an eye on him for as long as he would be on the force.
Even if I did not have the capacity to press charges at that time, if a rape kit was done and saved, I would of had evidence. Also, if there was not so much stigma about rape and not the concern about placing the blame on the victim there would've been less concerned about putting me through the process. I want this to be changed.
The night of January, 20th, 1992 I had just gotten off work at the A&P...I still had my ugly green smock on over my white Hanes T shirt, used Levi's jeans, and a pair of black chucks. I headed over to a house party and went inside. Immediately, the perpetrator approached me and asked if I would go for a ride with him, that he wanted to talk with me about something. I said yes. In high school, I was a tomboy. I was friends with everyone...male and female. It wasn't unusual for people to talk with me about their girl/boy issues. So it wasn't unusual, to me. I got in his car and he took me to a culdesac at the end of the neighborhood road. He immediately jumped on top of me, pinned me down, reclined the seat, tore my jeans open. I began to scream and cry. I kept repeating "NO NO STOP". He put his hands around my neck, choked me and said to "shut the hell up." As soon as he entered in to me, my whole body went numb. I couldn't speak anymore, I no longer had a voice. I was RAPED. My world had fallen a part. I was a virgin and never wanted to have sex EVER. I had been going through physical and verbal abuse for years. I thought people could beat me up all they wanted on the outside. But, no one was going to come in. EVER. It was the one thing I still had that was MINE, that remained untouched, unhurt. On that night, that place was taken from me. I WAS RAPED. Once he had ejaculated, he just stopped. Put the seat back up, got off of me, and drove back to the house party. I got out of the car, came to the front door, my friend Mary Beth was standing their, along with others. I broke down in tears. I felt like everyone was staring at me. I felt like I was disgusting, dirty, and broken. I got in my car and drove home.
When I got home my mom was standing at the door. She said "you are late". I said "I WAS RAPED". My mom broke down in tears and immediately brought me to their bathtub to wash me off. She didn't know this would make me feel dirty and broken. She also did not know that this would wash away evidence. She was just loving me and trying to make me feel better.
For years, every January, I would have severe anxiety attacks and night terrors. It terrified me because I didn't know why it was happening. I finally asked my mom what the date was when I was raped. For years she kept saying she did not remember. I think she wanted to keep that information from me, because again she was trying to protect me. But one January, I received an email from her. She told me when it was. January, 20th, 1992. The day my life changed forever.
Years later, my mom became a Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board Member. She went to a gathering of school officials and educators. An African American woman, who was a security officer at MPHS, approached my mom and said...you know I remember your daughter Deborah Dee very well. I, also, remembered what happened to her. She said, everyday she would go to where I was taking a math class and stand between my classroom and the classroom next to me. The perpetrator had a class in that adjacent room. She wanted to block him from passing me between class periods. I do believe there are angels among us. That security officer is one of them. My mom being another :). I was not aware he had a class next door. But I do remember having my first anxiety attack in that math class. They took me to the nurses office thinking I was having a seizure. My dad came to pick me up from school. From there, I went on to have many anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts, mental hospital stays, and a mind brought to a very dark and disturbing place.
So, yes, it's very important we see change. To protect the VICTIMS not the PERPETRATORS.
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