I was working near downtown Charlottesville caring for a man with cerebral palsy. On Monday, I was scheduled to work a double shift. On my way back downtown for my night shift at 6pm, I noticed a man riding my bus that looked odd. He was wearing blue medical scrubs but with no identification and not carrying anything. I thought he might be mentally ill and proceeded to dismiss it. On the way back from work, very tired, a little after 9:30 I noticed the same man and felt that was a little off but something that sometimes happens in a small town. He was walking ahead of me and I turned onto a different street. After walking about a block I felt someone walking up behind me, I turned around, and it was the same man now running towards me. I knew then what was happening but had little time to react before he ran into me.
After that, things are a bit of a jumble. He knocked me to the ground hard. He told me he was going to rape me. I screamed for help, screamed and screamed and fought to hurt him and get him off me. I ripped his shirt, tried to gouge his eye, and push him off of me with my legs. He hit me hard, in the face, several times and choked me while I fought. I tried to fake relax hoping his grip would lessen and he hit me harder, two or three times. Then he picked me up to drag me into an alley and slammed my head into an AC unit, almost knocking me out, then hit me again. I realized I might die or be seriously injured at this point, but I was going to keep fighting until I lost consicousness. He threw me down into a corner and I punched him twice in the face, cutting open my knuckles on his teeth. I screamed for help again and he let off me and walked out of the alley. I saw which way he went. I was trying to get to my phone in my pocket to call my husband for help, which I did while ambling my way back into the street. A man from across the street beckoned me and told me he had called 911 and the police were on their way. I told my husband where I was and what happened on the phone and sat down. Within minutes I had given my statement to the police, my husband was there, and I was being loaded into the ambulance. This picture was taken by my husband, on the way to the hospital:
Soon after arriving to the hospital, the cops told me they had detained someone matching my description and if I was willing I could go ID them. I agreed and made a positive ID on what I saw - the same man, wearing the ripped scrubs shirt. Later, the detective told me he was a registered sex offender that had already done time for rape.
News Report of the Incident
A lot of people attended me that night, and took care of justice as well as my health. What everyone said was the same. That I was tough. That I had done something brave, something to be proud of. That what I had done had likely saved other women. I put a stop to something bad, I fought, and I survived. I was strong. I could even use my experience to help others. I was loved. All good things.
At the same time, I have experienced what may be the most terrifying thing I've ever had happen to me. Something in any womans' top three greatest fears. I am still in a lot of pain and disoriented. My body was bruised internally and externally and am still regaining full use of my right hand. I'm not sure if I have any longterm physical damage and may have to have additional medical care. I have had emotional breakdowns I couldn't control since the event. I don't know what fully healing (mind, body, heart, and soul) from this is going to look and feel like, and it seems to be a long term process. I feel my life has changed.
Me 9 days after the attack:
I am asking for help to feel safe and feel like I am making progress in my life, despite this challenge and set back. I am being helped with medical expenses and lost wages by the state**, and also with long term counseling. I am being supported and loved by friends and family. There are things outside of my means of support that I feel would help me greatly in reacclimating myself to society and would help me get back to work with confidence and ease.
A Car and Going back to School
I'm asking for $3,800 to purchase a decent used car, taxes and registration for it, and six months or more insurance. I truly do not want to go anywhere at night without a ride. I would like to be able to access my thereapy with the Sexual Assault Resource Agency with ease and travel to and from work without fear or anxiety. I've been a pedestrian for over two and a half years and I've had enough of it, and now have a vetted phobia of riding the bus.
I'm also asking for $1,200 to "go back to school" and enroll in a program to become an minister in the Alliance of Divine Love. I have wanted to do this program for over three years now. Being enrolled would make me feel a lot better about my life, that it is moving foward towards my career goals of security and divine service. I have my own business as a hands on healer and spiritual guidance counselor and this program would give me experience and counseling to help me be strong and confident in providing the services I do. It also grants non-profit status and federal protection to someone who practices spiritual healing modalities.
ADL Ministry Website
**Update - The remaining (and added) $7,000 of the fundraiser goal is for life expenses and time. I will be refunded lost wages by the victim fund for one month of missed work, which is less than what I need to cover my life expenses, and which will not be come for several months. Right now, at week 5 post-attack, I am coming to realize what the impact of the attack has been on my life as a whole, and I am seeing that the work of healing myself on a psychological and emotional level is going to take some time. I would like to assist myself by allowing the process of undergoing trauma therapy and reintegration into my life to be gradual and easeful rather than forced.
For many years, I have been working to understand the human condition and learn techniques and information that can benefit our species. As I was just approaching having some financial and life stability, I was violently attacked and set back in my efforts to have and maintain gainful employment and keep my head up in the midst of my own personal struggles. I feel very tired becasue of this and like I need to let myself be seen in this situation, and ask for help openly.
Please help counteract the violence that happened to me by assisting me in becoming more stable, more successful, more supported, and more safe in light of it. I want to use what I've experienced in my life, my talents and abilities, and my connection to spirit to help others and create a safer place for us all - and I need help in my recovery to do that.
Thank you for sharing my story and assisting any way you can.
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