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In The Concrete Jungle

I was born and raised in New York City. I walked everywhere. When my dad left when I was fourteen, my mom had to work longer shifts at the hospital so I would take the subway and then walk to my Aunt Tina’s house. I had been doing this for two years, same routine EVERY DAY.
It was the third day of school my junior year. My younger cousin Cassidy just started at the middle school, so we normally walked together. But that day Cass wasn’t feeling so well so she stayed home. My aunt’s was three blocks away from where I got off the subway. I would walk a block on the street, a block in an alley, and a block on the street. But this day when I got to the alley, something happened. A man came behind me and shoved me up against the wall. He knocked me down and pulled my shirt over my head where i couldn’t move my arms. He pulled down my underwear and lifted up my skirt and raped me. An innocent sixteen year old girl, who always listened to her mom, and wanted to be a neo natel nurse to save babies.
I ran to my aunts house afterward and she called 911. They ended up finding him and he did a little time, but he was already a registered sex offender for raping his 12 year old step daughter. He is still out there somewhere. Someone told me that they thought he moved to Baltimore. But I could care less. I was stronger than him, even at sixteen.

9 years later: I am now 25. I am a speech pathologist. My dreams changed after that but I am still helping kids. I am engaged to a man named Taylor Drake and we are expecting a little girl named Adeline Olivia this December. I still live in Manhattan and I run a program at four local high schools, for teens dealing with any sexual assault, harassment, molestation, sexual abuse, or rape problems.

— Kelly, age 25

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