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Less than a Minute of my Life

I was jogging through Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, just like I did twice a week for years, listening to my tunes, in the zone. Suddenly he grabbed me, dragged me into the bushes, and threw me onto the ground cover of ivy. In a second, my pants were off, and he was raping me. The act itself took less than a minute, and he punched me in the stomach, taking off with my electronics and fanny pack.
I found someone to call the police, and spent the hours giving statements and being examined. Except for some bruising and soreness, I wasn’t hurt too badly physically.

I gave up jogging in the park, and payed for a health club. I caught myself moving to the farthest machine that was unused, or taking my time to not be running next to someone on the indoor track.

I had a hard time accepting dates, or going somewhere alone where I could meet anyone. I had several friends invite me to meet someone. Eventually, I dated a few times. One such man I was getting a bit involved with, neither of us was committed as yet. We came home from a night to my place, and enjoyed a prolonged kiss goodnight(more of a leaving so soon kiss). He got a bit bolder, and went to remove my clothing. I felt an involuntary shudder, which he noticed, and took the wrong way. He excused himself, and went home. He was seeing a couple of other ladies, and decided he was involved with one of them.

I haven’t been able to stop that shudder, and I could only explain why. For that 1 minute, that stranger has caused years of heartbreak.

— Chris, age 30

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