On New Year’s Day 2005 I was sodomized and assaulted by a friend of a friend whom I had met that evening. He held me down, forced me to give him oral sex, and then anally sodomized me. I was so drunk that night that I felt it would be crazy to go to the cops. They would never believe me, and besides that, I did invite him over expecting to have sex. But what he did to me was not consensual. I tried to push him off of me, tried to call out to my friend in the next room, but he didn’t stop. The next morning I woke up on blood-stained sheets.
Almost a year later, he was listed as a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend. She was stabbed and almost decapitated. When I saw his name in the paper, I asked my co-worker (whose boyfriend was a detective with the NYPD) what I should do. She talked to her boyfriend who said I should go to the police because every little detail can help in their investigation.
That night, I went to the precinct and told my story to two homicide detectives and a Special Victims Unit detective. The SVU detective was wonderful and really supportive. She was so easy to talk to. I felt like I was doing a good thing.
So I called my mother and told her everything that happened (I had never told her about the assault before). She responded very poorly and basically accused me of being a prostitute which completely infuriated me.
Anyway, they were able to arrest my rapist based on the information I gave them, and after he was arrested, the police were able to match his fingerprint to a bloody fingerprint at the crime scene. He’s now serving life in prison.
I never felt so alone and scared when I came out and told what happened to me. It was kind of a big story in New York, so I had reporters from tabloids waiting for me outside my apartment, in the hallways of my building. I was always looking over my shoulder. I never talked to the reporters, but they made up stories about things I had said or done, and I would have to sit on the subway, seeing people reading those articles, thinking they knew they were about me. I became so paranoid that he was going to break out of prison and kill me. My friends would say “Oh, that’s crazy, don’t worry about it.” But it’s not that easy. I knew, logically, he wasn’t going to break out prison, but still I was afraid to be alone at night, to walk just from the subway to my door…
It took a very long time to be a little more normal. I ended a relationship after completely sabotaging it, I started drinking a lot, having one-night stands, hiding in my apartment when I was afraid. Some of those things, I still do. It gets better, but sometimes I’m still a mess. When you go to rape counselors, they want to to get better right away, and feel empowered. Those are great things, but survivors should know it can be a long and complicated process, and that’s okay too. There’s no right way to be a survivor, sometimes you need to breakdown, just make sure there’s someone there to help you pull out of it.
Last week I went to see Brave Miss World with my mother as part of the Jewish Film Festival of Hartford. When Linor talked about the isolation, I felt so good that it wasn’t just me. My mother was also very affected by it, listening to Linor’s mother. After we saw the film, as we were driving home, she apologized for her response to my assault and we had a really good discussion about the film and me.
So, I just want to thank you for making and being a part of this film. It gave me a lot of closure with my mother, and understanding about what I went through. I was very touched by it.