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Breaking the Silence

I am a bartender, and he was a regular. I thought he was handsome actually. He had that bohemian look that has always made my head turn. In fact, I had asked to meet him that night. Our date began at the bar, after my shift ended. We had a few drinks and a few laughs. We talked about our travels and showed each other our various scars. I liked this man. I really did.

So, when he invited me to his house, I said yes. My co-workers knew him. He was safe. One of the good ones. Besides, I was new in town and was eager to make friends. I wanted to feel like a local. So, I went inside. I climbed the stairs to his loft and sat down on a chair. Then, with no warning, the night changed. He picked me up in his arms and carried me to his bed.

I didn’t want to be there. Immediately fear gripped my body, and so did he. I struggled. I begged. So help me God, I fought this man. I struck him. I scratched him; I wanted his DNA where someone would find it. After all, I didn’t know if I would live to explain what happened that night. I wanted the evidence to tell the story, in case I could not.

While I was hyperventilating from panic, he was heaving with pleasure. I told him he was hurting me. Tears washed both coats of mascara from my lashes to my chin. “You are raping me!” I finally screamed. Then… he stopped. He stopped long enough for me to get up, and try to reach the door. I only made it to the stairs. He grabbed me by the wrist. It still seems strange. My wrists are delicate and slender. They are only a fragment of me. Yet with a hand gripped tightly around this one part, the whole of me was trapped. If I could have cut my hand off from the rest of me, I would have! Anything to have made it to the door! But he yanked me back to the bed.

He was tired. I was too. Perhaps if I lied there, he would just sleep. It was a good plan. Soon I heard rhythmic breathing and tried once more to leave. But as I slipped out of bed, he woke with more passion. He raped me once again.

When he was done with me, I ran. I survived. But the ordeal was not over. I went to the hospital and the pain was indescribable. I had bruises on my wrists and between my legs. I was torn from the inside out. It hurt to walk. It hurt all over.

Then came the pills. So many pills to prevent HIV. Pills I have to take for 28 days. Pills that make me vomit in the morning after I pass a sleepless night weeping over my assault. That monster raped me on November 23rd 2014, but the damage continues weeks after.

Where is the justice? It is not with the police who still have questioned him. The New Orleans Police Department is notorious for ignoring sex crimes, and, apparently, the rumors are true. I am afraid. I am suffering. He is fine. He gets to go on with his life after tearing mine apart.

Well, if the police won’t take action, I will. This man is a liar. He is a rapist. He is a monster. Me? I may be a victim, but I am also a survivor. #IAmBrave


  • Alissa Ackerman
  • Cecilia Peck


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