i’m still here
December 18, 2006
Write this big long preamble to this. I changed my mind.
I’m Still Here
What concerns me about “polite” rape “discussion” is, in a conciliatory, polite abstraction of rape, what is really going on during a physical attack is not acknowledged. Rape is a physical attack. A rape victim has to be subdued. Forced, physically, to participate. Often at a secondary location. Somewhere where there are no witnesses or intermediaries who might interrupt or witness the attack. This is not “sex.” And it is not pretty. It is a physical battle between a larger, stronger attacker and a physically smaller and weaker attackee. It is violent. Full of threat. And often leaves a dead body behind.
I was abducted at the age of 14. I leapt out of a moving vehicle to escape. That would not have saved me. He was turning around. I could hear myself breathing, it was hard to get enough oxygen, I was pushing so hard, I could hear tires burning asphalt behind me, knew that car was spinning around, coming back for me, to run me down or catch me I was not sure, but I was sure I was odds are not going to make it, I could not outrun that car. There was a ditch up ahead, if I could make it to the ditch and jump it, maybe. He’d lose an axel in that ditch trying to slam the car over it. But, if he was smart, if he stopped the car, he could outrun me on foot and drag me back –
A motorist seeing a body launch out of a vehicle going full speed and come up running hell bent for leather stopped. That is what saved me. One lone car that should not even have been on that road was there, and stopped.
A friend, who attended high school with me, was not that lucky. There was no car on her road. Her vagina was cut out, with a knife, and stuffed into what was left of her mouth. Her eyelashes were burned off. Her fingers were cut off. I do not know how much force and effort it takes to cut a finger off with a knife. He took all ten. And when he got done, all that was left was bloody meat – and braces.
That is how they identified her. The braces.
Six women died that year. Six women they found. I do not know how many bodies are still out there. Still “missing.” They were found by roadsides, in abandoned lumber yards, under trees, in ditches. Burned. Stabbed. Butchered. Mutilated. Destroyed. Unrecognizable. Barely identifiable. Unless, like Sherry, they were wearing braces.
Pay attention to that name. That was a person. She had a name.
She died before she was old enough to vote.
I didn’t. I’m still here.
Do not be too polite about rape.