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  • I was only 14 in the summer of ’69 and both of my brothers were gone in the Navy. As usual, most of my time was spent at the community swimming pool…day and evening.

    This particular evening I was with a neighbor girl, Susan, and we were waiting for my mom to come pick us up. The pool had closed and even though it was summer, it was getting darker and darker out.

    The swimming pool was right next to the railroad tracks. We had been waiting awhile and were discussing on whether we should start home on foot. The one thing about where the pool was in relation to our homes… you could get there a couple of ways… so we weren’t sure which way my mom might come. Our decision was hastened when we saw four boys about the same age as us heading our way from across the railroad tracks. We did not know them and they were pointing at us and talking to each other… I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach that they were up to no good. We decided to start walking home and crossed the street. They followed and were getting closer and closer. We started walking faster, but they kept gaining on us. When we started to run, they caught up with us and grabbed us.

    I will not go into details, but we were sexually assaulted that night. We fought, kicked, and screamed. When we finally broke free, we ran up to the closest house and started banging on their door. Fortunately, they were home and let us in. We tried calling my home, but the line was busy. We called Susan’s home, they answered… and came to pick us up.

    What happens next is typical for that time... pre “Law and Order, SVU”. The police came (both men) and we sat at a kitchen table with both of our parents there… the police asked us what happened. Now…do you really think we were going to give the details? We just told them that they jumped us; we fought, and got away. That was the end of it. They did end up catching one of them… because I had to go and identify him… not sure what happened to him… he was a juvenile and probably just got a slap on the hand and out the door. The subject was never mentioned again. I don’t even know if my brothers ever knew… but they will now.

    I never told anyone the details until 1999 when I went into counseling for severe depression. I encourage anyone who has been through any kind of assault to seek counseling. Fortunately, nowadays it is not taboo and the police know how to handle it.
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