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  • She was innocent, naive for her age...
    slow to develop
    the last in her group to show off her bra at a slumber party

    She was last to be kissed
    and that first kiss was orchestrated
    orchestrated by friends who pushed her against a boy who thought she was cute.
    She was surprised by how soft and warm his lips were

    In high school boys took serious note of her
    She never went past second base
    she was learning about power over the opposite sex

    She learned to tease without making promises

    On her 18th birthday she met a boy who was innocent too
    together they learned to please and be pleasured
    She thought they would always be
    a war had another plan

    One day she met a man
    a grown up man
    his eyes twinkled when he looked at her
    she teased and played as she had always done
    look but don't touch...or not too much

    She danced until he grabbed her
    grabbed her from behind
    suddenly the game felt deadly serious
    and when she screamed he went into a rage
    she didn't know if she would live or not
    he ripped her clothes and pulled her by her hair
    pushed her hard to the floor
    he shut up her screams
    he pressing his knee against her throat
    unzipped his pants
    then there was no room to scream
    he stabbed his weapon
    tried to rip her apart
    and when she cried
    whispered please don't
    she saw his eyes filled with hate and it went on and on and on......

    that was my experience
    this hate crime was my experience
    and as much work as I've done around it my anger still rises up
    he took something from me I've never had returned

    but the rape was just the beginning

    I don't remember much between the time he stopped and I escaped...and it was an escape
    I remember the kindness of a couple who comforted me and called the police
    I remember being given a woman prisoners dress to wear
    I remember them putting my torn clothes in an evidence bag
    I remember the rape test
    I remember the dr. saying my ribs were broken and that was why I couldn't breathe without pain
    I remember being in a small room with a police woman who took pictures of the bruises on me
    she asked me to run my fingers through my hair
    she wanted to see how much came out in my hand

    Days later I was given a lie detector test, which I passed, I remember feeling like I had done something wrong
    Days later I went before the grand jury for testimony, I remember feeling like I was the one on trial for my freedom
    the jury listened
    and believe
    they wanted to go to trial

    I remember being followed by a private investigator working for the defense
    he took my picture

    Months later I was called to the District Attorney's office.
    He was assured as he spoke to me
    leaned back in his chair
    told me that I had indeed been raped
    all evidence was in my favor
    but there was a little problem
    he told me
    well, its like this
    we had to consider this
    you aren't a virgin
    you weren't a virgin
    you are a hippie
    you are not the most sympathetic rape victim
    you've had boyfriends

    He is a father
    He is a husband
    He is a business man
    He goes to church

    So in spite of the assault on you
    we don't think we can win the case
    and him
    he plead guilty to gross assault and battery

    I'm sorry for this.
    Don't take it personally.

    I barely made it to the elevator...
    I remember that
    I couldn't see from behind my tears
    I felt so small

    One out of four women is raped
    age doesn't matter...
    it's a crime of hate and control...
    it's used as a weapon in the war against women
    it is a weapon of war

    I think of that...all the women and children who are being raped......
    you probably all know someone who has been raped...
    might even be the one you sleep with each night
    or your mother, sister, or daughter
    we don't always tell you know
    telling can be a second assault
    and if there are so many raped victims out there
    I think there must be an awful lot of rapists out there too

    Your father, brother, uncle, or son maybe.
    You neighbor, the school bus driver, the teacher, the guy standing in line with you at the bank, or sitting next to you in the theater...
    maybe even your next date...or your daughters.

    Now understand.
    I'm not a man hater...some of my favorite people are men...
    but there has always been something I wonder...
    and the other day I heard a Ted Talk given by a sort of tough guys life coach and I was heartened...
    here was a man
    a big tough looking guy
    with a tough talk about rape
    saying all rape is forcible
    and wondering the same thing I have wondered.

    He wanted to know when the men were going to stand up and say no more?
    He wanted to know where the leaders were?
    The coaches, the ministers, the teachers, the rabbis, the doctors, the troop leaders, the celebrities, the politicians..
    He wanted to know who was going to teach the boys that rape is not acceptable, EVER
    He wanted to know when we were going to stop teaching girls not to get raped and start teaching boys not to rape
    He wanted to know how they would learn and break the cycle if leaders didn't step up and teach them right from wrong
    He wanted to know why men weren't talking about violence against women among each other
    He wanted to know why they weren't saying NO MORE!
    He wanted to know where the outrage was?
    He wanted to know why good men were so silent about this weapon of mass destruction.

    Just sayin'...I wonder too.

    photo by

    E l i Z a t u r a n s k i
    : P h o t o g r a p h y :
    : : : 415 702 0354

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