October 18, 2017
My heart goes out to the women who have bravely posted “Me Too” in the Facebook campaign to show our widespread experience of sexual assault. I’m one of the lucky ones whose rape left just a black eye, a sore knee, and a short-lived uneasiness being home alone. Yes, being assaulted by a home invader who punched me in the face, pushed me outside, threw me to the ground and raped me from behind was the scariest and most brutal thing that has ever happened to me. That was the only black eye I’ve ever had.
I was lucky, though, for many reasons I realized in the aftermath. I had neighbors I could run to who called the police. My husband, who worked at the local newspaper, heard the police call on the radio and ran home, saying, “That’s my street! I hope Regina is ok!” He held me, and took me to the hospital. He also called a friend, Sue, who was the director of the local rape crisis center. She arrived within the hour and coached me on what to do next, preparing me for how the detective and the hospital staff might respond. For the next two months my husband supported me with tenderness, first with a three-week vacation together, including a house sitter, then the companionship of a friend’s guard dog whenever I was home alone.
Sue invited me to join her next session of rape crisis training. What an empowering experience that was! During that month of training I learned just how fortunate I was!
I learned that the detective’s scorn and the medical staff’s coldness were typical responses to rape victims. I learned that most rape victims are blamed for being raped, that being raped was our fault! I learned that law enforcement officers blame the victims and rarely investigate assault. I learned that hospital emergency personnel are disgusted by rape victims and don’t really know what to do with them. I learned that Kentucky State laws at that time in 1979 had little protection and few rights for rape victims. I had no idea until being a rape victim that so many women had horrible, demeaning, and emotionally devastating sexual assault experiences!
Like I said, I was blessed to be instantly comforted, supported, loved, and empowered by people close to me. I never felt blamed, unclean, or abandoned by my husband and friends. My rape experience bonded me with you who have also posted “Me too”, empowering me to understand how to validate and support your healing.
A few months after my rape, Sue asked me if I would be willing to testify at a state legislative committee hearing. I eagerly accepted the invitation, emboldened by my experience to speak up for other women who were ashamed and silenced by their ordeal. I could speak out feeling angered, emboldened, and justified to demand compassionate treatment for rape victims. The legislature responded to those hearings with laws that gave rape victims more legal rights.
I know that my rape experience was an awakening, not a defeat. It gave me the power, the compassion, the understanding – and the responsibility – to assist and support other victims whose sexual assault left lasting trauma, shame, isolation, and fear.
This week I posted my “Me too” to stand with you with support, validation, compassion, and an open heart to listen to your story and walk with you on a path of healing.
As you have been reading as you follow my journey, discovering and transforming limiting beliefs and obstacles to joy and fulfillment is my focus and passion. Walking with others through the challenges with self-love, companionship, and the beautiful expansiveness of Nature, I gently help courageous women confidently take their next step on a path of renewed self acceptance and choice.
Have you posted “Me too” and yearn to be heard? Was posting “Me too” something very hard to do? You knew you had to, but wished it weren’t true?
I want to walk with you on your next step. Listen to your story. In gratitude to those who supported me I pay it forward and offer you a shoulder and a compassionate ear.
Hit reply to this email and say “Me too.” We’ll schedule a chat. I’m here for you.