What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Rape in Small Town America...

I heard a story in the last few days from a friend in Stevens Point, WI. She gave me permission to tell it to you leaving her name out of it. I will call my friend Sally. This story is 100% true and so stunning in it's sadness, that the world should hear it before they decide for whom they will vote in November and how our society will look after that vote...

Sally was 21 when she moved to Stevens Point. She came from a big city and was very out of place in small town Wisconsin. She had tattoos, piercings and was stunningly beautiful. Sally stayed in that big city alone when her father remarried and moved to Wisconsin after her mother's death. Sally moved to Stevens Point a few years later to finish school and be closer to her family.

Shortly after moving to Point Sally was kicked out of her father's home by his new wife for leaving a razor on the bathtub. This was devasting to her. She was alone in an environment she didn't understand and had never been exposed to and all the rules she knew about life were different.

She thankfully had a job and so was able to quickly find an apartment and was on her own, but Sally was 21 and one night decided to go to a local corner bar to try to make some new friends. Sally's memory is vague at this point. She remembers talking to a guy at the bar. She knows she had a few drinks and a low tolerance and then she remembers the police officers trying to revive her. It was winter, snow and ice and she was bloody and bruised all over her body, beaten severely (she still has many scars), her panties were around her ankles, she had been raped, beaten and left for dead in a snowbank in an alley.

She told the police what she remembered. She knew the bartenders would know something, as the ambulance came the police told her that they were not going to take any evidence and no investigation of the incident would be done.

Sally was from a big city in even through her pain and humiliation and anger and horror, she found the guts to ask Why? The police officers looked her in the eye and told her that she was too drunk to be a credible witness. They said, she was probably asking for it and they told her she was just going to have to be more careful in the future. There was nothing they could do about it. She was victimized again.

The ambulance took Sally to the hospital in Stevens Point. The hospital refused a rape kit for her, they refused to take a blood sample to test for any date rape drugs, and even worse, they refused to give her the morning after pill to prevent a pregnancy, even though she begged them for it. They stitched her up and sent her home. Another victimization.

Sally did get pregnant. Her first pregnancy in her life. She was horrified, furious and once again victimized. Sally wanted an abortion. She wanted the continued abuse of her body to end. She wanted the nightmares to end. Sally couldn't get an abortion in Stevens Point though. Victimized again.

So she had to take her paycheck and too humiliated to tell her family what happened and without any friends yet, Sally found a clinic in Appleton and hopped a bus, used her own $300 to pay for the procedure and came home alone. Now her victimization has a dollar value as well...

Now this seems like the natural end to the story, but Stevens Point is a small town. Sally finally got the nerve to go out again several months later when the loneliness got too much for her. She was not able to go into that place again and 5 years later she still has not, but she did find another place to hang out and started to make some friends at last.

One night though about a year after the brutal beating and rape, Sally walked into a bar with a girl friend and who was there, but the guy she remembered talking to in the bar that night. She knew his face, but nothing else about him and she was instantly paralyzed with fear. He turned drunk and nasty and saw her and started laughing and pointing at her (this is graphic) and shouted to the entire bar, "Hey, there's that chick I told you about that I fucked! I fucked that bitch!" and he went on mocking her as he pantomimed raping her to everyone in the bar...

You would think the humiliation of this would make the victimization complete... But Sally had a lot of months alone to think about what had happened to her and to live with the consequences of her beating and rape... The very public and humiliating and mocking admission of the rape and attempted murder Sally endured at that man's hands was just too much to ignore. Sally was angry and finally, her anger was pointed at the right target.

Sally in her rage charged her rapist. She punched him repeatedly and gave him some good blows, but the police came and Sally was charged with Assault and Battery. Now she has a criminal record. The victimization was finally complete...

Sally is an amazing woman though. Strong, brilliant and independent, Sally has survived and asked me to tell her story publicly after all these years. Since these incidents five years ago, she has finished her BA and MA! She still has scars both emotional and physical that will never go away. She still does not trust the police and she deliberately dates some, but very few men. Trust is not easy anymore. She will not go out alone.

This is NOT an attack on Stevens Point (well, maybe their police and healthcare officials, but not the people of Point).

Stevens Point is a lovely town with people I absolutely adore and a great university. You do have to wonder though what the incentive is for a police department to allow a brutal rape nearly on campus be reported and prosecuted... It wouldn't be good for the reputation of the school. Knowing this story, would you be comfortable sending you daughter there? I wouldn't but not because of the rape.... It's all the things that happened after the rape that make me scared of the safety of women up there.

Keeping it under cover means no one has to know. It makes you wonder how many other women raped on campus over the years have had similar experiences. It makes you wonder what else is being covered up by the inaction of those involved...

Small town American values...

Sarah Palin is against birth control, the morning after pill, and abortion even in the case of rape or incest. This is an example of those values in full play.

Just thought I'd throw that in there for perspective...

If you vote for McCain/Palin, these are the results of the so called small town values they stand for...

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