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Please forgive me if my diary does not meet the usual standards.  I am so angry with Governor Sarah Palin and her stance on charging rape survivors for rape kits.  It has taken me twenty years to write about an experience that I long to forget, but never will.  Thanks to Governor Palin, I have been forced to remember what happened to me over twenty years ago...

Please follow me after the jump...

I was a college student in my early twenties and I made the unfortunate mistake of making a call, from a pay phone, to my sister to tell her I was lost in a new city.  I had just moved to Houston and still was not able to completely navigate my way around the city.  I was planning to visit a friend, not knowing I was venturing to a "not so safe" part of town.  When I lost my way, I stopped at a pay phone to get directions from my older sister, whom had lived in Houston for several years.  While trying to contact her, a man passed by me.  I thought nothing of it.  He then returned and asked me for directions.  When I told him I didn't know, he put a gun to my side.  I was in total disbelief.  He told me to get in my car and if I ran he would put a bullet in my brain.  I thought about running, but I didn't.  I was in shock and completely scared out of my wits.  I do not want to relive the gory details of my attack, but he raped me, beat me and had stolen my self esteem in the process.  He taunted me for hours...telling me he was going to kill me.  At that point, I felt I was in a scene from the Bewitched television show...I was floating in the upper corner of the room watching the ordeal.  I prayed and prayed for God to hear my call...I needed him right there and now!  He did answer my prayers, because the rapist said, "I had planned on killing you because you have seen my face".  But for God's blessings, he said, "I'm going to let you go, but don't look back when I leave, or I will kill you". I understand many people are atheists and agnostics, but this is my belief system.

I walked to a gas station and asked the attendant if I could use the phone to call the police.  He said he wasn't allowed to let me use the phone and I went crazy!  He then noticed my clothing and tears and let me use the phone to call my sister.  After telling her what happened...she was there in TWO POINT TWO SECONDS!  She rode in the police car with me to the hospital and held me the entire time.  I can never thank her enough.  She has no idea how much of a comfort she was that dreadful night.

At the hospital emergency room, I was told they would need to perform a rape kit.  If you haven't experienced the procedure, it is one of the most painful and humiliating experiences that I would never wish upon my worst enemy.  There are several doctors, nurses and detectives asking many questions when you're still in shock.  The doctor performs a pap smear, poking and prodding while a nurse wants to get DNA and pubic hair samples.  VERY PAINFUL.  They also gave me a morning after pill (not sure what is was called back then) to prevent pregnancy.  It is complete raw exposure.  The shot they give you to prevent "curable" diseases doesn't help.  I didn't walk straight for a week.  After a few days, the thought of pregnancy and AIDS entered my mind via my nightmares, even though I had received the morning after pill and the high powered penicillin shot.  

The man who raped me, plagued me the next ten years.  I was frightened to go in public and if I saw a man with a beard, I was completely paralyzed.  There weren't programs that are available now.  No victim's compensation for counseling and medical care.  After several years of counseling from a therapist whom helped me even though I didn't have insurance, I have recovered from this horrific event in my life.  I also had a wonderful support system...My parents and my sisters.  I could not have recovered without them.

If Governor Palin believes that rape survivors or their insurance companies should bear the burden...All I can say is that she has not experienced such a traumatic event, and I hope she never does.  I plead with everyone that knows or has encountered a rape survivor to vote against Governor Palin and her extremist views.
I wish I knew how to embed videos, but I don't.  The Planned Parenthood video says it all.  I know exactly how Gretchen feels.  Thanks for reading my thoughts and please forgive any spelling/grammar mistakes.

UPDATE: Thank you every one for the wonderful comments.  My eyes are now swollen from tears of joy!  Thank you again!

UPDATE: OMG! The rec list...I can't believe it.  The purpose of this diary was to bring attention to rape survivors or their insurance companies paying for rape kits and Palin's views regarding abortion.  Thanks again for the wonderful comments, hugs and well wishes.  I did not realize my strength until this happened to me.  That is when I viewed myself as a survivor and not a victim.  I now have a great life in spite of my experience!  May all the survivors also know their strength!!!


Originally posted to tsugrad on Wed Oct 01, 2008 at 07:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Rape and Domestic Violence, House of LIGHTS, and Sluts.

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2thanks, Avilyn

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