The War on Women *trigger warning – this story contains graphic violence*

Story by Chrystal (whose rapist was given only a few years in jail for what he did)

I don’t know if you will choose to post this, though I hope you do, even if the contents of this message are graphic. Only a handful of people that are close to me know about this, and please understand it’s very difficult to even type this down but I would like to get my story out there, into the public, to try and help people understand what rape is. There can never be a complete understanding, even when you read something like what I have briefly written down, because to physically and mentally endure such a terrible attack…. it’s beyond imagination. It’s been said in political statements as of late, that rape is just sex, it’s just another means of conception. As a victim myself, I would like to say that all of those statements are false. In 2007, when I was 19, my life was drastically changed. I will never be the person I was, I am forever changed, mentally and physically. I want that girl back, the carefree, spunky, go getter… but it’s hard, and I try every day to push myself further, to heal myself.

I was invited to a friends house, he told me that a group of our friends were getting together. Going there ended up being the largest mistake of my life. So much of myself was left there, with my blood and ripped clothing on his floor. I couldn’t pick it up and get it back. After being there ten minutes, I found out he was lying, no one else was coming. After I turned down his advances and tried to leave, he forcibly tied my hands together, dragged me kicking and screaming into his room where he tied me to his bed and then he tied a pillow case over my head, where he then attacked me for over three hours. I don’t think people can understand how terrifying it is to have your head tied up inside of a pillow case, breathing in your own hot breath, not being able to see, only hearing and feeling the attack, not knowing what he was going to do next or where he was at. I thought I was going to die, I think I wanted to in those hours, and for a long time after that terrible day. I have never known a pain like that day. I didn’t know every single inch of my flesh and insides could hurt like that. He kept telling me that when he was finished with me, I would be dead. He spit on me and called me a bitch so many times and told me it was all my fault.

Apart from sexually assaulting me with his own body parts, he also used a baseball bat, a wine bottle, and scissors. When he was done, he threw me to the floor and began kicking me and beating me. I had two broken ribs, a dislocated jaw, a black eye that was swollen shut, a broken nose, a split lip, and blood came out of one of my ears. Blood was coming from every part of my face, and it covered the pillow case in a sick, dark red that smelled like copper and plastered itself to my skin with my tears. I had a break down afterwards, I cut off a large portion of my hair, I tried taking sleeping pills. How can one person ruin someone else so thoroughly?

I fought back as hard as I could, I used every fiber of my being to try and hurt him, to get away. I had so much to live for, even when I wanted all of that pain to end, I thought of my family and how much I loved them. I scratched him, and bit him through the pillow case. I kicked, I screamed and I know I got a few good punches in.

I would be dead now if his brother hadn’t shown up and saved my life. I had been fighting on my own, but I just wasn’t strong enough. He pulled me out of the house and into his car, where he took me to a friends. At the hospital, it was found that I now have nerve damage in my lady parts, so sex will never be the same. The Republicans have stated that women should have to pay for their rape kits. I didn’t have the funds for one. If I would have had to pay for my own, he never would have been brought up against a court. I was ashamed of what had happened and I didn’t want my family to know. I was never home, I stayed with friends, because I couldn’t admit that someone had broken me so badly. That someone had done that to me. How can someone be full of so much hatred?

Mentally, I’m completely different. I’m terrified to go anywhere alone, because I know what people are capable of. I have problems keeping a job because I have had two nervous breakdowns. Jobs were never a problem before. I was confident, outgoing and so smart. I had already worked with numerous Humanitarian Aid foundations and organizations, including the United Nations, at the age of only 19.

I dream of that attack all of the time. It haunts me. Five years after the attack, he was finally arrested. He got four years in jail. Four years, that’s it. I got a life sentence from that attack, it’s with me every day when I look at my scars. For the rest of my life, I’ll fear him. I’ll have fear of so many things. I’ll always be scared that I will run into him, that he’ll finish what he had started. Once, two years ago, I saw him in the parking lot of a store. I threw up and was unable to drive myself home because I was shaking uncontrollably. The mental damage is so bad, that I can’t even watch scenes in movies where a girl is mistreated or a scene where someone has a sack over their head. He might not have killed me as he intended, but he killed so much of me.

So, in conclusion, I would like to tell Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and all of those other Republicans that no, rape is NOT just sex and a means of conception. We will NOT just “lay back and enjoy it.” It’s an attack, it’s life changing, it takes so many innocent lives away. I’m thankful that they don’t have to look in the mirror and see a scar on their cheek, reminding them of that day. I’m happy that they don’t have to feel their crooked ribs because two were mercilessly broken. This war on women is extremely personal to me, and I want to tell my story, to make people understand. I have thought many times about ending things, to stop the images in my head from that day, but I won’t do that, I won’t let my attacker win. I may be a victim, but I won’t lose myself to this.
I would be dead now if his brother hadn’t shown up and saved my life. I had been fighting on my own, but I just wasn’t strong enough. He pulled me out of the house and into his car, where he took me to a friends. At the hospital, it was found that I now have nerve damage in my lady parts, so sex will never be the same. The Republicans have stated that women should have to pay for their rape kits. I didn’t have the funds for one. If I would have had to pay for my own, he never would have been brought up against a court. If the Republicans had their way; if I had gotten pregnant, my rapist would have had parental rights. I would have had to see him in some way or another for the rest of my life.

I was ashamed of what had happened and I didn’t want my family to know. I was never home, I stayed with friends, because I couldn’t admit that someone had broken me so badly. That someone had done that to me. How can someone be full of so much hatred?

7 thoughts on “The War on Women *trigger warning – this story contains graphic violence*

  1. Dear Chrystal, I’ve been sitting here for half an hour not knowing what to write. I still have a lump in my throat and am close to tears, but I just have to write something despite my speechlessness. Needless to say, you are very right – there can never be a complete understanding of what you have been through, and I can’t even imagine how you must still feel. You have my utter compassion, but what you don’t deserve is pity – you’re a fighter, never forget that!!! You have fought from the minute this happened and you’re still fighting every single day, you most probably will have to fight for a very long time still, but NEVER forget: That maniac doesn’t have power over you anymore! Be patient with yourself, your wounds will heal eventually, you will have to go a long way still, but don’t let the bastard grind you down! Fight back – now more than ever! Many women are so proud of you to share your story, which is a very brave thing to do, carry on with it, you have more supporters in spirit than you can imagine… The carefree, spunky, go getter girl is still there somewhere, and she will eventually turn up again after completing the long healing process, I promise! Sending you all my love and thoughts and I bow down to your endless courage.

  2. Four years? That’s IT?! That’s not justice for what he’s done to you. That just sounds like a slap on the wrist and an attempt to hide him out for a while to give the illusion of justice. The whole system needs a reboot and FAST.

  3. Hi,
    I want to say this:
    I hope you know how strong you are; your strength is overwhelming. Your story is shocking and brimming over with pain- all unimaginable kinds of pain- but, mostly it demands a resonating, deafening, profound respect- for you and women like you. Women who live through hell every day, over and over, and by sheer strength of…something awe-inspiring, choose to fight on…for yourselves…your family…your indestructible belief that this world has some good in it; a truth that owes some of itself to women like you. Stories like yours, hearts like yours, strength like yours, are some of the few undeniable forces that move our society towards progress and good will worth living and fighting for. You’re fighting the good fight- and though I am beyond sorry that such a terrible part of that burden has fallen on you- it is obvious from your story that you are more than capable of rising beyond the ashes of agony towards something greater.

    Stories like yours make me proud to be a woman. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for sharing this story. I am so sorry for all that you went through. We will win this war on women…we have to, we have no other choice. I’ve seen so many stories recently by strong women like you who are willing to share. We should gather them together and send them to the Romneys, Ryans, and Akins of the world so they can begin to get an inkling of understanding. Stay strong!

  5. Chrystal, I am so sad and sorry for what happened to you and I feel so deeply for what you are still going through. Your courage in writing this story, sharing it with us, and for going through with getting him put in jail at all is so commendable. I am so proud of you for doing that. Four years in jail is a joke, but you fought on and put him in there. A lot of women don’t do that, and it’s so vital to things changing. We all need to keep fighting. I hope that you keep staying the strong and courageous woman you are. I am sending you love.

  6. I hope you are seeking treatment for PTSD.

  7. Chrystal. Words cannot explain the sense of devastation and sadness I have felt reading your account. It was not a story, as a story has an end.Yours will never have an end as it will live with you each and every day of your life. By coming forward to share what happened to you, you are helping to empower other young women. To educate them, let them realise that it can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, the days of care free existence for women seems to be ending, by the failure of educators, families, law enforcement, legislatures, communities etc to educate our boys and men….that NO MEANS NO, women are to be respected, that any violence, either verbal, physical or non verbal is NOT ok. I know that words cannot heal you, or your pain, but I hope that you can find at least some comfort in that women, like myself from all around the world, share your sorrow and pain, and hope, that by sharing so courageously your story, our daughters may learn, live and be inspired. May peace come your way, in all aspects of your life.

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