“I haven’t dated anyone for a year.
In a way, I am scared of that day when I’ll have to tell someone what happened to me, I’m afraid they’ll think that it ruined me, mentally. Like I have a scar in me, and that I won’t see a sexual relationship in the same way as other people, even though I think I will.
Because I don’t see what happened to me as a sexual event. I don’t see it as that at all.”
The research supports Jess’ view. Rape is considered by most experts to be a crime motivated by the low self-esteem and anger of the rapist, and a need for power and control through hurting others.
But she has some fears that come and go.
“Well, I feel like my family might not see me as innocent—you know, one of these days, when I get married, when I’m walking down the isle, they won’t see me quite as pure, I mean I know it’s not my fault, but in way I feel like that was taken away from me.”
When she considers the future, Jess is hopeful. “I want people to know I’m able to move on with my life. Something so tragic happened, but now I know I can overcome anything. Her message to others: Don’t assume you are safe. Take precautions such as extra locks on doors, lock your balcony sliding doors, check with apartment managers to make them install “panic” button alarms in each apartment.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this Story, Jess is now doing very well.
She is a very successful, intelligent, caring individual
that anyone would be proud to call a friend, a sister, a wife.
She recently spoke of her experience:
"I have tried to not make this experience affect my life even though it has definitely scarred me forever. It's upsetting to me because I loved my college experience but, I always think about the
rapist that lives there and how sad it is that he could do it to another girl any day. I finished up my degree there because I didn't want this experience to change the goals and path that I had set out for myself. I wasn't going to let one disturbed person change my goal of getting a degree from K-State. To me that would mean that he had succeeded in ruining or controlling another person's life-which is what I believe he wants to do by raping young girls.
At first this experience affected me --
I moved into a place with roommates and would never stay there alone. But, within 2 years of the rape I overcame my fear and was able to live by myself (in another town). I have always been very aware of my surroundings but since then, I have been very suspicious of strangers if they are staring at me.
This experience has definitely affected my ability to sleep well at night and one thing that I haven't been able to enjoy since is sleeping with my windows open at night. I enjoyed doing that in the past and since then have not been able to (even though that night my windows were closed). Maybe once I'm married I'll be able to enjoy that again but, as for now I would never be able to fall asleep with them open."
Jess considered the specific emotional fall out from the experience, and her healing.
"From day one, I told myself that there was nothing I could've done differently that would've caused this not to happen. Therefore I have no regrets....that is how I have made it through this experience and healed myself. So many girls get raped and are embarrassed/mad/angry because they blame themselves and for me there was no reason to blame myself. I didn't do anything wrong. This is just a terrible thing that happened to me and the only thing I can do is try to move on and hope that he gets caught before it happens to another girl.
I was at my house in my bed with my doors locked and this terrible thing happened. And, I truly believe that this guy had been stalking me so, if it didn't happen that night and I would've been somewhere else, it would've happened another night. The memories affect me and I can't wait until the day that he is caught."
Perhaps he would come forward and make things right.
"That is when I will truly be able to move on with my life. "