On Reaching Out

A few days ago news broke that the Marriott in Stamford, CT used the defense that a woman who was raped in front of her children in the parking garage of the hotel and was suing the hotel for negligence had  “failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities.”   (They have the defense after the backlash.)  As you can imagine, this started a firestorm of people pouncing on Marriott for using a “the woman is to blame defense.”  Some others shot back in defense of Marriott saying the perpetrator was really to blame and that this was simply a defense, that the outrage was misdirected. Well, as I am sure that you all know, I have a very strong opinion on this matter, which does not favor Marriott in the least.

However, as I watched the situation unfold, the outrage grow, the call for boycotts and letters, and hell to pay, I could not help to think about the victim.  I am sure, to some extent, we all were.  But our anger, well, our anger was focused.  I could not help but think this woman, regardless of the media shitstorm swirling around this story, must feel incredibly alone.  Hearing that defense must have sparked a new wave of pain, a new wave of self-blame, a new wave of suffering. Here we are, all fighting the good fight, but not reaching out to the woman, to lift her up, support her, and feed her strength.  Instead, we condemn Marriott (who should be chastised for this lame ass defense) but do no more.

It is not enough.

So, here, in this space, I would like you to write a kind word for the victim. I would like you to offer her the support she needs and deserves.  I would like you to offer your strength and resolve, to share your own story and let her know that she is not alone. I do not know this woman’s name, as the identity of most sexual assault victims are protected.  But, I am in the process of finding her lawyers, and I will have them deliver these messages for us.

Jane Doe,

You are a force.  Your strength and resolve to heal are inspiring.  In reading about the attack you have endured, you are an amazing woman and mother.  This attack was not your fault. You are not defined by what some corporate lawyers write in their defense. You have hundreds, if not thousands of women and men out here, supporting you, and caring about the outcome of this case.  May you and your family find peace in the days ahead.

To my readers:  Thank you in advance for all of the support you offer Jane Doe.  It means so much to me, and I am sure it will mean more to her.

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13 Responses to “On Reaching Out”

  1. Mocha 17 August 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Dear Jane Doe,

    It’s not your fault. And you are loved. Drink that in fully.

    Mocha´s last blog ..Dinnertime Morsels With Jesus My ComLuv Profile


  2. nic @mybottlesup 17 August 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    dear jane, your strength has overwhelmed a nation of survivors, myself included. the wrath, rage, and violence you endured is despicable and disgraceful and disgusting…. but you…. you spoke. you have been speaking for 3 years now. and continue to fight for survivors like me, survivors who reported the crime but never went through with pressing charges. (my story can be found here http://www.violenceunsilenced.com/nic )

    you are a force to be reckoned with… and i stand by your side.

    in sisterhood and survivorship,
    nic @mybottlesup´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile


  3. Jane Devin 17 August 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    I have been raped. I know how devastating it was for me, but I can’t imagine the pain you felt that this happened in front of your children. To have your horrific experience dragged out by Marriott was appalling.

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this, and I wish you and your children godspeed in healing and the rest of your lifetime wrapped in gentleness, love, and understanding.
    Jane Devin´s last blog ..Ride Sally Ride. Manifesting the Journey. My ComLuv Profile


  4. Sugar Jones 17 August 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    Dear Jane Doe:

    You are a beautifully and wonderfully made and your grace reaches out to those other beautiful beings that have been hurt. Thank you for your strength… for all of us.
    Sugar Jones´s last blog ..Save the Drama for Your Mama! My ComLuv Profile


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  6. jeff smith 17 August 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    please please please know this is NOT your fault!! in any way.. shape or form.. you are a beautiful human being who like all of us at that time and place was trying to live your life as best as you could and an evil and unsocialized disgusting lowlife tried to take away your dignity and your power… but let me tell you.. although it may feel like he did he didnt… you have brought together countless strangers who feel love for you… to say.. NO you are special and who will not stand by and let this hurt go unmentioned…. you are not at fault… you are strong… you are beautiful and you will recover… recover to lead onward those who need to hear your story…to see your strength and feel your love….


    jeffrey smith
    san diego, california

    please email me if youd like


  7. Elliott - 21st Century Dad 17 August 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Know that you have the strength and courage within to get past this and even thrive. You, your family, and your children are in my prayers. There is no more room for anger in my heart. There is only room for the positive thoughts and energy that will bring the wrongdoers to justice.
    Elliott – 21st Century Dad´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile


  8. D 17 August 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    I too am a survivor, though I don’t talk about it much any more. Know that a force of sisters recoiled at the manipulative games of attorneys, and that unlike them, we are demanding that your voice, your losses and your desire for every type of accountablility and justice matter. Best wishes for peace and strength, for you and your children.


  9. A 17 August 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    This happened to you. You did not cause this you did not deserve this and you did not ask for this. Nothing you did made this happen. None of this was your fault, none of this was your doing. By continuing to fight you are showing your children their mother is not a survivor but a fighter, and even though we are face less we are beside you. I know the pain of rape, and the peace of healing. I hope you are able one day to heal, to find peace and reflect back with the pride you should feel about how you got there. Your strength is inspiring , you are in my thoughts and heart.


  10. Maggie`s Mind 18 August 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Dear Jane Doe,

    You did nothing to deserve what happened. It is not your fault. Surely you`ve heard these words, and I do hope you`ve taken them to heart, believe them and somehow find some comfort in them. What you experienced is a nightmare beyond what most of us could imagine. You deserve happiness and peace.

    Maggie`s Mind´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile


  11. carla 18 August 2009 at 5:42 am #

    The force of people that love you is far greater that the one person who did this terrible harm. Embrace that love and find peace and serenity in your heart. Breathe in the love and and exhale the pain. Bless you for having the strength to endure and raise loving responsible children. May people everywhere have the strength of community to raise loving responsible children to make the world a safer better place.


  12. The Mother 18 August 2009 at 8:04 am #

    As a mother who spent well over a decade of her life shuttling kids through parking lots, I cannot imagine a woman not being distracted. It’s the mom’s job to make sure the kids get to the car unscathed–it’s the Marriot’s job to make sure it’s safe for her to do that. The Marriot’s response was callous and low. I have nothing but sympathy and awe at how well this woman has handled the situation.
    The Mother´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile


  13. followthatdog 18 August 2009 at 8:10 pm #

    Dear Jane Doe,
    You have done nothing wrong and were victimized. First by your rapist, then by the hotel who implied you were somehow responsible for that act of violence.
    Understand that people everywhere are behind you, support you and condemn the callous irresponsibility of the hotel to make such a claim.
    I wish you strength, serenity and the power to overcome.
    followthatdog´s last blog ..Faulty memory My ComLuv Profile


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