This Story Has No Happy Ending... (The Truth of the Matter)

This story has no happy ending. It is simply the account of an event that happened in which I finally woke up to something incredibly chilling, yet sobering.

"Alien" Photo by Tom Mac/Body Paint by Pintor Bodypaint

"Alien" Photo by Tom Mac/Body Paint by Pintor Bodypaint

 

On December 25, 2016 (Christmas Day), I was sexually assaulted by a Jewish shop owner on the Lower East Side. The Lower East Side was my home, a place where I felt protected and safe. It was a place that I felt I'd always have good memories of, even though I grew up in NYCHA (the "projects"). Unfortunately, when I travel back to my old stomping crowds, I cannot bring myself to go down Orchard Street, where the business of my attacker still stands. I know he is there, waiting outside his shop, perhaps for another unsuspecting victim, hoping to lure them in as he did to me that day, and hoping that they will freeze, as I did, and say nothing about what happened to them...

I will not relive all of the details of the attack. I will simply say that I froze as he groped me while I tried on a blazer. I froze and tried to remain polite as he made lewd comments about my figure, while smoothing his hands over my curves and giving me a look that I've often observed in men when they catcall women on the street. I will only say that he tried to lead me to the back of his store where he hoped to continue his attack on my person. I will only say that, after buy a gift for my mother at his store in hopes that such an exchange would stop him from continuing, he asked for my number, called it and had me listen to my own voicemail. It was his way of asserting his dominance. I will only say that before I left his store, he stopped me, held my hands and asked me, "Do you like the way that I treated you?"

I nodded. Not wanting to have to verbally confirm that he had just violated me and that I did nothing about it to stop it.

"What specifically did you like about how I treated you?" he pressed further.

I took a moment to look him in his eyes. "You were respectful."

I walked out of the store and remember walking to Duane Reade to get my mother a Christmas card and writing on my wall on Facebook a joke about the encounter. Of course, my status was so vague that no one would have guessed what actually happened. However, it's more common that many realize. It often happens right in front of us or to us and we don't realize it after. And because of this, justice never comes for some who have been victims.

This was not my first time being sexually assaulted.

I have been raped by 3 of my past 4 boyfriends. I never went to the police because I knew that I would not be believed.

"Alien" Photo by Tom Mac/ Body Paint by Pintor Bodypaint

"Alien" Photo by Tom Mac/ Body Paint by Pintor Bodypaint

 

I went to the police this time and made a report. The SVU came to speak to me and told me that the DA would most likely not prosecute because it is a "he said, she said" situation.

That's partially true, but I know the real reason:

1. I am a woman.

2. I am a person of color.

3. I am of a lower class.

And we don't matter to many people.

And that's just the truth of the matter.

 

-V.