Jo is a story teller. She likes to talk about her triumphs and life experiences. Jo told me about the second time she was raped. Jo was raped by a man who sneaked up behind her with a rope. He wrapped the rope around her neck and dragged her around the corner to rape her while she was fading in and out of consciousness. Jo told me after her rape incident it ended up being a crime scene. She encountered the police after she gained consciousness and he said, “Well I’m off duty now but I guess I’ll make a call.” The next encounter was with the sex crimes unit where a lady asked Jo, “Are you sure you weren’t being gagged and not strangled?” The final encounter Jo had with these idiots was when they asked her to stop crying.
I am disgusted and appalled.
Imagine this. Imagine getting raped, and not one soul caring that someone was ripped from you. How would you then feel about yourself? How is Jo every supposed to heal from this traumatic event if she has no support systems. How is it possible that the people we call for help can also be so hurtful and useless.
I can’t help but to put myself in her situation. If I was raped, not only would I be able to seek justice and lock my perpetrator up but I would also have media spreading light about what happened, where this happened, I would have the whole nation by my side. Whereas Jo, has no one. Maybe because of her economic status, or maybe because she is minority, or maybe because she is a victim of sexual exploitation. Whereas society views her as a criminal and worthless.
I see Jo as a symbol of strength. I see Jo as a woman I look up to. She is the most humble person I know. Jo lives in intense poverty, where she does not know where her next meal is coming from. But yet she smiles. Jo has few clothes, but yet she lets other women choose first and she chooses her clothing last. She is truly an example of strength.