It Was a Sunday

Calls reporting sexual assault spiked 147% on Thursday, September 27 according to RAINN – the largest sexual assault hotline in the United States.  Counselors, therapists, and clergywomen like me received phone calls, texts, and direct messages from women all over the country.  As women were listening to Christine Blasey Ford, they not only relived their own assaults but they were emboldened to report their own.

I know this firsthand.  Yesterday I made a call to report mine.

My assailant was someone I had been in a relationship with which is why I never reported it.  Who would have believed me?  I wasn’t sure I believed it myself.  We had recently broken up and he’d wanted to continue being friends.  But one night he was angry and wanted to teach me a lesson.  Seriously, that’s what he said.

I’m honestly grateful to be able to type these words openly.  I feel okay about it. Strong even.  Secrets have enormous power to chip away at our spirits if left sitting there in the dark and I’ve been working on shedding some light  for a while now.

I’m inspired by one woman’s attempt to prevent her assailant from becoming a Supreme Court Justice.  Maybe he’ll indeed be confirmed but at least she has spoken her truth.

Those of us with such experiences know some things about men who assault women:

  • They can be charming and “such good guys.”
  • Being smart and drinking too much are not mutually exclusive.
  • Just because a long list of women can vouch for them, it doesn’t mean they never assaulted others.

It’s possible that Dr. Ford’s assault happened on July 1, 1982.  Mine was September 18, 1983.


12 responses to “It Was a Sunday

  1. You are a warrior! I’m so sorry this happened to you, and I am SO thankful that you are brave enough to speak your truth! The Holy Spirit is troubling the waters for openness and honesty. These are hard and holy days.


  2. It is contagious, thanks for helping spread the courage. Thursday I cried all day remembering my experiences, my daughter’s experience, the experiences of other family members and friends. I remembered the many stories I heard as a therapist. I remembered.


  3. I applaud your bravery in reporting it now.


  4. Alas, while victims were calling in record numbers it appears that Kavanaugh’s speech had some men cheering (figuratively if not literally)

    From Rod Dreher’s blog (author of The Benedict Option, a very different view of the church and world):


  5. I think blessings may have already anchored you, but we never forget. God be with you! Pat Timm, Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati.

    Pat Timm 513.378-8871



  6. God bless you, @jledmiston. I’ll follow your and Dr. Ford’s lead: #MeToo #BraveryIsCourageous #DrsHaveNoRightToGrope


  7. Jan, many women have experienced this trauma. So proud of you for writing about it.


  8. I remember Anita Hill testifying – that is what prompted me to report the professor who had been sexually harrassing me. She testified bravely but it didn’t stop his nomination – I also remember that. I remain grateful for women who speak up


  9. His words were horrible. His actions demeaning. But you, like Christ, arose.


  10. Pingback: It Was a Sunday - NEXT Church

  11. Pingback: Thursdays in Black | A Church for Starving Artists

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