The definition of safety (according to Webster) is the condition of being safe from undergoing hurt, injury or loss.
Most of us go through our days feeling a sense of safety without even realizing it. We don’t realize we feel safe and comfortable until we no longer do. At least that is my experience. On Saturday night, my sense of safety and security was taken away from me.
“Booties or flats?” “Curly or Straight hair?” “Leopard cardigan or sea green top?”
These were all decisions I made before leaving my house on Saturday night. For the record, I went booties, curly, leopard .
“Fight or lay here?” “Chase or just stand here in shock?” “Cry or keep it together?”
These are decisions I didn’t know I was going to have to make on Saturday night.
For the record, I went with fight, chase and keep it together.
On Saturday night I was assaulted and robbed by three young men. I was pushed to the ground resulting in me hitting my head off the cobble stone and was hit and pushed during attempts to get my purse, my phone was the only thing “actually” stolen from me (Thanks, Mom for buying me a purse with a cross-body strap for Christmas). After my attack I was harassed from my own cell phone by my attackers. They sent me very inappropriate, graphic and disgusting (sexual in nature) messages that are in many ways even more traumatizing than the event itself. I know you are asking yourself several questions, “Where did it happen?” “Was it late?” “Was she by herself?” “What did she do?”.
Here are your answers:
Where did it happen?
It happened in Fanueil Hall which happens to be the most visited tourist attraction in the U.S. annually. So no, I was not walking in some dark, unlit alley way alone (not that that would be an excuse for my attackers). It was a well lit area with a decent amount of people around. I was meeting friends at Athem Kitchen for dinner.
Was It Late?
No, unless you consider between 7:45pm and 8:00pm late.
Where you alone?
Technically, yes. I was alone as in I has no one with me. I was not alone on the street there were several people in the area that were witnesses to my attack.
What did you do?
I fought back and once they took off with my phone I started chasing them (and regretted my decision to wear booties). About five or so men who witnessed what had happened joined me in the chase. They attackers were fast and certainly knew what they were doing splitting up, running down alleys. They were not caught.
What did you do after?
I tried to remain calm and called Adam. Then walked right over to the police station and filed a police report. We tried to use “find my iPhone” to locate the phone but the location option was turned off. I then wiped out my email accounts from the police station because my work e-mail is on my phone and due to the confidential nature of some of the e-mails I get I wanted to protect my students. I then met my friends at Anthem to tell them why I was an hour and a half late. That is when the harassing text messages aimed at me were sent to my friend Gina’s phone. Gina had been texting me to see where I was.
So what is happening now?
Well, needless to say I am traumatized. I haven’t been sleeping. I got 4 hours of sleep today. I feel nervous, antisocial, anxious and sad. I am hearing that anger will come soon as well. I’m waiting for it. I think this is why the “It’s just a phone.” or “Good thing they only got your phone.” responses I have been getting are so annoying. I really wish that was the case. I talked to someone today about the trauma which helped in some ways. It helped because I felt every understood, but it also validated what happened to me and that it was a serious thing which made things more difficult. We discovered the the messages are more traumatizing to me because of the nature of the material in them but also because their goal is simply to terrorize me. The attack itself was a random act of violence, a means to an end. The goal was to get money or something they could sell for money. Whereas the harassment’s purpose was to scare me, tramautize me and terrify me. I think the hard part for me is that it was in a crowded place, not late. This makes me feel as if something like this can happen again, anywhere and at any time. That is scary. I also talked to a detective today about my case and he thinks there may be some surveillance footage of my attack because of the location. He is looking into it. I am taking this a day at a time, resting as much as I can and allowing myself to go through the process in my own way. I know ultimatly I will be okay. I am tough and I have great supports. And as much as hard as this is, it could be a whole lot worse.
That is all for now.