Sara Whitman

Be Safe and Be Thankful

Filed By Sara Whitman | December 24, 2008 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: Berkeley, Christmas, gang rape, lesbian raped, Prop 8, rape

A young lesbian woman, 28 years old, was attacked and gang raped on December 13th in Berkeley, California. According to the police report, the woman was taunted for being a lesbian by the men who ranged from late teens to early thirties.

As we all settle in to celebrate our families, please remember those who were not safe. Those who walked across the street, or went home from work, or simple drove out
to pick something up at the store. Every day lives shattered by acts of unbelievable violence.

No one should ever have to live through that. I know. I've lived through rape. It is my biggest fear for my children, for my family and my friends. It is a crime that robs you of your dignity. It is an act of rage and violence and leave you feeling humiliated.

It scares me to even read about. It shakes my core.

I had to check on a friend's daughter who lives in San Francisco. She lives in Berkeley. The age fit.

It wasn't her. But it could have been. It could have been any of us with a rainbow sticker on our cars- the victim, it seems, was identified that way. Or a haircut. Or a tee shirt, or... anything.

We live our lives out and proud. We know we have to in order to make progress on our rights. Studies show that if you know a LGBT person, you are going to support their rights.

If you know our stories, our struggle.

Our pain.

If I believed in God, I would pray for that young woman. It is exactly these kind of acts that make it impossible for me to believe in a gentle, guiding spirit that cares for us all. Instead I will do what I know I can- spread the word. Remind people that hate crimes increase when the economy is bad.

And when anti-gay measures are passed, like Prop 8.

Be well tonight... sit for a moment and appreciate your safety, the warmth of your home.

May it never be any other way.


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I appreciate your sentiments and wish them back to you.

I couldn't read the story because rape is
Always a horrible violation.

Here's hoping that you and all others find more healing in the coming year.

I have not been able to shake this story. I'm glad to see people keeping the story alive. I was just contacted by someone on Twitter while reading this. I don't know why, but it feels like there's a bigger story here. I hope we all stick with it.