When I heard and read about the rape murder of Eun Kang on December 8, pregnant with twins and a single working mother, I was besieged with anger that raised unpleasant distressing memories of my own rape experience 44 years ago.
I too was a single working mother with two little boys who slept in cribs in the same room with me. I was a waitress at a Denny’s Coffee Shop who worked the night shift. I also rented a small house in the back owned by the landlord and it happened to be my night off.
I awakened to a knife at my throat late at night. His voice was clear. “If you fight me I’ll kill you and your babies.” The rapist had torn the window screen to enter my tiny house. I was speechless, my vocal cords frozen; even if I could scream, who would hear me? If I fought him he would kill my babies and me. I believed him. The rape seemed to be hours, I felt myself leaving my body an empty shell lying on the bed as he continued to violate me. All I clung to was saving my babies, one nine months old and the other two years old. He left through the screen window, just as he had appeared. His last words, “Ill be back.”
After calling the police I was interrogated by them as if I was at fault. After all I was a waitress, did I flirt with someone at the coffee shop, did I have a boyfriend, did I wear revealing clothes when I was outside my yard? I was shaking so hard from the fear I had from my ordeal with the police asking me so many questions. My babies were crying at seeing the police officers. My head was spinning. I was unable to cry over my physical and emotional pain. The evidence was all there, footprints on the ground, torn screen. However, it was me they kept questioning. They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I refused.
I packed a few belongings put the babies in my car and drove off never to return to the tiny, tiny house.
Hearing how Eun Kang screamed for her life and babies, I related to the fear this woman went through and I wept with profound sorrow. I was one woman who was fortunate to have survived when so many of us die under a rapist attack. I might be alive but the horror of being raped has left me with Post Traumatic Syndrome.
If I would have heard your screams Eun, I would have tried to save you or any other women being raped, no matter the consequences I’d have to face for I’ve been there before and no one was there to save me.
My Dear Sister may you, your twins rest in peace.