In a bold, touching, and brave move, the young woman at the center of the Maryville, Missouri rape controversy has officially spoken out. In a self-authored piece published today on xoJane, the now-15-year-old Daisy Coleman discusses the media storm surrounding her case.
In 2012, while a Freshman in high school, Coleman attended a party with her younger best friend. She details arriving at the older boys' party and being offered a large shot glass dubbed the 'bitch glass.' After drinking from the glass she blacked out: "I fell into a dark abyss. No light anywhere. Just dark, dense silence — and cold. That's all I could ever remember from that night."
Less than an hour later the boys discarded Coleman on her front yard in 22-degree weather — essentially leaving her for dead. She was able to weakly scratch at the door, alerting her mother, who took her to the ER. While there, their suspicions were confirmed. Her rape test came back positive.
Despite the fact that Daisy and her friend Paige were, respectively, 13 and 14 years old at the time, AND that there was supposedly video evidence of the assault circulating around her school, the charges against the high school senior accused of raping Daisy were dropped. His family is a prominent political force in Missouri.
Daisy endured harassment, was suspended from her cheerleading squad, and generally treated as a pariah in her town. Her family's home later burned to the ground under suspicious circumstances.
Typically laws protect survivors of sexual assault from having their names appear on public documents. This is to protect those who would prefer to avoid the sometimes victim-blaming press that can accompany sexual assault trials. But, there have been several recent cases where women came forward on their own accord, revealing their identities in an effort to be heard.
And, in Daisy's case it seems to be working. She concludes her essay with a powerful thought, "I not only survived, I didn't give up. I've been told that a special prosecutor is going to reopen the case now. This is a victory, not just for me, but for every girl." We had to wipe a little tear from our eye after reading that one. (xoJane)
Image: Via xoJane.