Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Send a message to a victim of sexual assault: Strauss-Kahn's victim

The following was sent to me by one of NOW's founders, Sonia Pressman Fuentes, who is being honored at the national NOW conference in June. 

About the victim:
"Her life has now been turned upside down. She can't go home. She can't go back to work. She has no idea what her future will be, what she will be able to do to support herself and her daughter. This has been nothing short of a cataclysmic event in her life," Shapiro said. He said she "feels alone in the world."

I cannot imagine what she is going through.  A sexual assault is horrific enough - to compound  that with being an: immigrant, single mom, poor, and woman of color brings additional layers to that trauma.  I want her to know that we are there with her in spirit, as she has to go over the traumatic details yet once again in front of the grand jury - another room full of strangers who are judging HER innocence.  

I am going to email/call her lawyer's publicist with a copy of Terry O'Neill's post about it on The Huffington Post, and a personal note from me.  If you would like to send her a message, please comment on this post with a note, or email us at youngfeminists at  If you like, please include your name and location, so we can show her there are people from all over the world who care about her.  We are compiling the messages and sending them to the publicist.   Thank you.

In Solidarity,
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)

Please find below the email Sonia sent to the publicist of the lawyer representing the maid, telling her she is not alone.

Hi Lois:

We talked a few minutes ago while you were trying to eat.

I'm a retired attorney, a public speaker, author, and feminist and community activist.  On June 25, at NOW's annual conference in Tampa, FL, I'll be given an award for being a co-founder of NOW and for my groundbreaking work at the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission).

I just read an article where Jeffrey Shapiro stated that the maid who was allegedly attacked by Strauss-Kahn feels alone in the world.  Can you get a message to her that she is not alone in the world?  America's women and the world's women support her.  NOW supports her.

I've just suggested that at NOW's conference her case be discussed.

Please let me know how we can help.


1 comment:

Sarah said...

This is such an amazing idea. Here is my message:

You are not alone. My heart goes out to you and I will be praying for you as you take on this journey. I'm a survivor as well and I want you to know that it will get better. It takes time, but be strong and remember that hope is out there. Just as there is sunshine after rain, a horrific event such as what we have endured can bring about a more beautiful, wonderful experience. You just have to believe in yourself and stay strong.

Always remember, you are not alone.

Take care