December 31, 1975 Washington, DC
Two weeks after my 22nd birthday. A few days after my first wedding anniversary
A tiring day at work.
My husband wanted to party. “It's New Years Eve!”
I didn't want to go out. I didn't feel like meeting friends at the neighborhood bar.
I wanted to go to sleep.
I relented/gave in/went anyway
But I was cranky, so I wore my work clothes; boots, tights, a velvet midi skirt, along sleeved blouse and my teal blue winter coat.
Shortly after midnight, I was ready to leave.
The conversation began with, “Look, just drop me off. You can come back.”
It ended with, “I'll be waiting in the car!” angrily declared on the way out.
My husband came out about 40 minutes later.
During that time...
As I walked to the car (within eyesight of the club), a man grabbed me from behind, put a knife to my throat, dragged me through an alley into an empty garage and raped me.
When I returned to my car I locked myself in and cried hysterically
When my husband arrived, maybe 10 minutes later, he thought I was crying because of the stupid quarrel. I told him what happened and he grabbed me by my shoulders and began to shake me. I felt like a rag doll. “You shouldn't have left by yourself. Didn't I tell you? You don't listen!”
Then he asked me what I wanted to do.
Go home. Call the police
911 wanted to know why I left the scene. (This happened in the pre-cell phone era, I didn't have a quarter for the public phone.)
“I guess I didn't think about that at the time,” I replied sarcastically.
The police came to our apartment to interview me. “You're our first case of the New Year. We thought it was gonna be quiet.” The detectives drove me back to the scene of the crime. Then took my me to the hospital for a rape kit and a shot of antibiotics in each hip to ward off prevailing 1970s STDs. I felt like a mute rag doll
They took my clothes for evidence collection. It took a year to get them back.
I'm not sure why I wanted them back. I never wore the outfit again. I threw the underwear away and donated the rest. I really liked those boots.
Back home from the hospital,
I went into the bathroom to clean myself.
I changed into pajamas, got into bed and pulled the covers over my head.
Silently my husband gets into bed behind me, turns me to face him and begins to have sex with me, the mute rag doll. I think it was his way of taking back what had been stolen from him.
When he finishes, he turns over and goes to sleep. Days later he told me he was searching the neighborhood for my assailant. He wanted to “get his hands on him.”
He never understood why things didn't go back to the way they were.
We were divorced less than two years later. -Anonymous (Richmond, VA)