Believe it or not, this was a question I was asked by more people than you might think. Even more surprising to me was the fact that most of those asking that question were women. In this day and age! By women who knew better; intelligent women; women who work out and know exactly what one would wear to walk; women who, as soon as they asked realized how inappropriate and blame-the-victim type of question it was apologized. As if what I was wearing had anything to do with being attacked. As far as I am concerned, if I want to walk down the street stark naked (not that I do), even that is NOT a reason for some cockroach-type person to attack me. There simply is no excuse.
I have to admit that even today I do wonder if I had worn yoga pants, if that would have made a difference. I am pretty certain it would have, at least to a degree, in that my new yoga pants were a size small and fit kind of like a tight glove. As easily, and quickly, as he removed my skort, because it was loose on me and offered no resistance, my yoga pants would have probably stayed in place when he tried to pull them down. Would this have deterred his attack? Would he have given up and run away? My guess on this would be no. I mean, he didn’t run away when I screamed or when I continued to fight him, so why would my clothes not coming off easily have stopped him in any way?
What I did not know at the time, but now do, is when he saw me the first time on Ocean Blvd, my goose was cooked, so to speak. He zeroed in on me because I was his ‘type.’ The girl he assaulted (if this is the correct word to use) in the month before my attack was tall, thin and blonde. The fact that she was more than 30 years younger than I didn’t seem to matter to him. He went up behind her and pulled her bathing suit bottoms down, fondled her butt and ran away. Luckily, she reported it to the police, though not right away, and somehow they were able to pick him up and charge him, in her case, with a misdemeanor. This put him in the system, and so the police in Coronado were familiar with him. After my attack, when I started saying what he looked like, the police knew exactly who it was. This contributed to his being apprehended that same day. As soon as they put the word out, they picked him up soon after.
So back to what I was wearing…I was wearing what is appropriate to do a 7-mile walk, in the early morning, 24 September on Coronado Island, California. It was probably in the low to mid-60s that particular morning. It was cool enough to need a jacket, but not too cold that I needed to wear long pants. Plus, walking as fast as I did always warmed me up rather quickly. And so what? Who cares what I was wearing? This should never be the question out of anyone’s mouth. Ever. There is never, ever a reason or excuse for someone attacking someone else, with the intent to rape or do any other kind of bodily harm. The fact that it still happens as often as it does, and usually goes unpunished and even unreported is extremely distressing to me. Part of the reason I decided to do this blog was to help in my recovery and healing, and also to get people to talk about a very unpleasant subject. Am I making a difference? I do not know. I hope so. What I do know is writing about my experience at the time and what I continue to deal with today, 2 years and 5 months after the actual attack, is necessary.
For the record, I was wearing a black tennis skort (my favorite, ever,) a tight-fitting white top with a built-in shelf bra, an aqua zip-up jacket (also a favorite) and New Balance walking shoes. Everything I was wearing that day was ‘donated’ to the crime lab, and I never saw any of it again. As someone pointed out, I really wouldn’t have wanted any of it back, given what had happened while I was wearing it. True. And I still miss that black skort.