Misfit Me

It seemed I did not fit in.

The entire reason I started this blog was to enlighten others on a process that I myself could find no information on. In the early days immediately after the attack, any and all searches for “prosecuting an Italian citizen” “prosecuting sexual assault overseas” “American prosecuting Italian man” turned up results for the Amanda Knox trial. Dozens and dozens of Google search pages rendered me hopeless to find anything that could help me.

The State Department had directed me to RAINN.org, the largest organization of its kind in the US. And while I found many helpful links and tidbits at the site, it had no information or stats about overseas prosecution for sexual assault. I scoured chat rooms, state by state sexual assault web sites and support groups. And still, I had nothing.

What I came to realize, sadly, was that I would have been better served to be assaulted stateside. The international nature of my case was an anomaly for which I’d have little resources to navigate. Furthermore, while I did wish to attend some sort of sexual assault victims support group, I was uncertain that I’d be welcome. I had not been raped. I had successfully defended myself and escaped in an unusual, if not spectacular fashion. I was now making my attacker my prey, one who I was pursuing in overseas court. I just felt in my gut that I was a misfit for the type of support groups available to victims. Looking back, that might have been an unfair assumption. What I really felt was guilt. Guilt that it would be unfair of me to sit amongst a group of women who I imagined as destroyed by their rape, and talk about my escape. Their precious time would be better spent on them and not my nonsense. That is how I felt.

So, I continued to attack the problem of the dearth of information about overseas prosecution of sexual assault all the while telling myself I’d have to create some kind of cornerstone work for others to build on.  I hope this blog is now the FIRST thing to pop up when someone in a situation similar to mine Google searches “American woman prosecuting sexual assault overseas.”

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