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Sitting in the back of the police car with the door open, she noticed a couple of women she knew from the dance club heading into the restaurant. She called out to them, asking them to tell the police that they knew her (she had no ID). She knew they could also attest to seeing her with Michael and Philip. But they averted their eyes and kept walking as if they hadn’t heard her and the police didn’t try to intercept them.
The police officers took her to the police station to file a report and talk to detectives. Although she was drunk when they left the club, she was feeling sober now. She was able to give them the men’s names, including Philip’s last name, and a description of the car. The detectives kept pressing her to admit that she had slept around and had, in fact, led the men on. Were they seriously blaming HER for the assault???? Yes, they were. (In those days, there wasn’t a law to keep the police or courts from asking about a woman’s prior sex life.)
When they told her she needed to go to the emergency room for an exam, she protested until they told her without the exam they wouldn’t be able to prosecute if they caught Philip. Since she wanted him to pay for assaulting her, she acquiesced.
The nurses and doctor in the ER were a little nicer about the situation, but she still got the impression they also felt she was responsible for the assault. In addition to the vaginal exam, they checked all over for bruises, cuts or other indications of the attempted rape. When they checked her hands, they found blood and skin under her nails, so she knew she had at least left a mark on the bastard.
By the time they finished the exam, it was daylight and an officer took her home. He said someone would contact her when, not if, they caught Philip. Feeling doubly violated by the way the police had treated her, she was glad the night was over at last.
Emotionally and physically exhausted, she was glad the old man had already left for work so she didn’t have to explain anything to him. She went to the bathroom and ran a tub of water as hot as she could stand it and scrubbed all over until her skin felt raw, but she still felt dirty.
Two days later, she received a call from the police saying they hadn’t been able to find the men or the car, but they would keep looking. She later found out that Philip was the son of a wealthy man, so she doubted the police were really going to do anything. Two weeks after the attack, a phone call made that point moot.
It had been ten weeks since she ran away and she just wanted to continue her journey to California and forget all about New Mexico. One day when she came home from looking for a job, the old man said she had received a phone call and they would call back that evening. She didn’t give it a second thought. But when the call came, she discovered, to her dismay, that her parents had found her.
They had filed a missing person’s report so when she filed the police report in Roswell, the police back in Texas found out about it. After two or three phone calls from her parents, based on their promises of things being different, she finally agreed to return to their home. The biggest factors that influenced her decision were that she greatly missed her mother and his promise to never touch her again.
of this chapter of my life.