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I’ve been waiting for over two years to write this Victim Impact Statement and I have written

countless
drafts, yet now that I’ve come to write the final version I feel like I don’t know what to say. I could
spend hours talking about the emotional, physical, and financial impacts that my rape(s) have had on
me, but I’ve tried to just narrow it down to less than 2000 words.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but this has been so mentally, physically, and financially
draining. My medical bills make it so that I can barely make rent, even though I have a good job. My
depression and anxiety make it so that I can barely leave my home. My physical wellbeing makes it so
that I can barely get out of bed some days and, if I manage to make it out of bed, I can barely go do my
job, live my life, be a good daughter/friend/girlfriend/employee, etc. I miss my life, and I miss my job. I
miss being a supportive friend and girlfriend. I don’t mean to sound blunt but I honestly think that
before this I was a decent person; someone my friends could count on, a good employee, a loving
daughter, etc. Now I’m lucky if I can get out of bed in the morning and, if I can, I’m lucky if I can make it
through the day without reliving the worst night of my life.

I’ve lost most of my friends because I have become so quiet and ashamed. Even when I do meet up with
people, I want to go home almost immediately. This has nothing to do with my friends – they’re great –
but it’s more to do with the fact that leaving my home and being a normal person again is exhausting. I
come home from work and fall asleep almost immediately because being outside of my home, and out
of my bed, for a full day is exhausting. I love my job, but I feel like I no longer add value as I have so
many doctors’ appointments that I can’t really be in the office for a full week at a time. I picture when I
started my job on 10th August 2015, 36 days before Michael Purpura assaulted me, and I was so excited
for it; I was so excited to put my existing skills into practice and to learn more from my colleagues so
that we could come up with better solutions together. I went into work the morning after my assault
because I didn’t know what to do about trying to take a sick day and because I was too scared to stay at
home by myself. Now, over two years later, sometimes I walk down the corridor of our office and all I
can think of is being there waiting for HR, still wearing dirty clothes, unshowered, waiting for them to
tell me that I could go home.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve felt unsafe—I check my door multiple times every night and I make sure
that no one has followed me into the building. Sometimes I get too scared to leave my home so I just
stay in the dark, by myself, instead. I have slept under my bed, on my bathroom floor, and on my couch
more times than I can count. Before my boyfriend moved back to Boston, he used to sleep on the side
of the bed closest to the door so that I wasn’t too scared to fall asleep in case someone came in and
raped me. I slept with the light on for almost two years, and sometimes I still have to put spoons in the
freezer overnight so that I can put them under my eyes in the morning to make them less puffy. I am
often too scared to leave my home, too scared to walk home if I actually make it out of the house, and
too scared to be in a large group of people. My lack of trust in others has reached a point where I often
feel like everyone is against me or that they are just out to hurt me. In addition to my lack of trust in
people, my self-esteem has hit a new low and has now reached a point where I can barely meet new
people (this is something that 1) isn’t ideal in terms of making friends and building relationships and 2)
makes my consulting job even more difficult).
I live in fear to the point where it is paralyzing. I have spent over two years trying to get my life back on
track, but sometimes all I can picture is Michael Purpura’s hands over my mouth suffocating me whilst
I’m gasping for air, thinking that I was going to die. Nothing is scarier than thinking that your life is over
when you have so many more plans and so much more left to do with your life. Whilst I was being
suffocated, all I could think of was my family and friends and how I wanted to tell them how much I love
and appreciate them – even if that would have been the last time I had the chance to say that. I can’t
shake the feeling that I was meant to be so much more than this. I’m trying to accept that this
experience doesn’t define me, but there are days when I feel like I’m nothing more than the girl who
was raped in her own home and who was forced to shower whilst her rapist watched her. I know that
I’m so much more than this, but when your private life gets dragged out in court for over two years,
when people try to access your private medical records, and when people ask you to explain over and
over again whether or not you were fingered in your vagina or your anus first before being penetrated,
it makes it harder to seem like a real person.

I live in extreme chronic pain due to the injuries that my back and neck sustained from being forced and
pushed into my mattress. All of my CT and MRI scans show that my injuries are consistent with trauma,
and so far no amount of physical therapy, occipital nerve blocks, trigger point injections, muscle
relaxants, and other treatments have made it better. Prior to this, I used to do marathon training, but
now I’m lucky if I can even get out of bed in the morning. My chronic pain is so debilitating that my boss
at work has had to pull out a chair for me because I couldn’t use my arms. My boyfriend has picked me
up off of the floor countless times because I can barely move. No one should have to pick their 24-year-
old girlfriend/friend/daughter/employee/etc. off the floor. Not only is this painful, but it makes me feel
humiliated. I like to believe that I was raised to be a strong person, but I’ve started to question that now
that I can barely carry out my daily activities. I think I’ve spent more time crying on the bathroom floor
over the past two years than I’ve spent living my life. Not only is this painful and humiliating, but it
makes me feel so guilty for all of the people in my life who care about me and who have helped me in
countless ways, over and over again. I wish I could be a better friend, daughter, girlfriend, employee,
etc., but sometimes that seems impossible.

There have been days when I have been so overrun with guilt and shame that I can barely stand to look
at myself in the mirror. I hate my body because I feel like someone made it public property, and I hate
my brain for thinking about it so often. I appreciate all of the support that I’ve received over the past
few years as that has made this process less painful but, that being said, I still wish that I could go back
and change all of this; change Michael’s actions and choices. But I can’t do that.

Something that’s hard about chronic pain is that it doesn’t just affect your body – it affects your mind.
Sometimes my depression and anxiety get so bad that I don’t know how I’m going to get out of it. I have
nightmares where I can’t wake up, and when I’m awake I have flashbacks that are so vivid that it feels
like I’m reliving my assault(s) over and over again. I have panic attacks at work, and I feel a sense of
achievement if I can make it through the day without crying. Additionally, I get sick so often from
anxiety and panic that the enamel on my teeth has started to wear away – something that will last me
for life. Being too nervous to smile in public doesn’t aid my self-esteem, anxiety, or depression.

It has taken me over two years to understand and realise that I am allowed to walk home by myself on a
Monday night. Everyone is allowed to go on a date, to walk home, to buy groceries, and to talk on the
phone whilst they are walking home. It is not my fault that I was punished for walking home alone. No
one should feel unsafe when they are minding their own business and walking home alone. For a while I
felt like this was my fault, but that isn’t the case. I didn’t choose this. It’s easy to tell others that they
didn’t choose or deserve this, but it’s harder to tell yourself that. Everyone makes their own choices,
and Michael Purpura’s choices were not my own, and I’m finally accepting that his choices were not my
fault.

I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, PTSD, major depression, chronic back and neck pain (specifically,
stenosis and multiple degenerative disc + bone problems) and, to be honest, I am just so tired. Don’t get
me wrong, I don’t regret coming forward as I hope it will bring me closure and, more importantly, I hope
that this will prevent other people for being treated the way that I was treated on 15th September 2015
– because, honestly, no one deserves that. I hope that even this small act on my end has helped others,
and I hope that people know that they are not alone. You’d be surprised about who is here to support
you (myself included). I want to end this statement by thanking the ADAs, victim witness advocate,
judge, and jury; you have helped shed a small amount of light and hope on the worst thing that has ever
happened to me, and I am forever grateful.