Subject We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming...
DateCreated 7/12/2007 9:25:00 AM
PostedDate 7/12/2007 8:28:00 AM
Body to bring you an important message.

My daughter was attacked on the bicycle path last night.

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We have a path near our house, one that runs by a creek, and a gorgeous wooded area.  This path runs the entire length of our city, Oshawa, parallell along Centre Street.  The hearbeat of the city if you will... from Lake Ontario to.....

We do alot of filming there because it's so beautiful, but after what happened last night, perhaps the city should consider doing so, and not because it's pretty.

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At around 7:30 or so last night, while still daylight, Frances left along the path, entered at Mill Street, and headed east to meet her friend Cadie, who was walking from Mary and Coburn.  They were supposed to meet at the Midtown mall.  Frances didn't make it.

While walking, Frances noticed a man sitting on a bench.  She remembers him perfectly, and probably will the rest of her life, although hopefully she will overcome his meaning.

Shortly after she passed him, he accosted her from behind and pushed her to the ground.  She in turn... pardon my language... kicked the shit out of him, told him to get the fuck off her, and he ran.  A kind samaritan on a bicycle soon followed, and comforted her, met Cadie, and an elderly couple escorted them home.  Thank the angels for them.

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She is ok, but naturally quite traumatized.  She is, despite appearances, a 12 year old girl, and part of her trauma is a result of not understanding why it happened to her... as she said to me last night:

"I don't understand why this happened to me, I look so scary with the eyeliner, I look like I wanna kill someone".

She thought that he would be afraid of her, and instead he was attracted to her.  Getting her to understand this complete diversion in perception is the name of the game...

And now she knows better.  I told her last night, the second she puts on the makeup... she is something else entirely, not only to herself, but anyways.... you get the picture.

And so will you...  I don't wanna cover off too much of this, because it is a very private moment for her.  She is in pain, and most people like to be left alone to suffer through it. 

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We called the police, and although they did follow up on the phone, they haven't sent anyone over to talk to her yet, and this morning they called and were trying to get out of sending someone because they're very busy.  I made it quite clear I expect an officer here, not just to take down her testimony, but to comfort her.  She specifically said last night (she had alot of trouble sleeping, so there was lots of talking) that she would have felt safer had they come by.

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I told her that the priority is to find him so he doesn't get to finish what she put an end to yesterday.

I'm proud of her, how she handled herself, and made sure she knows how very strong she is, and how what happened was perhaps avoidable, but it DID happen, and she handled that trial with aplomb.  Frances happens to be a star athelete, so I'm sure buddy felt that kick.

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Of course, empowering her means not only making her aware of and informing her of danger, but arming her with the weapons she needs to get the leg up in case it ever happens again.  As it is today, she flat out refuses to walk the path ever again.  She was never allowed to walk in the dark, but now we have a couple more rules in place...

In the future, she and her friends will be walking Simcoe, IN THE DAYLIGHT.  (although I have walked down Simcoe in the dark many many times, and NEVER had an issue).  Always where there are people in large quantities so at least you have witnesses.  Scary men don't do bad things in the daylight, or in front of other people. 

And although she doesn't have the courage to yet, cause she's still healing, she will be walking the path escorted from now on... at ANY time of day.

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I think that the Block Parent Association, now that it's gotten it's funding from City Hall, should not only get signs in people's windows, but organize it so that a trustworthy adult can escort these kids and make sure they're safe.  There's always someone trustworthy around anyways, and perhaps little old couples walking their dogs could use some company and conversation.  Little girls should not be put away in towers because there are bad people out there.  But if we value them, and are so intent on protecting their innocence, we should make sure that they are treated like the treasures they are....

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And send a cop around to rebuild their trust in humanity when we fail.

T.