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I lived in Puerto Rico for six months, working with horses as a tour guide. I walked the same path on the beach, at the same time, every day. I grew up in a safe, small country town—I didn't know how foolish I was. I didn't know I was being watched. I didn't know the man behind me had no good intentions, from the very moment he began walking behind me the length between work and home. It was the middle of the day. He waited until I was crossing between the trees to my neighborhood before his arms were around me. He threw me to the ground, and his thumb pressed into my carotid artery. I couldn't scream, I couldn't breathe. I grabbed his throat and his manhood and used the little strength I had left to get him off me. My neighbors called the cops, none of whom spoke English. I had to be so strong, and I was so very alone. I'm still horrified of strange men, and am always armed.

I want to share my story, because I need girls like me to know they're not alone.

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