Twenty years ago, I asked the State of Colorado for help. I was answered by the law, a seemly minor change to the sexual assault code. The Colorado legislature passed a law in the late 1980's declaring that one's marital status was no longer a shield, or defence for the most heinous of crimes between a husband and a wife. Marital Rape.
It was not a trail I ever looked to blaze in my young life, being 32 at the time. We also had three daughters. Rising on the shields of detectives from the Ft. Collins Police Department, the District Attorney's Office of the Eighth Judicial District. A challenge was called out to the courts to affirm what had been decided by the Colorado legislature. My then husband confessing his guilt on the stand went on to plead guilty.
History called and was answered for the protection of me, our daughters and other women who have followed these past twenty years. I am truly proud of each and every one of you. It is my deepest hope you are healing. That your children thrive. Asked, would I do it again. The simple reply is, with the help of God, yes I would.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault. Call someone. Please do not hide your wounds because you do not think there will come an answer for you as you are married to your perpetrator. You will be answered in the State of Colorado.
I am proud to be a citizen of Colorado, The United States of America, which did affirm my divine rights as a human being, a wife and mother to my children.
It was not until I went on to college that I learned about Mary Wollstonecraft and the mere fact that women and one husband who were indeed McClintocks did stand in Seneca Falls New York with Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Forming what was to be known as the Declaration of Sentiments of the Rights of Women. This had taken place on July 19-20, 1848. Being the first convention specifically devoted to the issue of women's rights, the convention's goal was to address "the social, civil and religious rights of women." I was amazed that my flesh and blood was there in Mary Ann McClintock and Barbara McClintock along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
The Declaration of Sentiments summed up the current state of women's rights in the United States and served notice that women would no longer stand for being treated inequitably. I believe they were with me in spirit in the courtroom on the day of sentencing along with the souls of those women who went before me and whose calls for help were never heard.
They were answered at my soon to be ex-husbands, sentencing. I place my effort in the hands of God and providence and was given life and light to which I have spoken to many about since then.
You never know until you stand up for your rights what may come. My life was saved that day. I am happily remarried and have found in my second husband today, a respectful, loving relationship. Not one based on fear, control and pain. For me, it is no more. If you are a victim, do not stand in silence, for it will be your death. Get help and answer the call that we shall be treated with full rights as citizens of the United States of America.