Missing for over a month, 19-year old college student Brianna Denison was finally found last Friday. Her badly decomposed body was discovered dumped amidst trash in a brush covered field. She had been raped and strangled.
DNA evidence has linked her case to two other attacks that occurred near the university campus. Police are warning of a serial rapist-killer on the loose and are asking women to avoid situations that will put them at risk. Rape whistles have been distributed to female university students.
Whistles are not weapons. You cannot fight back with a whistle - and you must always, always, fight back.
Last summer I wrote, choking back tears the whole time, about stories like this - women and girls as prey. I decided then I was not going to be that girl, that ghost on your evening news, lost forever or found, my body unrecognizable from decay.
I often think that so many crimes against women could be stopped if only women chose to fight back. Some would say that it might make you no better than the person committing acts of violence against you, that it might be unladylike, unfeminine, that it goes against a woman's nurturing and loving nature. False. What fighting back might make you is alive to see another day and free to choose the type of woman you want to be.