Assaulted on campus: How I prayed

Originally appeared on

One afternoon during my sophomore year of college, I walked out of a literature class with my friend. It was a warm autumn day, and the leaves of the maple trees on campus had turned a beautiful bright orange and yellow. So we decided to read our assignment outdoors.

We walked to the school’s canoe dock, where we could sit and study with our feet dangling in the river. On the way, we passed the tennis courts and said hello to a guy we were friends with who was playing tennis with other students. Then, we strolled across the width of the football field and down a small hill to the water. After kicking off our shoes, we sat down on the edge of the dock and were soon engrossed in our work.

At one point, I heard a sound and turned to see my friend standing up. The next thing I knew, a large young man—a complete stranger— jumped on top of me, knocking me flat on my back and pinning me to the dock. Since the side of my body was just inches from the edge of the dock and the man was so much bigger than I, it seemed impossible to fight him off. His intent was clear.

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