Features

I Would Like You to Know My Name

How My Life Changed After That Night in South Park

I Would Like You to Know My Name

Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch

My name is Jennifer Hopper, and I am the survivor of the South Park attacks of July 19, 2009.

My family calls me Jenny. My friends call me Jen. And my late partner, Teresa Butz, often called me J-Hop.

For the past two years, I have been known as "the surviving victim of the South Park rapes and murder," or simply as "Butz's partner." And for the most part, I have been grateful for the protective bubble given to me by the media. But I am now ready to be known in a new way.

At first, I was afraid to be known more fully. Over time, it became more about protecting my professional life. Most recently, I felt that revealing my identity might somehow cloud the focus of the trial of Isaiah Kalebu, the man who on July 1 was found guilty of entering uninvited, as we slept, into the home that Teresa and I shared in South Park, where he raped us, murdered Teresa, and attempted to murder me.

It didn't matter who I was, I thought as I went through this process. I was known by name to my family and my friends, but anonymous to the general public, and that was fine. The only thing that mattered was what had happened. Who was lost.

Today, at 38, I find myself craving to have my identity back.

I am prepared to have my name enter the public realm. I know this may be naive, but I believe I should be able to be fine in my professional life—my whole life, really—and have it be known that this happened to me. In fact, having learned how to survive this may even have made me stronger and more able to manage the normal, workaday ups and downs.

Mostly, I no longer want to give off the impression that I'm afraid to be known, or that I might be ashamed of anything that happened that night.

I am not afraid. I am not ashamed.

I am still here. And I will still be here long after Kalebu is sentenced on August 12 (assuming the sentencing happens as planned). I realize that interest in this crime and its consequences will probably fade after he's sent to prison, and before that occurs I want to use what interest remains to say a few things.

While I'm saying all of this under my own name, which is new, I'm saying it without my image attached, which is as it's been since the attacks. It will be a little while longer before I feel comfortable with my image being out there. It's still jarring for me to see Teresa's pictures on television, feel the private being made public, watch this great love of my life being reduced to an evening news story.

I also worry that an image can be easily skewed.

Also, and on a more personal level, I haven't wanted to see the pain in my own face since this happened to us, and I still don't. It's enough to feel it. To have it captured forever—I'm not ready for that.

* * *

I chose The Stranger as my medium to speak because I believe the work done in these pages by Eli Sanders over the past two years has created a three-dimensional picture not only of the recent trial, but of the psychology of the crime itself. His writing brought humanity to my personal horror, and I will always be grateful to have been interpreted by his honest voice. I am also grateful that people I have never met before were brave enough to read what was often uncomfortably truthful.

To everyone who witnessed our journey through Eli's words: Thank you for listening. I am less alone because of your bravery.

It's impossible to describe in words how it has all been, but the closest I've come is this: It's as if on July 19, 2009, someone grabbed me by the scruff of my neck, lifted me up, and dropped me headfirst into another life. Suddenly, you can't go home. Your home is a crime scene.

Today, there is very little I say or do that isn't tainted by residual fear, grief, longing, or the process of healing. I'm still sad, I still miss Teresa, my life is still turned upside down. I'm less trusting than I once was, I'm wary of strangers, I'm hypervigilant about my surroundings.

For about 18 months after the attack, I couldn't sleep at night. My mind was afraid that if I closed my eyes, I would open them to something terrifying. My body was exhausted, but my mind couldn't stop being on guard. Eventually, I was able to sleep with the light on. I still never sleep alone, and I still sometimes wake up, in the dark, absolutely sure that I've heard someone walking around in the house. I have to dig deep into my reserves, reassure myself that I'm safe, and trust that it will fade in time.

And while it does, I long for the innocence I experienced before Kalebu entered our lives.

People consistently ask me how I feel about the guilty verdict and whether I'm glad that the whole trial circus—the outbursts, the swallowed pencil, the negotiations over restraints, the talk of supposed orders from God—is finally over. Of course I'm glad it's over. Of course I'm grateful that he has a mandatory life sentence coming, that he'll never be out there in the world, free to hurt others, ever again.

But it doesn't change anything. Teresa is still gone. I was still raped and almost killed. The pain doesn't go away with a guilty verdict. Wouldn't it be amazing if it did? Wouldn't it be incredible if a guilty verdict meant that Teresa could come back and live out her life? Wouldn't it be wonderful if the woman we, her family and friends, now remember on the anniversary of her death by enjoying some of the simple pleasures that used to make her smile—Imo's pizza, Bud Light, music—could once again enjoy them herself?

Still, the trial was necessary, important, another event with an impact that's hard to describe in words. I have a dear friend who was there every single day, along with my stepfather, listening to every argument and looking at every single piece of evidence. Other friends, many bequeathed to me by Teresa, came as often as they could. I love them all like family, because that's what we've all become since Teresa left us. My amazing mother, and Teresa's parents and relatives, who mean more to me than I can say—they were all there, too. They have their own grief, but they also have taken on a part of mine—for me, by hearing me—and there's a sort of relief in that.

While I followed the trial closely, I only attended a small portion: my testimony of course, Kalebu's short and strange testimony, the closing arguments, and the delivery of the verdict. The rest was filled in for me by others and by the various news channels—an odd experience, sitting there on my couch, watching reports of what had occurred in court on some particular day, as if this was something that happened to someone else.

The thing that comes back to me most vividly from news reports is the 911 call from the young woman who happened to be up late with some friends that night and ran to help us—hearing my screams in the background of her call, being taken back to that moment, experiencing it all from an outsider's view. It's beyond surreal, to recognize yourself living the worst moments of your life and being somehow distant from the proceedings. It has been this way from the start.

You have to compartmentalize to go on after something like this. You put it all away and go about your day. Eventually, you start to wonder if it really happened. And then you hear the screams and you see the dash-cam video, hear the 911 call, and you remember. Yes. This happened. This happened and Teresa is gone. This happened and I somehow made it to the other side. It's a very strange place to be, but there's this nice bridging that occurs by sharing the then and the now, and sharing it right now, here in public. It's almost as if the Jen of today gets to say to the Jen of July 19, 2009, "I'm so sorry this happened."

But, also, it's the worst thing in the world to have to say some of the words I said on the witness stand, the words of violence and sexual violence. Especially in front of people who know you, and who don't necessarily know that part of you. I have empathy for everyone who has to decide whether to do such a thing—and I know many choose not to testify against their attackers. I know they have reasons, and that often those reasons are connected to the way our culture can sometimes make the attacked feel more guilty than the attacker. But at the same time, I never once questioned whether I could testify. I know the truth. There's nothing anyone can say that could ever take that away from me. I also knew I would testify because if I didn't, nothing would change.

A part of me was hoping that when I heard the word "guilty," I would feel this incredible relief—you know, movie-script ending, everyone sails away into the sunset and is happy again. Yes, there was a relief that Kalebu wasn't found "not guilty," that everyone did the right thing and the system worked.

But there's also this lack of satisfaction.

In a way, I felt like I lost Teresa all over again; this was the very last thing I could do for her. You feel a little helpless when you realize there's nothing out there in the future that might make you feel better. Except time. You know that time heals. And hope.

What I really want, I now realize, is peace.

And I know now, after this trial, that justice does not bring peace. It only brings justice.

* * *

So here I am, days away from the sentencing of the man who killed my beloved Teresa and almost succeeding in killing me. I have the option to speak at his August 12 sentencing hearing, the opportunity to deliver a "Victim Impact Statement" about how this crime has affected my life.

It's strange. I have this opportunity to say pretty much whatever I want to him, yet there are no words. There's no language for that. As a result, part of me doesn't want to say anything.

But how do I not speak to him during my one chance?

So I'm left with this riddle: How do I find the words, Isaiah Kalebu, to tell you what you took from me?

If I were to address you right now, I would say: I'll never understand what made you capable of such cruelty, and I absolutely believe that you deserve to go to prison. But I don't hate you. I never wanted you put to death. I don't want revenge. In fact, with each day that goes by, I think of you less and less.

I want, though, to say something to your mother, Denise Kalebu: I am so sorry your family was destroyed by this. Thank you for your honesty and bravery in the courtroom. I wish you peace.

Still, I don't know what I'll actually say on August 12. It's still forming. Maybe writing this will help me figure it out.

I know he doesn't deserve my heart. But I feel that I should say something heartfelt—just in case, through some fluke of fate or justice, some parole board decades in the future needs to know.

I will say the legal and social health system never let me down through this trial. I'm so grateful I want to name names: Lucy, my counselor; Diane Priest, my advocate; Seattle police detectives Dana Duffy and Dave Duty, my truth seekers; King County prosecutors James Konat and Brian McDonald, paralegal Cheryl Woods, and the entire prosecution team, my truth tellers; King County Superior Court judge Michael Hayden; the citizens who made up the jury. Thank you all for listening. Thank you for hearing. Thank you for believing me. Thank you for doing the right thing.

* * *

At the end of the day, there is nothing that can make this wrong right again. No final words or punishment can undo what's been done.

So as I prepare to close this chapter—somehow, a few days from now, with words yet to be determined—and begin my walk into the next chapter, I want to look, as much as I can, toward the positive, toward the future.

There is a lot of good that has come out of this horror, and a lot that can still come.

Already, I have been given the gift of focus by some special angels in my life. Brandi Carlile and Kim Bogucki, who formed Fight the Fear Campaign (www.fightthefearcampaign.com), and in Teresa's name have created a program that has taught hundreds of women the art of self-defense. Jean Fox and Rachel Ebeling, Teresa's lifelong friends, who founded the Angel Band Project (www.angelbandproject.org), which created an album honoring Teresa's life. Its proceeds aid the Voices and Faces Project (www.voicesandfaces.org), an effort that itself was created "to give voice and face to survivors of sexual violence" and to offer "a sense of solidarity to those who have lived through rape and abuse while raising awareness of how this human rights and public health issue impacts victims, families, and communities."

I call Brandi, Kim, Jean, and Rachel angels not only because they are four of the most incredible people I have ever known, but because they gave me purpose—gave me something to do at a time when I so desperately needed to connect to something bigger than the loss. Something more powerful than the fear. They helped heal my heart and my mind with their passion and generosity, and I lack the words to express my gratitude.

Perhaps I can demonstrate my purpose and gratitude, though, by writing this. Perhaps I can encourage others to share their stories of violence and sexual violence in whatever way they can.

While it was a great honor to be called the bravest woman in Seattle in this newspaper, I'm pretty much just like you. I wake up in the morning and I do my best to get through the day. I laugh and I cry. I have big dreams and make mistakes (sometimes huge ones). I draw strength from others, especially my friends, who always seem to know what to say, when to laugh, when to do nothing at all. They show up—even when I can't say the same for myself.

One of the biggest parts of that strength comes from being loved and believed in by my 95-year-old grandma. She tells me that she loves me at least once a day, and when I sat down and told her what happened that night, she never questioned my ability to handle it all. She is the strongest woman I know, and I am glad to have discovered that I am more like her than I thought. When everyone else was so worried that I was going to crack into a million pieces, she just said: "You're going to be okay. You're going to be fine." I thought: "Okay. She believes in my ability to be strong. And so I'm just going to be that."

Many women don't report rapes, and among those who do, many don't testify. I understand why. There can be such a level of shame, and the conversation out there, a lot of the time, is: What did the women do to bring this on? In our case: Why was your window open that night?

Well, that's not why we were raped.

Or, in other cases, that the woman wore a short skirt or opened the door to a stranger. And trials can end up being about whether the woman is lying or what else she did to supposedly try to make this occur. I know they were just doing their jobs, but I felt the defense attorneys tried to do this to me at some points.

All I can say is that I think there is tremendous power in testifying, in saying, "This happened to me." And if you can, showing that you have a name, a voice, and—hey, I know, this is one of the hardest parts because it's more than I'm ready to do right now—a face.

So when people say, "Oh, you're so brave," I say, "I don't know."

I don't think I'm special. I don't think I'm this awesome, amazing individual. I don't. I struggle every day. It's taken bravery to make the choice to get up every day and not stay in my room and pretend it didn't happen. And I'm proud of that.

But sometimes crazy stuff happens and we're called on to be brave, and I don't think I've done anything different than anyone else would do. Anyway, bravery isn't always a solitary thing. All these people in my life have helped. You, by listening to my story, have helped.

Finally—but, really, firstly—Teresa's bravery has helped. When someone saves your life, and her life is taken in the process, how can you let it go to waste?

You can't.

I feel that all the time.

So I try to be the best person I can be and try to make the most of the life Teresa saved. It's not easy. (Did I mention that?) There have been dark, painful moments. But there have been incredible, delicious, blissful, and hopeful moments as well. I have a beautiful and brave new girlfriend. She has had to witness much of the fear and grief right along with me, all while keeping an open and hopeful heart. She is strong and loving, and makes me laugh like no other. I couldn't have gotten through the best or the worst without her.

I know that I want to be truly happy again, like I was on those last few days I shared with Teresa, and I firmly believe that second chances are possible. So I will keep working toward mine.

I'll never be the same person I was on July 18, 2009. Yet I am proud of the woman I've become.

I'm in a good place. As good as can be. recommended

 

Comments (300) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
MasMadness 1
Amazing. Thanks for this, and be well.
Posted by MasMadness on August 10, 2011 at 9:56 AM · Report this
2
You are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Posted by teamcanada on August 10, 2011 at 9:57 AM · Report this
alithea 3
what an incredible contribution. thank you for sharing your story.
Posted by alithea on August 10, 2011 at 9:57 AM · Report this
4
I am so sorry for your loss. Peace and comfort to you and your loved ones. Thank you for sharing this.
Posted by mrs.america on August 10, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
5
Wow. Thanks.
Posted by clint on August 10, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 6
thanks for your grace and strength, for your continued healing and your reclamation of your life and purpose. stay strong. stay well.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on August 10, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
7
What can you even say? That was beautiful.
Posted by Cappelletti on August 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM · Report this
8
Thank you. This was amazing. I wish you kindness and strength on your path to peace, and am so very grateful for your honesty in sharing this.
Posted by Kumquat on August 10, 2011 at 10:37 AM · Report this
9
Such a wonderful, big heart. You are an inspiration. May you be happy and whole. Know that we all remember Teresa with you, with love. Thank you for teaching us about strength, honor, love, life, and how they can triumph over darkness.
Posted by DianeSEA on August 10, 2011 at 10:52 AM · Report this
sikandro 10
Thank you.
Posted by sikandro on August 10, 2011 at 10:55 AM · Report this
11
We've never met, but I have thought of you every week -- sometimes every day -- since that horrific night in South Park.

Without even knowing you, I think of you as a friend. And, as such, I say: thank you, Jen. You are beautiful, Jen.

Sending you thoughts of hope, and peace, and strength, and condolence.
Posted by kerri harrop http://generalbonkers.com on August 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Report this
12
Thank you for your strength, Jennifer Hopper.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on August 10, 2011 at 11:28 AM · Report this
13
I wish you continued strength. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Posted by planned barrenhood on August 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Womyn2me 14
Jennifer. I think of you and Teresa often. I wish with all my heart and soul that I didn't have to, that July 19th never happened.

Peace be with you, sister.

Laura
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\www.shelleyandlaura.com on August 10, 2011 at 11:44 AM · Report this
15
Thank you so much for this. By sharing your story so candidly, you have had such a positive impact on more people than you will ever possibly know.
Thank you for your strength, I wish you every happiness in the world.
Posted by hd on August 10, 2011 at 12:03 PM · Report this
16
Thank you for writing this. I am so sorry for the incredible pain you have endured. I wish peace and hope for you and all who have gone through this with you.
Posted by karion on August 10, 2011 at 12:05 PM · Report this
17
Jennifer, I'm so proud of you. You have served our city extremely well by telling the truth. You did so last fall when you stood up and defended the victim advocate program, too. You are a strong, courageous woman.
Posted by CouncilmanTim on August 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM · Report this
18
Thank you for writing this. I wish you peace.
Posted by Katherine on August 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM · Report this
19
jennifer: tears of sadness, gratitude, hope, and blessings, being shed for you, for myself, and for the others who know this horror. thank you for sharing your voice with us.
Posted by gracey on August 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM · Report this
victoriastar 20
"We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Posted by victoriastar http://amyl.onsugar.com/ on August 10, 2011 at 12:16 PM · Report this
21
Nice to see the Stanger advertise prositution on the same page of a rape victim. And they have the nerve to attact the Seattle Weekly
Posted by steelcoyot on August 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
22
Thank you, thank you so much. Every young girl and woman should read your story so if (and too likely, when) something happens to them, they can draw upon your bravery and strength.

-Still Nameless
Posted by StillNameless on August 10, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
23
Thank you for writing this piece, Jennifer. Like many others, I don't know you but have thought of you and admired you and wished the best for you. It's great to hear from you directly, in your voice. I wish you happiness and fulfillment as you continue your journey.
Posted by amy r on August 10, 2011 at 12:43 PM · Report this
6 24
<3
Posted by 6 on August 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM · Report this
25
Thank you for honoring us with your story and name. All the very best to you, Jen!
Posted by uhhnananana on August 10, 2011 at 1:08 PM · Report this
26
I wish you peace.

I would be remiss however, to not question one of the statements in this piece.

You say, "I'll never understand what made you (the murderer) capable of such cruelty". Yet, he WAS capable of such acts. What's wrong with asking HOW? For every reaction there is an action. In other words, there ARE reasons why this individual found himself in that specific place in that specific frame of mind. Some of them may not be pleasant, politically correct or socially acceptable but what's certain is that somewhere, somehow this man fell off the rails and you can be sure he didn't get there without a healthy dose of neglect, belligerence, ignorance or do-goodism entirely out of his doing.
Posted by Hozohalloran on August 10, 2011 at 1:18 PM · Report this
27
Jennifer -- I too am a survivor (Jewish Federation shooting of July, '08). Your story rings like a pure series of belltones; I feel like you read my own mind as you wrote. Funny the heroes we share: Diane Priest, my advocate; Seattle police detectives Dana Duffy and Dave Duty, my truth seekers. They are truly wonderful people, aren't they?!

Cheryl
Posted by uujew? on August 10, 2011 at 1:42 PM · Report this
28
In my mind you and Teresa are heroes. The fact that you are just like the rest of us, yet found the strength to go on is an incredible inspiration. If you can go through something like this and continue, there is nothing the rest of us can't overcome too. You are an amazing, incredible person. I wish my words could do something to give back what was taken from you. I hope at least there is some comfort knowing that you are loved and admired by the community.
Posted by hifiandrew on August 10, 2011 at 2:10 PM · Report this
29
xoxo
Posted by laceyswain on August 10, 2011 at 2:33 PM · Report this
30
Now that I have wiped my tears, I wish for you PEACE. I have followed your and Teresa's story with pain and now with a smile.

Tracy
Posted by Peanuts on August 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM · Report this
aimistrue 31
Thank you, Jennifer. I will never forget this.
Posted by aimistrue on August 10, 2011 at 2:49 PM · Report this
32
I am glad to know your name because now I'll never forget it. I don't know you, but I'm a survivor, too, and I draw such strength from your -- and Teresa's -- courage. You ARE the bravest woman in Seattle, and possibly the world. Thank you for showing us who you are. Interest in this crime and its consequences will never fade for me. I am palpably relieved that he is behind bars, and I will never forget. But I am so happy and proud that you are moving on. I don't know how it's possible that you are so strong and so free of vengeance (*I* wanted him put to death, and he wasn't my attacker), but I salute you, because if that's possible, anything is possible. You are amazing. May your road be easier from now on. I know it is easier for many other survivors because you told the truth, the whole truth and then your name. You're an inspiration and so many people who have never met you love you, including me.
Posted by Ramona Quimby on August 10, 2011 at 2:57 PM · Report this
33
Thank you. I too have thought about you many times since hearing about this horrific ordeal and I hope for the best for you. Your strength and courage are an inspiration.
Posted by DevoutAtheist on August 10, 2011 at 2:59 PM · Report this
34
"If one woman were to tell the truth about her life, the whole world would split open."
-- Muriel Rukheyser
Posted by Ramona Quimby on August 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM · Report this
35
Dear Jeniffer:
My hero, my peace, my hope! I don't have words to express how grateful I am for everything you have done for us! Yes! we need more people like you, with courage and strenght. I admire you and respect you for ever. Sorry for the lost of your Teresa, but thanks to her I finally found my peace and I am sure for others as well. Many warm hugs! Pilar
Posted by Pilar on August 10, 2011 at 3:09 PM · Report this
36
The humanity of your thoughts shakes me to my core! Thank you for sharing & I wish you continued hope, healing and peace.
Posted by tntxo on August 10, 2011 at 3:11 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 37
Following your painful, beautiful, heartfelt words, mine own will seem so unsubstantial. So I will only say, thank you, and may happiness find you from this day forward.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on August 10, 2011 at 3:12 PM · Report this
38
The humanity of your thoughts shook me to my core! Thank you for sharing, I wish you continued hope, healing and peace Jennifer.
Posted by tntxo on August 10, 2011 at 3:14 PM · Report this
39
Amazing. Writing this piece reinforced that you probably are the bravest woman in Seattle. It's an honor to meet you Jennifer.
Posted by George Morse on August 10, 2011 at 3:15 PM · Report this
40
There is no better definition of grace than you.
Posted by jfr2ls on August 10, 2011 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Acupunk 41
I'm sorry for your loss.
Posted by Acupunk on August 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM · Report this
Geni 42
I wish you peace, and I think Eli well named you The Bravest Woman in Seattle. You do honor to Teresa's name, and bring hope and strength to survivors of violence every day with your example.

I have often wondered, since reading the first accounts of the attack, how I would cope with something so nearly unimaginable. Few would show the courage and grace that you have done.

Peace.
Posted by Geni on August 10, 2011 at 3:34 PM · Report this
Nutsy 43
You *are* amazing, Jennifer. Best to you.
Posted by Nutsy on August 10, 2011 at 3:49 PM · Report this
44
There are no other words than thank you.
Posted by analemma on August 10, 2011 at 3:51 PM · Report this
45
Thank you for your words, and bless you on your lifelong journey. I, too, think of you often, and can only hope during the harder times all of these collective thoughts can buoy your spirit in some way.
Posted by seattlemuse on August 10, 2011 at 3:53 PM · Report this
46
Thank you for, yet again, being brave... brave enough to share this with us. I wish you the very best that life can offer you, after having to endure the worst that can be endured. Thank you.
Posted by science chick on August 10, 2011 at 3:56 PM · Report this
47
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I'm horrified by what you had to face, but amazed and inspired by your strength. Thank you, thank you.
Posted by redhead on August 10, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
48
Thank you for sharing. I think about you and Teresa often and send you positive energy, peace and blessings.
Posted by nordman61 on August 10, 2011 at 4:26 PM · Report this
49
Jennifer: as a sleep guardian I recommend a dog. Perhaps an Irish Wolfhound. Or a large Golden Retriever. Seriously.

Posted by justadummynameforregistration on August 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM · Report this
50
Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I wish you peace and love always.
Posted by clumbergirl on August 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
51
Jennifer,

Words seem so inadequate, but I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have never met you but have thought of you so many times over the past two years and wondered how you are doing. I've also wondered how I would find the strength to survive something as horrific as what you experienced. You may not think you're special or amazing, but you really are. Your grace and courage have been an inspiration to countless people, including myself.
Yes, media interest may fade after the sentencing, but I will not forget you, or Teresa. It made me smile to read that you have a new girlfriend and are moving forward. You are an incredible woman, Jennifer. I wish you peace and love and joy on your journey.
Posted by Compass Rose on August 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Josie H 52
Jen-

I'm Donna. It's nice to meet you. Welcome back to your identity.

You are important. You went thru the fire for Theresa and did not shy away. Well done.

I wish you peace and healing.

I'm sorry for your unspeakable loss, and the terrible toll the justice system took on you.

Peace- Donna
Posted by Josie H on August 10, 2011 at 4:47 PM · Report this
53
Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing those of us who have followed this story, to hear your voice. Because of your reflections and honesty, you are helping victims of sexual violence and abuse. I honor your bravery and candor. Be well and know there are many out here that hold a little piece of you and Teresa in our hearts.
Posted by kerala on August 10, 2011 at 4:58 PM · Report this
54
Thank you, Jen. You. Are. Amazing. Like many of the commenters I have been thinking of you and worrying for you and wishing for you that this had never happened and admiring your strength as you put one foot in front of the other after enduring what I feel sure I never could. Thank you so much for the note, you're even braver and stronger than I thought.
Posted by toomanyguitars on August 10, 2011 at 4:59 PM · Report this
procupcake 55
Wow. I'm moved and inspired. Thank you so much for sharing. I wish you peace and every happiness.
Posted by procupcake on August 10, 2011 at 5:02 PM · Report this
56
Thank you for sharing, you give hope and enlightenment for those who also struggle with survival. Positive energy exudes from your words and that is a wonderful gift you are giving to readers. Thank you.
Posted by needstoremainnameless on August 10, 2011 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Josie H 57
Jen-

I'm Josie. It's nice to meet you. Welcome back to your identity.

You are important. You went thru the fire for Theresa and did not shy away. Well done.

I wish you peace and healing.

I'm sorry for your unspeakable loss, and the terrible toll the justice system took on you.

Peace.
Posted by Josie H on August 10, 2011 at 5:07 PM · Report this
58
We've never met, but I have thought of you every week -- sometimes every day -- since that horrific night in South Park. You see I lived less than 3 blocks away and my window was also open that night.

Your strength and grace is truely inspiring.

Thank you for sharing your story with us. Peace be with you my friend.
Posted by auctionannie on August 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM · Report this
59
Jen,
We've never met, but I have thought of you every week -- sometimes every day -- since that horrific night in South Park. You see I lived less than 3 blocks away and that night my window was unlocked too!

Your strength and grace is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.

Sending you thoughts of peace, ease and happiness.
Posted by auctionannie on August 10, 2011 at 5:24 PM · Report this
60
Jennifer, you really are the bravest woman in Seattle. I wish you peace and healing. I will never forget you or Teresa.
Posted by the miller test on August 10, 2011 at 5:28 PM · Report this
johnyawl 61
Our true character is what we show, when the worse befalls us. You're an amazing woman, Jennifer Hopper. All the best to you.
Posted by johnyawl on August 10, 2011 at 5:28 PM · Report this
62
'I have a beautiful and brave new girlfriend.' She fails to mention that she and her new girlfriend have been together for 2 years now.
Posted by Gosh on August 10, 2011 at 5:44 PM · Report this
63 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Fnarf 64
May you seek out and find as many small and large happinesses as you can. You will need them. The horror you have survived will never leave you, but I hope and pray that you will find peace. You are righteous, and Seattle loves you.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on August 10, 2011 at 6:11 PM · Report this
65
Jennifer, thank you for the courage to write this and the courage you showed in testifying. Your hope is inspirational, and I wish you the very best.
Posted by Kaliann on August 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM · Report this
66
Thank you for sharing your story, Jen. I wish you peace.
Posted by surfergirl on August 10, 2011 at 6:19 PM · Report this
67
Thank you for sharing your painful story and your amazing journey! You write beautifully and it touched my heart and soul.
Posted by jacio on August 10, 2011 at 6:21 PM · Report this
68
Exactly what Fnarf said. Thank you so very much.
Posted by Lo on August 10, 2011 at 6:36 PM · Report this
ikahana 69
Out of one of the most horrific, brutal stories I've ever heard about in the place I call home, comes such an amazing story of survival, grace, strength, wisdom, love and peace. Jennifer - thank you so much for sharing your name and voice and story. The entire community is here for you.
Posted by ikahana http://psychotomimeticraindrops.blogspot.com/ on August 10, 2011 at 7:18 PM · Report this
70
I wish you peace.
Posted by Merz on August 10, 2011 at 7:23 PM · Report this
71
Honesty is courage. Thank you, Jennifer Hopper. May you dwell in peace.
Posted by Thel on August 10, 2011 at 7:26 PM · Report this
72
This is, perhaps one of the most powerful and poignant articles I have read in years.

Thank you for your courage, honesty, inflection and most importantly your willingness to share this experience.

It is truly humbling...

Posted by shakes57 on August 10, 2011 at 7:32 PM · Report this
73
Jennifer.

It's all been said here, but not yet from me. Thank you for writing this. Go forward and live the rest of your life to its fullest.

Peace and Love,

~John
Posted by Johnston on August 10, 2011 at 7:39 PM · Report this
74
Thank you for giving us the gift of your powerful voice Jen. Seattle is lucky to count you amongst us.
You are a remarkably strong writer. I hope you continue with it.
Posted by Dedalus on August 10, 2011 at 7:41 PM · Report this
75
Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am so incredibly touched by what you shared. I can relate to so much of what you wrote, especially about so suddenly being thrust into a new life after such a horrible trauma. I see so much bravery and courage in you, I thought that all through the news coverage of the trial. I wish you the best and will keep you in my heart.
Posted by donna_r on August 10, 2011 at 7:43 PM · Report this
76
Jennifer- my heart aches for you and for the loss you and your loved ones have endured. You are empowering not only yourself but countless others in sharing your journey to find peace. Thank you.
Posted by gulfcoast on August 10, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
77
Jennifer,

Your courage is admirable, I wish more people had your character and sensibilities. The world would be much better off if it were so. I hope your healing continues and you regain some peace in your world.

Posted by rc65 on August 10, 2011 at 7:57 PM · Report this
bklyn 78
Thank you for this. I appreciate your honesty and bravery very much.
Posted by bklyn on August 10, 2011 at 8:03 PM · Report this
79
Words can't express the profound love and sorrow I felt while reading this. I am in awe of your courage.
Posted by No one of significance on August 10, 2011 at 8:03 PM · Report this
80
Thank you! Courage spawns courage: your gift will echo through all sorts of situations you could hardly expect, people thinking of you and what you've said here, and deciding to be braver in their own lives (as I have because of you).
Posted by SteveSw on August 10, 2011 at 8:05 PM · Report this
81
You say your grandmother is the strongest woman you know, but undoubtedly she has passed along the gift of her strength to you. May you find peace and strength to continue good work in Teresa's name. Many blessings.
Posted by MEW on August 10, 2011 at 8:15 PM · Report this
82
Wow, even though she will deny it, what a special woman. I don't know what she does for a living but she should consider being a writer, this was the best written article if have heard in a long time. I am so sorry that she had to write about such a terrible event. Anyone would be proud and very lucky to have a friend like her.
Posted by Bill S on August 10, 2011 at 8:26 PM · Report this
83
I can't add anything to your words, nor would I try to. I have seen horrible things as a police officer, but I don't know that I've seen someone face the shattered life that is left as you have. I'm glad you have angels in your life. I hope and pray that the rest of your life remains peaceful and as loving as you obviously are. Be well.
Posted by KendallCougs on August 10, 2011 at 8:33 PM · Report this
84
Your courage is an inspiration to everybody.
Posted by Roberto63 on August 10, 2011 at 8:35 PM · Report this
85
Jen~ I am so very proud of you. Your grandma was right "You are going to be okay"! You've shown amazing strength and courage , I am proud to know you.
Posted by momma*T* on August 10, 2011 at 8:47 PM · Report this
86
That you wrote this story shows your strength. That you wrote this story so beautifully shows your grace. May a sense of peace follow you on your journey.
Posted by PennyForYourThoughts on August 10, 2011 at 8:49 PM · Report this
87
First, Jen you are brave. Brave to get up each day and put one foot in front of another. The definition of brave is to do something even though you fear it. Also, if I may be so bold, when you have the chance to speak to that man directly you may want to think about what that act will do for you. You get to say what you need to...don't worry about what he does with the information or if it will change his thoughts. That is not the important part. The important part is that you do it for you. I wish you peace and happiness...your friend (we've only met a few times at Fight The Fear but I consider you a freind)/ex-neighbor. Morgan from South Park.
Posted by Morgan Watson on August 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM · Report this
callingindead 88
Dear Jen,

There isn't a day that has gone by without Robert and I thinking about you and Teresa. It is hard to look next door and not remember the way things used to be. The beautiful Dahlias in the drive way and the happy sounds of laughter coming from the back yard. I am so incredibly proud of you and so happy to hear you are making the most of your 2nd chance. We miss seeing you. I hope we can reconnect soon.

It is weird that the sentencing falls on the same day that the house is up for auction in Bellevue. I so wish I had the money to purchase it and turn it into the transitional housing for families in need that you had thought up. We love you and hope to see you again.

xo Jane
Posted by callingindead on August 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM · Report this
89
My heart hurts for your loss and rages at the same time for your strength and courage. No words can express what I, a perfect stranger, feel inside after following the trial, the story and your account. All I can say is you're not alone. Stay strong.
Posted by silentinsinseattle on August 10, 2011 at 9:07 PM · Report this
90
What courage and bravery in the face of such vulnerability. Peace to you and in your life forever. You've earned it!
Posted by beth64 on August 10, 2011 at 9:22 PM · Report this
91
Good job, Jennifer.
Posted by Phil M http://twitter.com/pmocek on August 10, 2011 at 9:30 PM · Report this
92
Insert every positive emotion possible, Jennifer, into this comment.
Posted by frentic on August 10, 2011 at 9:31 PM · Report this
93
Thank you.
Posted by Keanne on August 10, 2011 at 9:34 PM · Report this
94
Jennifer-
We do not know each other but I have thought of you so often for the past two years, wishing you strength and healing along the way. This article is incredibly moving, your readiness to share your name and your experience is astounding. As others have said, there are few words to express what I've felt for you, the horror you lived through, the love you and Teresa had and your strength to honor that love. My heart goes out to you. You have not been alone. Thank you for letting us in. I wish you and your new love the joy and home you deserve.
Posted by Zed on August 10, 2011 at 9:37 PM · Report this
95
Jen. I love you and admire you more than I can say with mere words. I am so happy you are finding life and love again. I hope your new sweetie understands her important role in all of this and how much we love her too, for making you whole again. You will always live in my heart through your courage, bravery and YOUR heart. Peace to you.

Katie xxxx
Posted by ladybelle on August 10, 2011 at 9:38 PM · Report this
96
Your words astound me and give me hope. We do not know each other but I have thought of you and Teresa often since that terrible day. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Your brave and beautiful spirit shines through your words. I wish you peace and love on the rest of your journey. You are amazing.
Posted by clumbergirl on August 10, 2011 at 10:01 PM · Report this
97
Jennifer Hopper. I am so glad to know your name. We don't know each other but I have thought of you and Teresa countless times in the last 2 years. I diligently followed the progression of the case against Kalebu and the trial. It seemed like the only way to bear witness and send you the courage to continue. I cried every time I read an article, including your own today. What moves me most deeply is your compassion for Denise Kalebu, and your loving gratitude for all those who supported you. You deserve every kindness in the world. You honor Teresa and her love for you--your love for each other--with such beauty and strength. I wish you all the peace there is, in your new life and your new love.
Posted by Zed on August 10, 2011 at 10:08 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 98
Thank you. This is truly inspiring.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 10, 2011 at 10:19 PM · Report this
Hollie 99
Your bravery and compassion is incredibly inspiring, and I wish you years and years of peace. I don't know you, but your writing tells me, it tells us all that you can do this. I'm so deeply sorry for what happened to you and your partner, and the families surrounding all of this. It's so heartening to hear that writing this has helped, that you've had people around you supporting you and helping you. I'm grateful to you for writing this, thank you.
Posted by Hollie on August 10, 2011 at 10:50 PM · Report this
Hollie 100
Your bravery and compassion is incredibly inspiring, and I wish you years and years of peace. I don't know you, but your writing tells me - it tells us all - that you can do this. I'm so deeply sorry for what happened to you and your partner, and the families surrounding this tragedy. It's so heartening to hear that writing this has helped, that you've had people around you supporting you and being there for you. I'm grateful to you for sharing this, thank you.
Posted by Hollie on August 10, 2011 at 10:53 PM · Report this
fourfingersdown 101
No other words, beyond thank you for your bravery. You are a hero.
Posted by fourfingersdown on August 10, 2011 at 11:09 PM · Report this
102
Thank you. Thank you so much for being strong enough to do what needed to be done. Thank you for trying to find happiness after such an event. I cannot imagine what you went through, but I can only offer my deepest sympathies and condolences. You may not think you're the bravest woman in Seattle, but you are by far the bravest/strongest woman that I have ever read about.
Posted by TheManCalledX on August 10, 2011 at 11:12 PM · Report this
103
Jennifer, Like so many others, I have thought of you and Teresa often over the past 2 years. It's only now that I can sleep with my window open, so I cannot even imagine how you have been able to find a place of peace or compassion at all. And yet you have, and you have risked loving again, and you have embraced life in a way that is truly inspiring. I wish you all the best. Karyn
Posted by KarynS on August 10, 2011 at 11:20 PM · Report this
StellaLuna 104
Jen I think of you often and wish you peace and joy in your new life. Words escape me but I want to write something to show that I and the rest of Seattle have stood witness to your and Teresa's story. Love to you.
Posted by StellaLuna on August 10, 2011 at 11:32 PM · Report this
105
Jennifer Hopper, thank you. I can only imagine the guts it took to write these things out, simply, strongly. I wish you good things - calm, clarity and love.
Posted by Steph F. on August 10, 2011 at 11:42 PM · Report this
106
I live in a different country, and I never heard of what happened to you and your partner other than through the stranger. Your story was the hardest one I've ever had to read. I wanted to stop reading it, but it felt like cowardice to do so. You, Theresa, your family, the supporting people in your life sound incredibly strong. Your story both destroys and renews my faith in humanity. Thank you for standing up to this awful man, to this awful system and this awful victim blaming culture. I hope you inspire others to do the same. I am so incredibly proud of women like yourself, and so immensely sorry for your loss. I wish you as much peace and love as you can possibly stand.
Posted by Caralain on August 11, 2011 at 12:40 AM · Report this
107
I have thought of you and Teresa so many times in the last two years. I have wished you so much love. I have never met you, but your story, told through Eli, made me feel like I had. Reading this, your kindness comes across. You are compassionate when many would never be able to. You may not think of your strength or bravery as being special (it is!), but I hope you can see that the level of compassion and understanding you show is rare and exceptional. I wish you all the very best.
Posted by WishingYouLove on August 11, 2011 at 12:42 AM · Report this
108
Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing. I too have thought frequently of you and Teresa ever since I read of the horror of what happened. Always from a place of wishing you peace and love, and later on in pure admiration of your strength. You deserve every piece of happiness, and I am rooting for you to get to that place again.
Posted by JenV on August 11, 2011 at 1:09 AM · Report this
109 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
110
And from the ashes, the Phoenix will rise. Thank you for sharing your story, your identity, your pain, and your joy. You have given voice not just to you but to other victims who cannot, for whatever reasons, use theirs. Thank you.
Posted by miazmommi on August 11, 2011 at 3:18 AM · Report this
111
This is the most beautiful, and beautifully honest article The Stranger has ever published. Thank you, Ms. Hopper, for writing it. We now know that Isaiah Kalebu failed in his destructive endeavor, for although he did deprive you of your chosen love, he could not break your spirit. You have endured more than any human being should ever be asked to survive, and yet you have seen your own way to recovery. It is an honor and a privilege to share your city, and to call myself a member of your species. Every person who reads your amazing words can only hope to equal your strength and grace, should any of us be put to the test you have surpassed. You inspire and redeem us all.
Posted by tensor on August 11, 2011 at 3:25 AM · Report this
112
The only thing I can say to this is that I have a great respect and admiration for your strength, Ms. Hopper, and that wish you the best.
Posted by randomperson on August 11, 2011 at 4:06 AM · Report this
wishicould 113
Jennifer, you are amazing and so strong. I met you last summer at a party when my cousin was moving to Switzerland, and was impressed by your air of sweetness & serenity and your beautiful voice. I have followed Eli Sanders' coverage of the trial, and with each story, my heart went out to you: for your love, your loss, your courage, your bravery. I am so glad you reclaimed your name. Brava! Here's to you and your future - Cheers! Thank you so much for sharing your story. ~ Liana
Posted by wishicould on August 11, 2011 at 5:28 AM · Report this
114
Jennifer Hopper, thank you for sharing your story, sharing your name, sharing your love for Teresa. I wish you all the peace and happiness in the world. I still think of you and Teresa every day, and while I'm not a religious person so I don't pray, I do what Dan Savage's mom used to say -- I keep you both in my thoughts.

I hope you find exactly the words you want and need to say on August 12, and after you say them, I hope you walk outside and take your friend's hand and start the next chapter of your life, whatever it might look like.
Posted by haunted leg on August 11, 2011 at 6:56 AM · Report this
115
Sending prayers for peace and love to surround you. Your sweet Theresa is at peace- I know this in my heart.
People like you- full of compassion and love in the face of such horror- give me great hope for the world into which my children will go. I hope they turn out as well.
Posted by LGROBBINS on August 11, 2011 at 7:06 AM · Report this
116
When a homeless person is murdered often no family or friends can be found. They get buried in a pauper's grave. Sometimes the killer is convicted. There is no one to offer a victim impact statement. Should the killer suffer a less severe sentence for lack of the impact statement? Should a criminal be more harshly sanctioned because an especially heart wrenching impact statement was presented to the court before sentencing?
Posted by steve duncan on August 11, 2011 at 7:09 AM · Report this
bgk 117
May you find Peace Jennifer Hopper. You are brave and strong and righteous and wonderful and have filled me with hope. I would that I could give you some of my innocence, but I can only share my gratitude with you. Thank you so very much for speaking truth to power.
Posted by bgk on August 11, 2011 at 7:55 AM · Report this
118
Ms. Hopper, it was an honor to read this. Thank you for your generosity.
Posted by gloomy gus on August 11, 2011 at 8:00 AM · Report this
Vince 119
Thank you for being the person that future victims of senseless and cruel crimes can look to for their own survival. And thank you for being Teresa's voice in all this. I'm so sorry for your loss, for your ongoing pain. But reading what you wrote makes me sure you'll be fine, like your grandma said.
Posted by Vince on August 11, 2011 at 8:03 AM · Report this
John Horstman 120
Peace be with you, Jennifer Hopper. May your strength server you well and inspire others, as your grandmother's strength did for you.

In addition to the organizations that Jennifer links in her letter, I'd like to suggest that people and particularly men who would like to become involved in rape-prevention advocacy check out Men Can Stop Rape, which might be a more appropriate or fruitful organization through which to work for some than survivor/victim advocacy and empowerment organizations (please still support these, as they are very important). Their approach is to shift discursive and functional responsibility for the prevention of sexual violence to the group from which those responsible for perpetuating it overwhelmingly come (men).
Posted by John Horstman on August 11, 2011 at 8:16 AM · Report this
121
You are a beautiful woman in words Jennifer Hopper. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm truly sorry for your loss and that the events of that night altered your life forever. However I feel greatful that other survivors of sexual violence will have a great campaigner in you.
Posted by SeaGalWino on August 11, 2011 at 8:23 AM · Report this
CodyBolt 122
thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Posted by CodyBolt on August 11, 2011 at 8:28 AM · Report this
seatackled 123
Thank you for your strength and your ability not to be consumed by hate. Good luck to you and your loved ones, Jennifer Hopper.
Posted by seatackled on August 11, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
124
You are a beautiful women Ms Jennifer Hopper. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm truly sorry that the action of one altered so many courses - including yours - but I do appreciate your strength and devotion.
Posted by SeaGalWino on August 11, 2011 at 8:29 AM · Report this
125
Thank you for reminding me that there is life after tragedy. I am battling breast cancer at age 37 and there are days when I feel pretty hopeless. But if you can make it through this, I know I can face my challenges too. Peace to you and your family... and I know you will find happiness again. <3
Posted by ElegantlyEvil on August 11, 2011 at 8:49 AM · Report this
126
I'm not gay but I am not put off by gay people. I have an open mind which could be suprising since I go to church every Sunday. Crimes against women or men in heated violence should be dealt with in a swift manner. My hat is off to you and I am glad you found a new partner.
Peace and many blessings to you... David
Posted by david78947 on August 11, 2011 at 8:51 AM · Report this
127
Thank you for reminding me that there is life after tragedy. I am battling breast cancer at age 37 and there are days when I feel like giving up or crawling into a hole. But reading this - knowing what you have been through and your hopeful attitude reminds me that life is precious and worth the fight. Peace to you, Jennifer. You will be happy again.
Posted by ElegantlyEvil on August 11, 2011 at 8:53 AM · Report this
128
I'm not gay but I am not put off by gay people. I have an open mind which could be suprising since I go to church every Sunday. Crimes against women or men in heated violence should be dealt with in a swift manner. My hat is off to you and I am glad you found a new partner.
Peace and many blessings to you... David
Posted by david78947 on August 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM · Report this
129
Thanks you for your bravery and your courage, Jennifer. Your story is so heartbreaking I couldn't finish the previous story about your and your partner's ordeal just because I could not fully face such horror. But your beautiful article just makes me want to cry because the light of your soul was not dimmed in spite of what you faced. I wish you peace.
Posted by cutler on August 11, 2011 at 9:13 AM · Report this
Paxlotl 130
This is the most dignified thing I've ever heard:
"I don't hate you. I never wanted you put to death. I don't want revenge."
I believe those words because I don't think Jennifer Hopper would be where she is today if she didn't truly feel that way.
Posted by Paxlotl on August 11, 2011 at 9:18 AM · Report this
131
You are an incredible woman, Jennifer Hopper. Thank you for sharing this honest and beautiful piece with us. I know you will find the perfect words to say at sentencing, and I hope that with each day that passes you find more and more peace.
Posted by xoxo44 on August 11, 2011 at 9:32 AM · Report this
sugar2s 132
Thank you for sharing this, and for your bravery and strength. I am so sorry for your great loss, and at the same time so very glad to know that you are surrounded by people who love you.
Posted by sugar2s on August 11, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
willendorf 133
Thank you for your bravery and for sharing your name and your story with us. I wish you many years of peace, love, and happiness.
Posted by willendorf on August 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM · Report this
134
Thank you for writing this, and bless you for your strength in reclaiming your identity. Welcome back, Jennifer! Your grandmother is correct (and a strong woman herself); keep going, keep being who you are, and welcome the love that comes to you in ways large and small. I will always remember this piece as a shining light.
Posted by Sarah in Olympia on August 11, 2011 at 10:25 AM · Report this
135
Jennifer Hopper I think of you and your struggle everyday. I send my love and warm energy to you daily. Your story has touched me and I think of you as a friend. I hope your healing process continues with as little pain as possible.
Posted by Ninjasocks on August 11, 2011 at 10:45 AM · Report this
136
Jen! So proud of you. Beautiful piece. J&C
Posted by jltusc on August 11, 2011 at 11:03 AM · Report this
137
I agree with #130 and it's remarkable.

Jennifer, I have often thought of what happened to you and your partner. It terrifies me to know such things happen. But your bravery truly is inspirational. There's nothing a person cannot overcome. You embody that. I wish you continued strength and peace.
Posted by Brooklyngirl http://www.babbosbooks.com on August 11, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
138
Thank you for sharing this with the world. Seeing you be strong enough to speak, share your thoughts, your feelings, your name, will hopefully encourage more women to do the same in the future.

I wish you great happiness in the rest of your life.
Posted by MargaretM on August 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM · Report this
139
As a fellow survivor, thank you, Ms. Hopper. I never reported, because the attempt had ended up with my attacker more injured than I (he chose...poorly), and I knew there was a good chance I'd be the one ending up defending myself.

So just...thank you. For your bravery, for your empathy, for speaking up. Thank you, from across the continent and across the international border.
Posted by CaitieCat on August 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM · Report this
140
"The pain doesn't go away with a guilty verdict. "

Those words hit a core with me - the path of survival is never-ending, but some where along the way a corner is turned and a survivor will once again find themselves "living" - you're on that path right now -your voice will not only help to heal you, but truly will touch other survivors and those who love them - be well, and continue speaking!
Posted by Eva Marie on August 11, 2011 at 12:31 PM · Report this
141

"The pain doesn't go away with a guilty verdict. "

Those words hit a core with me - the path of survival is never-ending, but some where along the way a corner is turned and a survivor will once again find themselves "living" - you're on that path right now -your voice will not only help to heal you, but truly will touch other survivors and those who love them - be well, and continue speaking!
Posted by Eva Marie on August 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM · Report this
142
Jennifer,

Your account of feeling picked up and dropped into a new life, the inability to sleep, the hypervigilance, these are all very familiar to me. I am a survivor of physical/sexual violence too.

I am knocked out by your bravery. I have been writing about my experiences for some time but have never been able to share my real name. I am too afraid.

You are so kind to say "Many women don't report rapes, and among those who do, many don't testify. I understand why." Every person's psyche is different. Thank you for recognizing that.

I was never able to report, because I was too young and successfully buried my experiences. Until recently, that is. I didn't learn what happened to me until a doctor's visit triggered flashbacks (and the hypervigilance, inability to sleep, etc. etc.) Since then, I have been trying to piece together exactly what happened and how to move through it. It's a rough road, with no end in sight.

Thank you so much for your story and your inclusion of links to fightthefearcampaign.com and voicesandfaces.org. I am so happy to hear you were embraced and have been held during this ordeal. There are so many other survivors who don't know what to do or where to turn. By sharing honestly and including those links you've reached a hand out to anyone survivor who reads your story, and given others something to think about.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.
Posted by apoptotic on August 11, 2011 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Irena 143
I am stunned and humbled by your eloquence. What lovely and loving words. Thank you so much for somehow, amazingly, turning your story from one of fear into one of strength, hope and inspiration.

Posted by Irena on August 11, 2011 at 12:59 PM · Report this
144
I can't say anything that hasn't already been said above, dozens of times over. I think you're amazing.
Posted by melvillean http://onlinerock.com/partners/podcasts.shtml on August 11, 2011 at 1:13 PM · Report this
145
thank you, thank you.
Posted by Chapstick in Heels on August 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM · Report this
146
Love.
Posted by Jen Graves on August 11, 2011 at 1:38 PM · Report this
147
Thank you.
Posted by meganc on August 11, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Jason Eckelman 148
That is the most stunning, beautifully written thing I have ever seen. Your honesty is just breath taking. How you could experience what you have and still be able to write something as life-affirming as this is mind-blowing to me. It's such an honor that you have shared this with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Posted by Jason Eckelman on August 11, 2011 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Anthropomorhpise Me 149
Thank You
Posted by Anthropomorhpise Me on August 11, 2011 at 1:50 PM · Report this
150
Jennifer Hopper. I will never forget your name. I have family in St. Louis who knew Teresa, and we still speak about the senselessness of this brutality. I, too, agree wholeheartedly with #130. Your unwillingness to seek revenge is breath-taking and awe-inspiring, a sign that you are healing and taking back your power. And if it is some small consolation, you should know that I read your piece to my ENGL 101 students today at my community college. Your writing is a perfect example of the immense, limitless capacity for resiliency by the human spirit as well as the catharsis created by the act of writing. Jennifer Hopper. I will never forget your name. Never.
Posted by mike hickey on August 11, 2011 at 1:58 PM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 151
"I am also grateful that people I have never met before were brave enough to read what was often uncomfortably truthful."

Jennifer,

That might be the single most humbling sentence I've ever read. To be called brave by someone as clearly full of courage and strength as you are is...well, words simply fail.

I wish you nothing but the best.

Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on August 11, 2011 at 2:05 PM · Report this
152
I'm crying here at work as I finish your article. Thank you for your honesty, bravery, and open-heartedness. It was such a profound sharing of your self.

I'm so sorry for all you have been through and all you have lost. It is so unbelievable. But I am heartened to hear that you have the courage, heart, and will to move forward with your life, not as who you used to be, but as you are today.

You are in our thoughts.

Posted by teagirl71 on August 11, 2011 at 2:08 PM · Report this
153
You are so strong. I admire you so much.
Posted by mugsbugs on August 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM · Report this
154
Thank you.
Posted by sheshinesnot on August 11, 2011 at 3:24 PM · Report this
155
I remember the night I saw your story on the news....I live in Seattle also and thought to myself, Oh, no.....not another one! I was worried that it was going to be another case of a man tearing a woman's life apart and the woman feeling as if it were somehow her fault! I want to let you know your story has really touched so many people. So many woman out there have been so scared or ashamed to tell their story, but you have! I am so proud of you for standing up to that horrible man who decided to ruin what you held dear! Your an amazing woman and a true hero for expressing your true thoughts to the world! I wish nothing but the best for your future and know that since you shared your story.....it will forever be engraved in our hearts! R.I.P Teresa forever~
Posted by Teryn on August 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM · Report this
jesgal 156
Survival is such a wonderful gift, thank you for sharing.
Posted by jesgal on August 11, 2011 at 5:21 PM · Report this
157
Thank you for sharing, thank you for your awe-inspiring bravery and grace, thank you for your activist work. I wish you the best.
Posted by kdelatour on August 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM · Report this
158
Ever since reading Eli's heartbreaking coverage of your courage in the trial I've wished I could tell the bravest woman in Seattle how awesome she is. Whatever involuntary emotional distance I might otherwise have had for a "news" story was immediately obliterated by Eli's descriptions of your grace and bravery. It is impossible to read these pieces without caring deeply about you and Teresa. Reading through tears each time, once or twice I found myself smiling in disbelief, I was that struck by the bad-assness of the unnamed survivor. It seemed important to try to imagine myself in your place, as a means of somehow actually making you a little less alone. What you've written here is incredible. Your forthrightness blurs the line between the people who did suffer this crime and loss, and the people who could have--all of us.
Posted by schmetterling on August 11, 2011 at 6:18 PM · Report this
159
You might not think you are amazing, but I am amazed.
How can I say it? People like you make me proud to be a human.
Posted by moll on August 11, 2011 at 6:57 PM · Report this
160 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
seatackled 161
Jessica Gonzales, a California woman gang raped by a college baseball team in 2007, is speaking out now that a new DA is going to file criminal charges. It's good that more women are finding the courage to do this.

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section…
Posted by seatackled on August 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM · Report this
162
J-Hop. You are loved. Thank you. I have thought of you many many times since July 19. Thank you for giving us this gift.
Posted by B. Bloom on August 11, 2011 at 9:28 PM · Report this
163
you are amazing. thank you for sharing this and reminding all of us that there is life after tragedy and hope after devastating pain. my thoughts and love go out to you.
Posted by tabahrak on August 11, 2011 at 9:42 PM · Report this
164
Jen,

Grandmas are always right, and when the time is right and you've come to that place in your heart, or that moment in your day when you feel "okay" again, you'll know that the deepest kind of healing has begun. And, Grandma will smile.

This community and this city embraces you with a love and protectiveness that will be there for you through anything, so please reach out when needed. We won't let you down. And, Teresa's spirit will be right there with all of us, as it will always be with you.

Thank you. Eli said it best, though I know it wasn't a title you ever intended to earn. You are the bravest woman in Seattle, Jennifer Hopper. You will find peace.
Posted by Cloudwatcher on August 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM · Report this
165
Thank you for your courage, your words and your willingness to share your ordeal with the community.
Posted by admom71 on August 11, 2011 at 10:34 PM · Report this
166
I've never been violated in the way that your home, your person, your life was. You are incredible just *for* keeping it together, not mentioning your intelligence or compassion. I want to say a heartfelt, sky-shouting thank-you for writing this. As I said, I haven't experienced what you have, but I have been in dark places. Everything you said for yourself, I drew strength from. Everything you said reminds me, pushes me, to live life- to grit my teeth through the pain, the pain of life, and keep going. So thank you for that, and for speaking. Thank you for living, thank you for being. And maybe this is weird- but I apologize to you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart, that such an experience, such pain had to happen. I offer sincere blessings.
Posted by mizjade on August 11, 2011 at 10:40 PM · Report this
Lissa 167
Thank you Jennifer. Thank you.
Posted by Lissa on August 11, 2011 at 10:47 PM · Report this
168
Your first sentence brought me to tears. I never thought I could be prouder of you...until I read your opening sentence. I love you, J.
Posted by victoriawood on August 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM · Report this
169
I wept reading this. You have moved me to tears. God has plans for you sweet girl. Jeremiah 29:11
Posted by Heide on August 11, 2011 at 11:48 PM · Report this
170 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Donolectic 171
I don't have words, but I will try. You are brave and strong and an incredible woman. We are very lucky to have you.

Love and peace to you Jennifer.
Posted by Donolectic on August 12, 2011 at 12:21 AM · Report this
172
Even if you can't find the perfect words to say to Mr. Kalebu, you said the perfect words to a lot of people with this piece.
Posted by thisiserika on August 12, 2011 at 12:41 AM · Report this
173
pretty amazing stuff. all the best, Jen, as you continue your (inspiring) journey. thank you for sharing parts of that journey and for being so courageous.
Posted by jrstranger on August 12, 2011 at 12:58 AM · Report this
174
Best of luck today (the 12th). Thanks so much for sharing your story. Luckily, few will have to experience something so horrific as you have, but many will suffer. For them, your words are beautiful, compassionate, and inspiring.
Posted by rainevolcano on August 12, 2011 at 5:47 AM · Report this
175
Jen,
Best of luck today (the 12th). Thanks so much for sharing your story. Luckily, few will have to experience something so horrific as you have, but many will suffer. For them, your words are beautiful, compassionate, and inspiring.
Posted by rainevolcano on August 12, 2011 at 5:53 AM · Report this
176
Thank you for telling the world what happened, people need to hear the truths and be bombarded by the real truths to believe that something like this does happen in the real life. You're brave, not only by being truthful and testifying, not only by cherishing what the loss of Teresa's life had been exchanged for, but also by your ability to live everyday with what you have. Thank you again for you also helped us with your courage.
Posted by Skya on August 12, 2011 at 7:23 AM · Report this
177
Jennifer,
I am glad I read your story today, on sentencing day. I have read Eli's work and been so completely moved. Your words made it whole. I wish you peace and will be thinking of you today. Be well.
Posted by Skullycat13 on August 12, 2011 at 8:53 AM · Report this
178
Thank you for your beautiful courage and humility Ms. Hopper. I am so sorry that you have had to experience so much. My best friend was sexually assaulted and murdered twenty yrs ago and I miss her dearly. I can only say that i was lucky and unlucky enough to not be there when it happened. It will always affect me. My best wishes go out to you as you continue through this.
Posted by purpleandyellow on August 12, 2011 at 9:09 AM · Report this
179
Hi Ms Hopper, I tried to post earlier but I don't think it worked. I admire your courage and humility. My very best to you as you move through this.
Posted by purpleandyellow on August 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM · Report this
Hawke 180
Not much in this paper moves me to tears but you standing up here certainly did.
Posted by Hawke http://facebook.com/thehawke on August 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM · Report this
181
That just stopped me right in my tracks. You are brave, and so was Teresa. All the way from Vermont, I'm sending up a prayer for you and everyone who lost Teresa that night.
Posted by Parish on August 12, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Report this
182
Your words moved me more than anything else I have read in my life. My tears are wishes of peace, happiness, and continued healing, for you, Teresa, and both of your families and friends. Your words have reached far reaching shores, and will impact the world. thank you.
-Emily
Kontum, Vietnam
Posted by efissel on August 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
183
Your words moved me more than anything else I have read in my life. My tears are wishes of peace, happiness, and continued healing, for you, Teresa, and both of your families and friends. Your words have reached far reaching shores, and will impact the world. thank you.
-Emily
Kontum, Vietnam
Posted by efizz on August 12, 2011 at 10:39 AM · Report this
184
Amazing. You WILL find the words to say today. You are an inspiration. Best wishes for a safe, fulfilling, loved, courageous future. Thank you.
Posted by bianca on August 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
185
Your words moved me more than anything else I have read in my life. My tears are wishes of peace, happiness, and continued healing, for you, Teresa, and both of your families and friends. Your words have reached far reaching shores, and will impact the world. thank you.
-Emily
Kontum, Vietnam
Posted by efissel on August 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
TheBeardieInMe 186
I still cry when I think about what happened to you. And I am so, so sorry that you had to live through that. And I am so amazed at your ability to continue to live even after all that happened to you. Your story has truly touched my heart and changed some part of me. I will never forget you or Teresa though I will never know either of you.

May the rest of your life be full of happiness and peace.
Posted by TheBeardieInMe on August 12, 2011 at 11:03 AM · Report this
187
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" - Shakespeare.

I'd rather not analyze where you fall in that spectrum, but it is what I thought of when I read all the columns about you. You have done a great service. Good luck to you in the future.
Posted by An Admirer on August 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM · Report this
188
This story is truly amazing and so inspirational. I can't imagine the pain you experienced when you went through all that you did. When I read the original counts of this unspeakable event, all I could think was "what if this had happened to my Mom and her partner". You're a strong woman, Jennifer and I will continue to pray for you and your family, the family and friends of Theresa and that you continue to push through your recovery. God and angels above are looking over you and I truly believe that you survived for many, many reasons and you will live to grow stronger every day. Thank you for sharing your story, being strong and providing us all with the updates. Knowing that you're surviving every day is enough to make the big things seem small. Love and Prayers from Arizona.
Posted by Arizona Heart on August 12, 2011 at 11:21 AM · Report this
easternstar 189
Thank you for telling us your heartbreaking story. I am so sorry for what happened to you and your partner. I hope you find peace and happiness in the future.
Posted by easternstar on August 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM · Report this
190
Thank you so much for sharing this. I hope you find the peace that you are looking for.
Posted by Rhi on August 12, 2011 at 1:30 PM · Report this
191
I don't know you like your Grandma does, but I think I have to agree with her. You are a brave and exceptional person. I hope you can feel the love all of us are sending through the Universe to you as we think about what happened and cry for all victims of violence and assault.
Posted by Just another Guy on August 12, 2011 at 1:34 PM · Report this
192
My heart is heavy and lifted all at the same time. I truley wish you as much peace and laughter that is possible. I'm sure Teresa is proud and smiling, wishing for you all the good that can be.
Posted by Stormi on August 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM · Report this
starsandgarters 193
This is an exceptional piece of writing. My heart goes out to Ms. Hopper and her family and friends, and the memory of Ms. Butz.
Posted by starsandgarters on August 12, 2011 at 1:38 PM · Report this
194
What an amazing tribute in Teresa's honor your life has become, and will continue to be. Very beautifully put. I wish you, your new love, and all of your angels the best from the bottom of my heart.
Posted by mackiedoobuzz on August 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM · Report this
195
Thank you.
Posted by Hymenoptera on August 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM · Report this
196
Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing this. I've been thinking of you since the attack. You see, something similar happened to me when I was twelve years old. I awoke in the middle of the night to a man stabbing me. He broke into our home through a window. The knife wounds left me a paraplegic. Unfortunately, my case went unsolved. I know too well the intense fear that follows an attack such as this. I never wanted anyone else to have to experience it and it pained me greatly when I read about your attack when it happened, knowing what you'd be facing. I find myself thinking of you often and wondering how you're coping, if you're able to sleep. Please know that although the fear may never go away completely, it does get significantly better. From what you've written in this article, it sounds as if you have a superb support system and I'm relieved to know that. However, if you feel at any point now or in the future it would be at all helpful to you to speak with someone who has also lived through a violent attack, I would be honored to lend you my ear. I'm thinking back to when my attack happened (25 years ago) and think that may have been helpful for me. If anything else, it would have validated some of the feelings I was having at the time. I will email Eli my contact information. If you want to talk via email or phone at any time, please don't hesitate. Either way, I will continue to hold you in my thoughts. Sending you wishes for peace and healing. ~Amanda
Posted by plainbellysneetch on August 12, 2011 at 3:20 PM · Report this
GinaTee 197
Jennifer, you are so brave and your beautiful spirit shines through this piece. I watched you face your attacker today and the compassion you showed is beyond remarkable. You didn’t let him take your humanity and I am crying just thinking about it. Teresa’s dad and brother were amazing also. You all taught us a lesson today. Thank you. Peace and love to you and the Butz Family.
Gina, a survivor of an attack at home at age 16.
Posted by GinaTee on August 12, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
198
Dear Jennifer, Thank you for sharing your story with us...the public. When this happened to you and Theresa, my heart broke for you, your family & her family. I did not follow the trial....I didn't want to feel hatred & anger towards your attacker or the judicial system. But I do want you to know that I have thought of you and your partner every single day since. Not as two women attacked, with one surviving.......but as a lost soul in need of all of the positive energy could you could possibly receive to go on and to some day have faith in the goodness of humanity again. Even though sometimes it's so hard to see. I've wanted to write you, hug you and extend my friendship to you. I'm so fortunate to be surrounded in a large community of amazingly talented and loving women. I've wanted to make sure every day that you have the strength and hope to go on. And one day, to find joy again and not be afraid to go to sleep. I too have spent some time of my life living in fear from an intruder that came in to the home that I shared with my partner, 13 years ago. He was not able to hurt us. I'm sorry you've had to go through this! From your story, I can tell that you are a strong & courageous woman. I don't know you. I would love to. Please know that even after the verdict is read and he is imprisoned for life.....I will never forget you or your Theresa. There will always be a piece of me that thinks of you daily and sends you positive energy. Love to you!!
Posted by summut on August 12, 2011 at 4:02 PM · Report this
199
Ms. Hopper, thank you so much for what you've written here. It has given me the strength to report my own assault and I can only hope that I will be able to deal with what follows with the same bravery as you. You wrote that when people say you're brave, you say "I don't know."

I know. We all know, after reading this today.

My prayers and thoughts are with you as you close this chapter and move forward through life. I wish you all the best.
Posted by M.Finn on August 12, 2011 at 4:03 PM · Report this
200
Your journey has been traveled by too many women. It has never been commented upon more eloquently or compassionately. Your survival and progress is incredible. I wish you all the best in life.
Posted by Frank0 on August 12, 2011 at 4:13 PM · Report this
201
I am moved beyond words. Thank you, and god bless you.
Posted by WSNeighbor on August 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM · Report this
202
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being so brave. Love to you and Teresa.
Posted by Lea_1 on August 12, 2011 at 5:33 PM · Report this
203
I have just read your article and I can truly say that I have never read any piece that has moved me so much. Your bravery, and that of your partner, are inspirational. Thank you for writing.
Posted by izitron on August 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM · Report this
204
I wish you the best future. I wish you prosperity and new love.
Posted by outrider on August 12, 2011 at 9:02 PM · Report this
205
Death is nothing at all

I have only slipped away into the next room

I am I and you are you

Whatever we were to each other

That we are still

Call me by my old familiar name

Speak to me in the easy way you always used

Put no difference into your tone

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow

Laugh as we always laughed

At the little jokes we always enjoyed together

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was

Let it be spoken without effort

Without the ghost of a shadow in it

Life means all that it ever meant

It is the same as it ever was

There is absolute unbroken continuity

What is death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind

Because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you for an interval

Somewhere very near

Just around the corner

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost

One brief moment and all will be as it was before

How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!



Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul's Cathedral



Posted by marieange on August 12, 2011 at 10:47 PM · Report this
206
I'm sorry. This may have already been touched on ... But do you believe in the death penalty? This guy is going to get a life cared for .. in a cage, but free to think and pursue anything he wants for life...? To the tune of some $500,000 or more on the backs of taxpayers. ?? Just curious. imo, There should be some sort of extra verifiable proof method .. and then .. wah-lah! And in this case it's as obvious as the surviving victim knowing that he was in fact the rapist/murderer .. and probably an offender of all sorts his whole life. He's no random thug that turned crazy .. Disagree? I'd like to hear it.
Posted by helibike on August 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM · Report this
207
I wanted tio share this poem with you, it gives me so much comfort. I am proud of you for just getting through all this, and hope you find some small measure of comfort in the words of this beautiful poem.
Posted by marieange on August 12, 2011 at 10:52 PM · Report this
208
I'm sorry. This may have already been touched on ... But do you believe in the death penalty? This guy is going to get a life cared for .. in a cage, but free to think and pursue anything he wants for life...? To the tune of some $500,000 or more on the backs of taxpayers. ?? Just curious. imo, There should be some sort of extra verifiable proof method .. and then .. wah-lah! And in this case it's as obvious as the surviving victim knowing that he was in fact the rapist/murderer .. and probably an offender of all sorts his whole life. He's no random thug that turned crazy .. Disagree? I'd like to hear it.
Posted by helibike on August 12, 2011 at 10:55 PM · Report this
209
Thank you for writing this. It was incredibly moving and gave me a feeling of peace I didn't know I was missing until reading it. It made me cry, partially in relief, when all other articles about your attack left me both jittery and devastated.

I have been reading all of Eli's articles about this by myself. I've only shared the existence of the crime with my partner, none of the soul wrenching details. I've been trying, in some strange way, to protect my own little family, frightfully similar to yours and Teresa's. I've also been trying to reassure myself that something like this couldn't happen to us, so I don't need to share it with the my partner. However what you wrote was too beautiful not to share, and puts all of my rationalizations to grinding shame. You are amazing and an inspiration in all sorts of ways.
Posted by reka on August 13, 2011 at 12:35 AM · Report this
210
Jennifer, you may not feel like a hero, but this world would be a much better place if we all exemplified the grace, compassion and strength that you have in your words here and in your reactions to this horrific ordeal. You are an inspiration.

Much love and peace to you, my dear.
Posted by ana cristina on August 13, 2011 at 1:28 AM · Report this
211 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
212
thank you.
Posted by maggums on August 13, 2011 at 3:48 AM · Report this
213
Jen
I lock my windows everynight now. I kiss my kids
extra, I give whatever extra energy I have in thought
to you each day. What a journey you are on. I am trying
to grasp your abilities, to be forgiving, to be moving ahead.
I always knew you were destined for a full life. I am
devestated you lost a love and were caused so much
pain. We talk about you a lot. Like a touchstone reminding
us of all things healing and hopeful.
Posted by JaimeCmorton on August 13, 2011 at 3:59 AM · Report this
214
Love you Jen.
Posted by M.DeLance on August 13, 2011 at 6:31 AM · Report this
215
You are on your way, Jen! You are brave - it takes an act of courage to share your story and you have done it beautifully.
Although I have never met you, I have thought of you many times over the last few years, wishing you strength and healing.
Jan
Posted by Jads on August 13, 2011 at 8:49 AM · Report this
216 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
217
Dear Jennifer,
All the love in the world to you. I don't know what to say here to convey how deeply your bravery has moved me. And how much I admire the way that you have used your pain to assist in affecting positive change for women with your participation in those programs that you mentioned. You are an inspiration.

I am glad that you have found love again. I wish for you the second chance that you deserve and hope that you can find peace and happiness in your future.
Shellie
Posted by Shellie on August 13, 2011 at 9:32 AM · Report this
218
Jennifer, thank you for everything you have done. You may not think of yourself as particularly amazing or brave, but every step you have taken in this process has provided immeasurable insight into crimes such as these, added humanity to them -- so often the forgotten element -- reminded us all of what can be lost and also of the incredible capacity to survive and thrive that each of us have. Thank you for writing this.
Posted by MTHS on August 13, 2011 at 9:59 AM · Report this
219
Thank you for sharing your experience in such a way it calls for all of us to be more compassionate and stronger and the best of who we can be. My love and prayers for you and beautiful Theresa.
Posted by SKK on August 13, 2011 at 10:58 AM · Report this
220
You are a strong person! Thanks so much for sharing your story.
You made me cry.
Posted by Rike on August 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM · Report this
221
Dear Jen,

Thank you for sharing your story in a way that called upon all of us to be more compassionate, stronger and nurturing. My prayers and thoughts are with you and Theresa.
Posted by SKK on August 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM · Report this
222
Jen, thank you so much for sharing your story here. I have never met you or Teresa, but I have thought of you both every day since July 19, 2009. What happened to you has had a deep impact on my life and I have been changed because of it. I wish you, Teresa, and your families peace and healing, as well as Denise Kalebu and the Kalebu family. I am grateful to The Stranger for continued reporting on your story. I am so proud of you for moving forward with your life and for your bravery. Thank you for your courage.
Posted by Naomi Knoble on August 13, 2011 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Red_Ruth 223
When Eli wrote of you as the bravest woman in Seattle, he may have been either premature or prescient. By writing this piece and introducing yourself to all of us, and the world, you have cemented that status. Like all of these others, my thoughts are often with you both, Jennifer and Theresa. I hope that you can allow time to heal you, eventually, and have the life you deserve, and that you both deserved.
Posted by Red_Ruth on August 13, 2011 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Razzle 224
UNCUT: Statement From Victim Jennifer Hopper

Jennifer Hopper, the surviving victim in the South Park attack that killed her partner, made a statement at Isaiah Kalebu's sentencing.

http://www.kirotv.com/video/28850948/ind…

You are truly a gracious and brave young woman. I hope the media continues to leave you alone now that you have come forward so that you can continue to heal. I don't know you Jen, but I feel as if I do. I hope I can find the bravery, courage and grace that you have shown when I face my own attackers later this year. Many blessings to you and thank you for sharing your story. May Teresa RIP now.
Posted by Razzle http://www.tiki-parlor.com on August 13, 2011 at 5:38 PM · Report this
225
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Posted by New York City Stage Blog on August 13, 2011 at 8:49 PM · Report this
226
To #206, I feel you when you suggest the death penalty, I really do. What I get from reading Ms. Hopper's writing and watching the tape of her statement in court today is that she is forgiving her attacker not because he deserves it but because she does. Teresa's family does, too. They deserve to take back their power that the attacker would still control if they allowed anger and revenge to dominate their psyches and overwhelm their souls. Thank you #205 for that truly amazing poem. Mostly, thank you Jennifer for showing grace under fire that is powerful and transformative. I'm humbled by your empathy, your courage, and I feel the need to find it within myself to become a better person after having read your story.
Posted by mike hickey on August 13, 2011 at 9:45 PM · Report this
227
go forward in grace, my courageous sister.
Posted by pathstell on August 13, 2011 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Queen of Cups 228
Jennifer: the universe will right itself. You will be made whole. You are very loved. Even though I'll probably never meet you, I love you.
Posted by Queen of Cups on August 13, 2011 at 10:31 PM · Report this
229
Thank you for sharing your story. May this help the many more women and men who are raped each year.
One day at a time Jennifer.
There is a line between being a victim and being a survivor.
As a former victim myself I know you are well on your way to being that survivor.

All my best to you,
Greg
Posted by Gregory Kappelle on August 14, 2011 at 6:54 AM · Report this
loisalene 230
You do yourself an injustice to say you are not brave. Your determination to live life - LIVE - is nothing short of heroic. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
Posted by loisalene on August 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM · Report this
231
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing, this is how we women empower ourselves. I will say though that men are bigger and stronger than us, so I will be purchasing a gun to level the playing field. I think all women should own one and keep it by their bed.
Posted by wonderful027 on August 14, 2011 at 12:33 PM · Report this
232
Wonderful story, thank you for sharing, this is how we women empower ourselves. I will say though that men are bigger and stronger than us, so I will be purchasing a gun to level the playing field. I think all women should own one and keep it by their bed.
Posted by wonderful027 on August 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM · Report this
233
Thank you for sharing your story with the world. Your courage will help others to be brave and tell their stories. The gratitude you showed for the support you were given will inspire others to be support for people who have been violated. I hope you continue to heal and make the world a better place through truth.
Posted by fpkate on August 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM · Report this
234
Your story was told with such strength and honesty, and I think it is amazing how you have reacted.I read what you eventually said in the victim impact statement, and was utterly moved. Thank you for sharing. Keep on keeping on and remember that what you have shared will have such an amazing impact on so many peoples lives.
Posted by ladye on August 14, 2011 at 1:23 PM · Report this
235
Peace.
Posted by AK fisherman on August 14, 2011 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Alissa 236
Jen, chances are you won't read this. But just in case, I feel compelled to write something.

I can't fully express how upset I was reading about your story. I cried for a long time over the horror you and your partner faced, and the sadness of your loss. I don't know if it gives you any comfort to know that someone you've never met grieved over your experience, but I want you to know that the thoughts of many, many people are with you.

I think you are doing a wonderful thing for victims of sexual assault and you are undoubtedly helping all women take another step forward towards a safer community in which we don't need to own guns or install dead-bolts on our doors.

I'm so, so sorry for what happened to you and Theresa. She sounded like a lovely, kind and intelligent woman. As do you. Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Posted by Alissa http://iamutterlysimple.blogspot.com/ on August 14, 2011 at 9:31 PM · Report this
237
Jennifer,

Wow.You have such a gentle voice and what you say is so resilient. As a young widow myself, your words about the loss of your true love resonated strongly with me. While my husband died of natural causes, it happend suddenly and I too felt picked up by the scruff of my neck and dropped headfirst into another life. I lost my husband two months before your ordeal but even through the fog of my early grief I saw your story and I've followed it closely.

The thing that I appreciated most about your piece was reading that you do not hate Kalebu and did not want him to die. You have not let the ugliness of your experience blacken your heart. It is so important not to let revenge and hate keep you from healing. You have given this world gentle humanity by wishing no harm on him and by feeling compassion for the wrongs that may have come to him. Your ability to feel for him and his family brought me to tears and I hope will be one of the things that helps you find your future peace.
I dream of my husband often and find comfort in my night time visits with him. I hope that some day sooner than later you can sleep comfortably enough to see your Teresa again.

The world is a better place with you still in it. Live well for Teresa and live happily for yourself.

With graditude,
Robin
Posted by rcharles on August 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM · Report this
238
Wow, what an amazing, powerful essay. You made me cry, and even though you may not feel brave and strong at times, YOU ARE. Wishing you eventual peace and much love.
Posted by joybd on August 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM · Report this
239
That was very powerful. I commend you for sharing your name and working hard to put your life back together. I have thought alot about your story since it all went down, alot. What if that had happened to me? What would I have done? And so on.
Of course you want your Teresa back, but you will come out of this a stronger person. You have to... By the end of your article, I couldn't see the pages anymore. I haven't cried that hard since my Grandmother died. I shed tears for the death and for your decision to deny death and live. Powerful. The most powerful article the Stranger will ever publish -

Much Love
Posted by Ben Starner on August 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM · Report this
240
Thank you. I don't know you. But I have thought of the both of you many, many times. I write poetry. (I often think of victims of crime--recently I wrote another poem about Goodman, Cheney, and Schwerner!) My poems often speak of the randomness in life, the unfairness. And when I finish I still see the randomness and the unfairness. Parts of your response are words I have written in poems and stories or said in lectures. I love knowing you are a forgiving individual. The perpetrator is not well. he should have had help ages ago. I am glad you can say you are in "a good place," not the same place, not the best place, but a "good place." Writing can sometimes bring us to a good place. Know I will think of you two. I shall continue to wish you well and say prayers for you. Time won't necessarily heal the pain, but I have learned that it sometimes lessens the pain.
Georgia
Posted by GSM on August 15, 2011 at 12:11 PM · Report this
241
amazing. Thank you for sharing your story, I will never forget it.
Posted by Sarah S on August 15, 2011 at 12:17 PM · Report this
242
As many others have also said, I think about you and your story all the time. I'm in awe that from such horror could come such a flood of love.
We wonder about you and this is such a gift to the community to hear form you and know that you are OK, at least in this moment. Your story will stay with us. Thank you so much for sharing with us. blessings.
Posted by I'm Black! Really! on August 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM · Report this
243
We love you, Jen! You have VIking strength that will carry you through your life towards renewed security and happiness. We value your awesomeness.
Posted by dakoneko on August 15, 2011 at 5:57 PM · Report this
244
Hi Jen,
I went to high school with you years ago. I read this story and I am in awe. I appreciate your honesty and bravery and am so sorry this happened to you and your partner. I truly hope you and your families find peace. Your compassion is nothing less than amazing.
Posted by michellemacris on August 15, 2011 at 8:57 PM · Report this
245
Thank you for your insight. Thank you for speaking for women who have been raped. I have been, twice. For months you have been on my mind. I wonder how you can live in the space where the impossible happened. I deeply respect your courage. I will never forget you. Please continue to recover.
Posted by Lucdofoto on August 15, 2011 at 9:05 PM · Report this
246
Thanki you for your insight. Thank you for speaking for those who have been raped. I have, twice. Thank you for your courage. I have hoped for your recovery, and wondered how you can stay in the physical place where the unimaginable happened. Please continue to heal. I will never forget you.
Posted by Lucdofoto on August 15, 2011 at 9:17 PM · Report this
247 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
heliumdesignco 248
You are so strong! Your story is so inspiring, thank you for sharing.
Posted by heliumdesignco http://www.heliumdesignco.com on August 16, 2011 at 7:15 AM · Report this
249
Thank you, Jennifer Hopper. You are amazingly brave and I wish you all the best as you continue to recover. I suspect you will continue to make the world a better place with your strength.
Posted by christieb on August 16, 2011 at 3:28 PM · Report this
250
Thank you for sharing your words with all of us. You and Teresa have both demonstrated that love is more powerful than anything, and I will never forget your story. I know that you will find peace and be happy again.
Posted by pleeeeease on August 16, 2011 at 5:30 PM · Report this
251 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
252 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
253 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
peacecc 254
Thank you for sharing, I wish you well
Posted by peacecc on August 17, 2011 at 2:56 AM · Report this
255
Amazing, thank you so much for sharing your story! Your Grandmother was right, you are strong and human bound together by all that helped you through this horrendous ordeal. I'll keep you in prayer!
Posted by Pam G on August 17, 2011 at 4:49 AM · Report this
256
Dear Jennifer Hopper,
I am so glad you are still here and have found your voice to share with us, the world.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am touched, moved and inspired by your honesty, courage and willingness to move through this experience as vulnerably as you did.

With great respect and appreciation for sharing your story, I thank you.

Kris
Posted by Kris P. on August 17, 2011 at 9:36 AM · Report this
257
Dear Jennifer Hopper,
I am so glad you are still here and have found your voice to share with us, the world.

Thank you for sharing your story. I am touched, moved and inspired by your honesty, courage and willingness to move through this experience as vulnerably as you did.

With great respect and appreciation for sharing your story, I thank you.

Kris
Posted by Kris P. on August 17, 2011 at 9:40 AM · Report this
258
Thank you Jennifer Hopper for still being here and finding your voice to share with us, the world.

Thank you for your honest letter. I admire and appreciate the honesty, courage and willingness you possess to move through this experience with such vulnerable grace.

With respect and admiration for who you are, how you've shown up and the bravery to write this letter, I thank you.

Kris
Posted by Kris P. on August 17, 2011 at 9:44 AM · Report this
259
Your words were just right. Thank you.
Posted by Aviatrix23 on August 18, 2011 at 4:21 AM · Report this
260
Wow -- you give voice to many through this. Thanks
Posted by cmr on August 18, 2011 at 7:39 AM · Report this
261
I've been following your story from the beginning and want to say that I'm so sorry for your loss and am inspired by your strength and courage throughout this horrific time in your life. I'm so happy that you have found love again and wish you both peace. Take care. xo
Posted by Robin in PA on August 18, 2011 at 8:35 AM · Report this
artistar 262
I cringed before I scrolled down to the comments section, expecting the comments section on this story to be like any other internet comments section filled with crap.

But that didn't happen.

Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your story.

And thanks to everyone else, for acting like caring, normal human beings.
Posted by artistar on August 19, 2011 at 12:19 AM · Report this
263
Oh, honey, I never leave comments on *anything* online, but your courage and strength and my god, your spirit and love and guts just floored me. Thank you for sharing your story, and I wish you goodness and peace.
Posted by SuddenlyFullOfGrace on August 19, 2011 at 12:50 AM · Report this
264
Your story was beautiful--I cried which is rare for me. I cry because it gives me hope. Hope to get to where you are at. I was drugged and raped when I was 14. I didn't have the strength to testify against the perpetrator. Only my parents know. I never tell friends. My husband doesn't even know. I can still feel how I felt that day--barely coming to and feeling a man digitally penetrating me while he was having sex with his girlfriend right beside me. I am now 32, still hypervigilant, and still wake up screaming from nightmares. I hope to get to the point you're at someday.
Posted by cep on August 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM · Report this
265
Thank you for your bravery, and for going public. I hope your life is filled with good things in the future.

May I recommend something though, for your sleep? If you are not allergic or averse to animals, please consider getting a dog. Not a bruiser for protection, but as an alarm. I'm a high anxiety person and often I have trouble getting to sleep for no good reason. I have had dogs all my life though, and when I have one of them sleeping in the same room, I have no worries about waking up to something horrible. The dogs would warn me of the slightest anomaly. (I also had a Siamese cat that would do the same thing.) And when I'm awake, they also do wonders for my other high-anxiety moments.

A herding or a terrier breed would be ideal for this, though I caution that they are also high-energy types of dogs and would need a lot of training, socialization and exercise. But the plus side is that those activities will bring you into contact with a lot of really cool people - there are worse things than hanging out with the dog-lover crowd.

There is some speculation that domesticating the dog and having it guard our sleep at night (essentially taking over an important and resource-consuming job) was one of the turning points in human evolution, allowing us to turn our minds to other things beyond basic survival. I tend to believe it.

I only suggest this because I went for a long period without having dogs living in my house. I frequently found myself unnerved by living alone, and was often scared to go to sleep at night. I haven't had a night like that since my current pair of border collies came to live with me. They're not attack dogs, but they are vigilant, and will let me know if anyone approaches the house while I'm sleeping.
More...
Posted by JrzWrld on August 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM · Report this
266
Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish you much love and happiness.
Posted by Marijke on August 21, 2011 at 12:15 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 267
@224
http://www.kirotv.com/video/28850948/ind…

Wow! What an amazing woman. What an incredible role model you are, Jennifer, to us all, in forgiveness.

How to come at this horrific thing you had to experience with such strength, and like rcharles said, to not let it blacken your heart. That you still have love (and it sounds like you have more love coming from you), that this monstrous act didn't dull your heart.

I've never seen such an example of forgiveness as this. We can all learn from this. Most of us will not have to apply it to anything as horrific, but in the smaller things that may happen to us, those of us who have read this will be able to recall how you handled this.

Unfuckingbelievable!

Thank you Jennifer!
Posted by doloresdaphne on August 21, 2011 at 5:45 AM · Report this
doloresdaphne 268
http://www.kirotv.com/video/28850948/ind…

I just watched as you gave your final statement.

Wow, Jennifer. You are amazing! To come at such an horrific experience with so much strength and compassion and love and forgiveness.

I think it's little milestones like this that nudge human evolution forward. Talk about setting an example to the rest of us!

One step away from our barbaric, punitive mentality to one of love, strength, forgiveness and gentleness. You are amazing!

I'm so sorry for what happened. Thank you for inspiring us with your strength.

(from Australia).
Posted by doloresdaphne on August 21, 2011 at 5:57 AM · Report this
269
Your courage is inspiring. You are amazing and strong!! Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. Much Peace to you!
Posted by AZhikinlvr on August 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM · Report this
270
My birthday is July the 18th and I woke up that year to this story, something that haappen to other lesbians and I followed it closely ever since and when it was finally over (as over as it can be) I felt the same way, that somehow when Kalebu was found quilty and went away for ever Teresa could come back and the universe would have righted itself. Justice, doesn't feel like justice somehow if it doesn't work that way, that is one of the really big flaws in reality.
Posted by Risley on August 27, 2011 at 11:26 AM · Report this
271
You are inspiring as I struggle with forgiveness.
Posted by Biogirl@wordpress on August 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM · Report this
272
Jennifer-

Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your truth. Your story touched my heart, and my compassion goes out to you.

Blessings to you always~
Posted by Ronnie2themax on September 3, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
273
Jennifer, I think of you and Teresa every night. What happened to you both put a new layer of fear into my life, yet what you did with it inspires a level of courage and hope I wouldn't have imagined without your words. You didn't just survive, you are truly alive. Thank you for what you've shared; you've shown that it's possible to move through incomprehensible horror back to blessed humanity.
You walked through the fire and you identified the many wonderful people who walked with you. I know you know but I want to tell you again that so many more of us continue to hold you and your family, and Teresa's family, in our hearts every day. Best wishes to you.
Posted by Kittenesque on September 19, 2011 at 9:36 PM · Report this
274
Beautiful. I feel like you read my diary before you wrote this. I don't know how you found the words because I never have managed to. I am so proud of you. We all are.

The only way I could sleep again was a German Shepherd.
Posted by You Go! on November 9, 2011 at 8:41 PM · Report this
275
I think of your story almost every day, ever since I first read Eli's story in early August 2011. It took weeks until I could fall asleep at night without thinking of it. Whatever suffering I experience in my life, I know it pales in comparison with yours & your partner's. Your unbelievable fortitude has inspired me to try to be strong, too.
--Andy
Posted by drufus on March 1, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
276
I think of your story almost every day, ever since I first read Eli's story in early August 2011. It took weeks until I could fall asleep at night without thinking of it. Whatever suffering I experience in my life, I know it pales in comparison with yours & your partner's. Your unbelievable fortitude has inspired me to try to be strong, too.
--Andy
Posted by drufus on March 1, 2012 at 9:11 PM · Report this
277
Thank you Jean from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story and touching many hearts. I am sending you warm hugs to a beautiful lady!
Your Peruvian friend Pilar Patzkowski
Posted by Pilar on April 16, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
278
Thank you Jen from the bottom of my heart, thank you for open your heart and soul, so sorry for your loss. Sending warm hugs to a beautiful lady!
Pilar
Posted by Pilar on April 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
Katie B 279
I wish you all of the best. You're an incredible person, & I'll never forget you.
Posted by Katie B on April 17, 2012 at 8:39 AM · Report this
280
Thank you for your story. You are truly an inspiration.
Posted by catyrose on April 17, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
kim in portland 281
Thank you, Jen. I wish you continued healing and joy.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on April 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM · Report this
282
Thank you, Jennifer. Your story is devastating, but your courage is amazing, and my partner Karen and I will enroll in self-defense lessons because of what happened to you and Teresa.

I'm so sorry for your loss-- it sounds like what you and Teresa had together was very beautiful and special. I wish you every good thing as you continue your journey toward healing and peace. <3
Posted by amandamo on April 17, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
283
Thank you, Jennifer. Your story is devastating, but your courage is amazing, and my partner Karen and I will enroll in self-defense lessons because of what happened to you and Teresa.

I'm so sorry for your loss-- it sounds like what you and Teresa had together was very beautiful and special. I wish you every good thing as you continue your journey toward healing and peace. <3
Posted by amandamo on April 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM · Report this
284
What an incredible act of courage to share your story and truth with the world. There is no better or more loving tribute to your partner than this truth. I'm proud of what you've done after enduring one of the most horrific situations I could ever imagine. The Stranger and Eli got it right - You are indeed the bravest woman in Seattle.
Posted by DachshundPup on April 17, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
285
Thank you for taking this horrific attack on you and your partner and trying to make it give voice to victims who can't yet be named and seen. Sending you all good wishes.
Posted by Ingrid Persaud on April 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM · Report this
286
Dear Jennifer,

You are amazing and beautiful and brave. Thank you so much for speaking up for yourself, and for witnessing for Teresa. God bless both of you.
Posted by Moira on April 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
287
Jennifer Hopper. Yes, you have a name.
Posted by Krunch on April 17, 2012 at 4:47 PM · Report this
rockgal 288
Jennifer,

You are truly an inspiration. Your story has touched me on a very deep level. I am in awe of your honesty and resilience.

I had an experience in the 1980s where someone tried to abduct me on the street. I escaped, and not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for that. I am well aware that I could've ended up having to endure something akin to what you and your partner experienced. I also wrote about what happened to me for the Stranger - it was run without my name to protect my identity. I admire that you put yourself out there.

You are nothing short of amazing. I hope you can feel all of the strength and support that has been expressed here. You have touched many by writing this. Thank you.
Posted by rockgal on April 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM · Report this
289
I just finished reading the article from The Stranger and saw the link to yours. I hadn't heard about this until now. Thank you for your courage. Perhaps it will help other women to speak out. I wish you the very best in the future.
Posted by ann95340 on April 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM · Report this
290
Jennifer, I just heard about you today when I saw a link to the Pulitzer winning article.

Thank you for your courage and grace. Perhaps what you survived will encourage others to speak out. Oh behalf of my teenage great-granddaughters, I thank you again.
Posted by ann95340 on April 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM · Report this
291
This line killed me: I hope that some day sooner than later you can sleep comfortably enough to see your Teresa again.

I also fervently hope that for you. I'm so sorry for your loss and so inspired by your courage.
Posted by pamyllia on April 20, 2012 at 7:50 AM · Report this
Write or Wrong 292
Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss. I wish you all the best. Peace and love.

- L
Posted by Write or Wrong on April 20, 2012 at 7:52 PM · Report this
293
Jennifer, I have thought of you and Teresa so many times since this happened. I don't know you and will probably never meet you, but please know that there are people out there, including me, who will never forget you and what happened to you. And who will think of you from time to time and hope that you are okay. I wish you peace, healing and happiness.
Posted by Compass Rose on April 20, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Report this
294
Dear Ms. Hopper,
Bless you. Thank you for your courage, and for Teresa's. I am so sorry that her voice was silenced. I am humbled by your ability to voice the pain and madness that occurred; I am so deeply saddened and horrified by what happened to you and Teresa, and you both are in my prayers. Thank you for the example you have provided, of what courage truly looks like. As a previous commenter said, Go forward in grace. And I wish you healing, and solace, and peace. I would hope to be able to handle myself with the same dignity and honor you have shown in the face of such adversity. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Posted by Lyn449 on April 25, 2012 at 3:00 AM · Report this
295
Jen, You are a wonderful and beautiful woman. I am so honored to have the chance to get to know you this past weekend at our event in Madison. I hope, together, we can continue this journey of ending sexual violence!!!
Posted by Jaudeen on April 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM · Report this
296
Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. I'll never forget your name. All support from Italy.
Pete
Posted by Pit1980 on May 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM · Report this
297
happy birthday, Teresa. You will not be forgotten.
Posted by Rella on October 18, 2012 at 8:33 PM · Report this
298
Thank you.
Posted by Julie M.V. on November 15, 2012 at 5:57 AM · Report this
299
For some reason, I never heard of this story until yesterday, when I was reading a completely different and saw a link to Eli Sander's work. Perhaps I never heard of the case because I live in a far away land called California, where people tend to be a bit over-adsorbed in what's happening in this state. However,I read just about everything about the case, including this story. Like so many people have commented, Jennifer Hopper's beautiful writing is inspiring,courageous, yet at the same time, beautifully sad. And it has caused me to reflect on my own life. Angela in Oakland, California

Twenty six years ago, I was married to violent, bi-polar drug addict. I don't wish to stigmatize people who suffer from that horribly debilitating illness; my ex-husband was one of those extreme cases who, like the Isiah Kalebu, came from a background of extreme abuse, and steadfastly refused help. Yes, he was extremely abusive, and threatened to kill me, our children and my family many times. The marriage ended when he pulled out a 12 inch Bowie hunting knife and tried to stab me with it in front of our children. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not aware of how close I came to death that day.

Ms. Hopper, I wish I had your courage to take action and have him arrested the very first time he hit me. But I kept thinking that I had to find a way to help him get better. I was young and extremely naive, in addition to being ignorant about bi-polar illness. But I hope many people will become motivated to advocate for changes within our mental health and judicial systems. I have. As a survivor, it's the very least I can do. God bless you, Jennifer Hopper, and rest in peace, Teresa Butz.
Posted by Angela S. in Oakland, CA on December 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM · Report this
300
Jennifer, I happened to find your story through my search for pulitzer prize winner stories. I was intrigued from the moment I read it. As a lesbian from China I can somehow partly understand how you feel. And I just cannot express how much I admire and respect for what you have done. I don't know what I would do under that attack and under that trail, and somehow your story make me want to ponder over what I should do in the future and enlighten me with a new way to see through what lesbians should bear in their life. Thank you. I don't know how to express my gratitude, and I hope wish you peace and happiness in your life. Agnes Lu at Hong Kong.
Posted by Agnes Lu on November 22, 2013 at 5:15 AM · Report this

Add a comment