Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dateline - The Man Behind The Mask

On September 4th, 2009 Dateline aired "The Man Behind The Mask." It was about Donna Palomba who was raped in 1993. Apparently a man wearing a mask broke into her home while her husband was away and raped her.

A horrible tragedy, but what doubles the horror is that after reporting the rape, Donna was the one looking at jail time for lying to police. The police that were in charge believed she was making it all up.

I will not go into to the entire story about Donna Palomba, there are links at the bottom of this post where you can find her full story. What I would like to touch on was how watching the program effected me and how I could relate to Donna regardless of our different circumstances.

Unlike Donna, I knew my rapist and got criminal justice immediately, without being questioned about my report. However, there were many areas that Donna spoke of and were part of her life that I could relate to.

Donna did not know her rapist therefore she could look at any man and think maybe it was him. That in itself is quite a fear to live with. I have that fear when the release of my rapist comes. Although, I try not to think about it, it will come and I may have fear.

Donna also had trouble in her town, with people questioning whether she lied or not. I had crude remarks, suggestions to leave the town I was in, and eventually did.

I was jealous of Donna at one point (which I felt guilty about) because of the family and friend support she had. I did not have that. I feel guilty for saying I was jealous because her situation was nothing to be jealous of and I can only imagine the fear and frustration she lived with day in and day out.

There was a section of the report that stated that the police did not believe her because she did not sound convincing enough on the 911 call. She also called the rapist a "gentleman" on the call. After being raped and making a 911 call myself, I know full well that there is so much shock that you really don't know what you may be saying.

There are so many more aspects of Donna's story that I relate to, and there are just to many to go into them all. But one final area of relation is knowing the rapist. Years later Donna found out that the man behind the mask was a family friend. Obviously, someone she would never expect to do such a horrid thing. I too never did expect that my rapist that I knew would do such an act.

Donna is very strong and has created a site entitle Jane Doe No More, you can find out why she named it this by visiting the links at the bottom of the page. Her strength amazes me and I admire her so. I only hope that one day I will be strong enough to help people as much as she is.

You can find out more about Donna Palomba by going to:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18405518/

http://janedoenomore.com/


Victoria Placeo

No comments:

Post a Comment