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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This Week's Anti Adams Protester...

Posted by Matt Davis on Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 3:33 PM

...was sexual assault survivor Rondine Ghiselline:
rondineghiseline.jpg

"As a concerned citizen and a sexual assault survivor I am sickened that you have not forced Mayor Adams to resign," she began her 3 minute testimony this morning. I've posted the whole thing after the jump, in case you're interested.

"I am deeply ashamed and saddened to be part of a community that has commissioners who week after week sit silently in support of a predator or worse yet openly condone his behavior. I feel very fortunate that back in 1992 when I was a victim of crime; I was living and going to school in Eugene. You see like today in Portland the Eugene community was also angry, in turmoil and holding rallies where the figureheads in the lesbian and gay community were prominent. The important difference is that the Eugene community was rallying behind the victim and shunning the perpetrator.

I was that eighteen year old victim of sexual assault that was the subject of those large rallies and I can tell you that there was no division in that community's anger; it was directed solely at the perpetrator. Things may have turned out differently for me if I had not received that sort of community support. But what if things had been different? What if I had been treated the way this community and you commissioners have treated Mr.Breedlove? What if instead of a huge rally in support of me there was a bg rally in support of my offender? What if my offender got to wake up every morning and continue a high profile career leading the city of Eugene in all kinds of important matters? What if my offender's colleagues continued to work with him business as usual as I mattered not at all?

In my opinion this is what has been done to Mr.Breedlove. You may think that my situation is differnt from Mr.Breedlove's. How can I compare it? I'll explain. You see both Mr.Breedlove and I were young teens when we were used by someone for their own gratification and then discarded. Although I did not consent, Mr.Breedlove was not of consensual age when Mayor Adams began seducing him. My offender used force while Mr.Breedlove's offender used coercion and the city's resources along with his position of power to seduce and use Mr.Breedlove, a very young teen at the time.

I have been told on many recent occasions that I simply do not understand gay sex and I should just forget about what Mayor Adams has done. To that I say I am sure glad that the lesbian and gay community in Eugene didn't feel that way when I was raped. You see the lesbian and gay communities were as outraged as anyone over my having been assaulted.

[HOLDS UP EUGENE NEWSPAPER CLIP FROM 1992]

This woman pictured here at the protest against my offender was a prominent member of the gay community and was outraged enough to show up in my support and bring about 100 of her closest friends. She could have easily reasoned that this was a heterosexual issue and why should she show up to support some 18-year-old straight girl living in Catholic University Housing (Chelsea House). After all we did not exactly move in the same circles.

You see she didn't care about sexuality, whether I was gay/straight or what religious group I belonged to. She cared that a wrong had been committed against a member of the community she loved and she was not going to sit back and do nothing. What that community understood so well back then is that sex abuse knows no sexual orientation; no one group is immune and it affects everyone. No matter whom the victim is everyone should be united in their outrage at the perpetrator. I am grateful that the members of the Eugene community understood that and I hope that by speaking here today in support of Mr.Breedlove I am showing them in some small way that they paid it forward.

It has been suggested that Mr.Breedlove is not angry at what happened to him and he says the mayor is quote "a wonderful guy" so shouldn't I just back off? To that I say I also did not seek justice against my perpetrator because when you are a young teen who is victimized by someone older, worldlier or more sophisticated you automatically blame yourself. You do not feel worthy of justice. My perpetrator never served one day in jail thanks to my eighteen year old brain that felt sorry for him and let him off the hook with some counseling and other minor directives from the dean's office.

Of course I sit before you now wishing that I had pursued justice but I was not a 34-year-old woman but rather just some scared kid who didn't think she was worth all that much, especially in light of what had happened to her. We don't have the benefit of knowing what Mr.Breedlove will say about what happened to him when he is a 34-year-old man. I don't have a crystal ball, and you don't either. But I could venture a guess and my heart tells me that he will be wishing he had pursued justice against Mayor Adams. That is why as commissioners you need to stand up for what is right, and not tolerate Mayor Adams in office for one more day.

Every day that Mayor Sam Adams stays in office and you commissioners Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz, Dan Saltzman and Randy Leonard, allow this to happen you need to know that you are making a mockery of what many survivors of sex abuse have lived through. Put an end to this today by refusing to conduct city business with Mayor Adams in your presence."

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