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Mother is 'woman you thought it would never happen to'

Editor’s note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need.

Sexual assault injured this single mother so severely that she needed surgery and ongoing physical therapy.

Suffering pain, diminished physical functions and post traumatic stress disorder, the Medford woman hasn’t been cleared to return to work, and money is tight. Wishing only to protect her three children, she chose not to reveal the reason behind the family’s struggles.

Fighting for her physical and mental recovery, as well was justice, the 32-year-old woman has vowed that the trusted friend who raped her several months ago “does not get to break down” her children, ages 15, 13 and 10. But there are days when she feels so broken that she can’t cook. Resorting to prepared foods that are more expensive than raw ingredients, she sometimes doesn’t eat so her daughter and two sons have enough.

Gift certificates for prepared meals or groceries would ease the woman’s burden. She would greatly appreciate gas cards, because driving to so many doctors’ appointments has been “a huge expense.”

The holidays could be brighter if the family had some professional portraits taken as a reminder of their strength and resilience. A gift certificate or donation toward the services of a local photographer would preserve the woman’s confidentiality.

Any notes of support and encouragement would reassure this survivor in her darkest moments. She suggests they be addressed to “a mother, a daughter, your friend, your neighbor, the woman you thought it would never happen to, the woman most still don’t know it happened to.”

To help, call Susan Moen, executive director of Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team, at 541-840-0904, or email jcsart@charter.net.