My letter to Rep. Linda Lawson.

Dear Representative Lawson,

I would like to personally thank you, for not only your work as a sex crimes prosecutor, but your comments to Rep. Turner after he made his ludicrous argument that women will falsely claim rape and incest in order to obtain an abortion.

I am a sexual assault survivor. After a long road of recovery, I am now a volunteer medical advocate for a sexual assault service center in Will County, Illinois. Your strength of heart and will came through very clearly during your rebuttal and brought tears to my eyes. If I had had an advocate like you on my side, I may have attempted prosecution against my rapist. Unfortunately, I was assaulted by a police officer. When I presented myself at the hospital for treatment, three police officers responded and verbally attacked me in the waiting room. This treatment caused me to shut down. I almost left the hospital instead of receiving treatment. I can only imagine that their behavior was an attempt to ensure that my allegations would be silenced in fear. It worked.

We as advocates know that a small number of assaults are ever reported to the police and an even smaller number ever make it to prosecution. What will happen to survivors if our government insists on assaulting them again when they attempt to seek the medical intervention that they are constitutionally entitled to? Please know that this survivor supports you, as I am sure many others do. You are an inspiration to my healing heart. I want to thank you again for all that you do.

With great admiration and respect,

Michelle Cahill

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