Many women who are victimized hide away in shame and choose to never speak up. Some even hide their shameful secret from family and friends. But Jennifer Schuett who was raped 19 years ago, chose to speak and a miracle helped her find the man who raped her and left her for dead.
Schuett was only 8 years old when she was abducted from her bedroom window and raped in a field near her elementary school. Her throat was slashed and her naked little body lay on an anthill for close to twelve hours until she was found. Doctors believed she would never speak again due to the damage to her voice box. Schuett proved them wrong when she was able to identify her attacker for a forensic artist.
Two weeks ago Schuett shared her story and face on CNN.com, explaining that she wanted to reveal her identity for all the women and children who are victimized. “It’s not about me anymore,” she told CNN in September. “It’s about all the little girls that go to sleep at night. I know there are so many girls out there who have been raped and hurt. You have to fight back.”
This week thanks to advanced DNA, Dennis Earl Brandford, 40, was arrested in Little Rock, Arkansas. Amazingly, Bradford fits almost the exact description given by the 8 year-old Schuett years ago.
“I remember everything; I’ve always wanted to remember everything so I can find the person that did this,” Schuett said. “If I had blocked this out of my memory, the investigation wouldn’t have come this far. I’m a fighter.”
Schuett believes she regained her voice in order to find her rapist. In a press conference on Wednesday, Schuett showed courage as she thanked her boyfriend, family, friends and the law enforcement for helping solve her case. Schuett told everyone present that for years she had been sharing her story with women to encourage them to speak up for themselves. Schuett concluded the press conference with powerful words, stating that rather than a victim she considers herself victorious.
Thank you Jennifer Schuett for using your voice to speak out on behalf of all the women and children who have been abused and mistreated. You are a voice for the voiceless and an inspiration to women everywhere.
To learn more about Jennifer Schuett and her inspiring story visit her website at http://justiceforjennifer.com/