Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Jane Doe No More

This is a very interesting organization that was just brought to my attention. Donna's story is shocking and disappointing and, unfortunately, an experience many other sexual assault survivors can relate to. Congratulations and thanks to her for starting an organization to address changes that need to be made!

Jane Doe No More Inc., is born out of my experience as a victim of sexual assault. Crime is an unfortunate reality in today's society and I was unprepared for what lay ahead after the attack as, I believe, is the case with most victims. I was mistreated by the very system put in place to "protect and serve" the innocent. On top of the pain and suffering associated with the crime, the abuse afterward rendered the healing process all the more difficult.

However, through perseverance and the support of my wonderful family and friends, along with law enforcement and legal professionals who have believed in me, there has been an amazing turnaround of events. The sexual assault took place on September 11, 1993, the perpetrator was disguised, and there were no fingerprints, photographs or forensic evidence other than DNA. The law enforcement officials from Waterbury Connecticut who abused me were found negligent in a civil trial in January 2001 and through a fortunate twist of fate and brilliant detective work in 2004, the perpetrator was identified through a DNA match. I also was given the opportunity to help bring about policy and procedural changes in the Waterbury police department. The perpetrator turned out to be a repeat offender who is now in prison following his guilty plea to numerous charges in Connecticut and New York. He was sentenced in my case in October 2006.

I am Jane Doe no more; I am Donna Palomba. It is my decision to come forward to break the social stigmas associated with this misunderstood crime and help other victims heal. I believe we learn most from our greatest challenges and I want to share what I have learned. Yes, I am a victim, but I am also a survivor and I have gone on to have a wonderful life both personally and professionally and look forward to a bright future. Learn more about my story.

The JDNM team is comprised of law enforcement, medical, legal and business executives as well as victims' service professionals. We are dedicated to improving the way society responds to victims of sexual assault so that all victims of this crime will have the chance for a full and healthy recovery; thus shortening the time from crime to healing.

Find out more about this organization and Donna's mission here. Also, Dateline covered Donna's story in april of 2007 but will be airing it again this Friday (September 4, 2009) from 9:00-11:00. Catch it if you can and let us know what you think!

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