“The Bravest Girl in Seattle” Speaks

Jennifer Hopper is the survivor of what’s become known as the “South Park rapes and murder” in Seattle. She wrote and incredibly powerful and brave first-person account of the ordeal for The Stranger.

Today, at 38, I find myself craving to have my identity back.

I am prepared to have my name enter the public realm. I know this may be naive, but I believe I should be able to be fine in my professional life—my whole life, really—and have it be known that this happened to me. In fact, having learned how to survive this may even have made me stronger and more able to manage the normal, workaday ups and downs.

Mostly, I no longer want to give off the impression that I’m afraid to be known, or that I might be ashamed of anything that happened that night.

I am not afraid. I am not ashamed.

I am still here. And I will still be here long after Kalebu is sentenced on August 12 (assuming the sentencing happens as planned). I realize that interest in this crime and its consequences will probably fade after he’s sent to prison, and before that occurs I want to use what interest remains to say a few things.

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