“I thought to myself that I didn’t want to die,” a Seattle woman named Lindsey said of her experience being raped last year in a car dealership bathroom. She continued, “And I didn’t want to die on a linoleum trailer bathroom floor. And I didn’t want my story to end there. And I kept fighting.”
Last year, Lindsay was (allegedly) raped by a 24-year-old man named Christopher Teel who was living in a nearby homeless camp. Lindsay had an appointment at the car dealership that day but had arrived a little early so she went to use the bathroom which was inside a trailer on the lot. Seconds after entering, 6’5″ Teel entered and forced his way into the bathroom stall and threw Lindsey on the floor where he raped her. It was later discovered that Teel had an outstanding warrant for criminal trespass (a misdemeanor) which had been on the books for a year at the time of the rape.
I wrote about this attack when it happened last year. It took place the same day as the head tax vote which was intended to raise money for homeless services in the city. That was the last I heard about the story. It seems that Lindsey didn’t want any additional attention at the time and never spoke to the media about what had happened to her. But that changed recently.
Lindsey approached City Journal editor Christopher Rufo and asked him to make a documentary about her experience. He agreed and the video (which you can view here) was posted on Facebook last month. That’s when the progressive backlash began:
We edited the film together and posted it to Facebook on April 22. That evening, it was the lead story on all four local Seattle news networks and had reached more than 35,000 people on social media. The public renewed its call for warrant checks at city-sanctioned encampments. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan condemned the assault and commended “the courage of a survivor of sexual violence to speak out.”
Then came the backlash. Progressive activists launched a counterattack against Lindsey on social media. Local journalist Erica Barnett claimed that the story drew attention because Lindsey is an “attractive blonde woman” and dismissed the victim’s “many tears” as theatrics serving a false narrative that the homeless represent a danger to the community. She demanded that the media temper its reporting and be mindful that “graphic descriptions of violent rape may be triggering for survivors.” Barnett’s message was amplified on left-wing Twitter; Councilwoman Lorena Gonzalez claimed that Lindsey’s story would create fear and cause harm to communities “that may already be triggered.”…
Seattle’s activist class seems, then, to have more compassion for transient criminals than for the victims of their crimes. Lindsey’s story should be a clarion call for everyone who cares about violence against women. But in the tortured logic of intersectionality, the story of a homeless rapist demands “context,” while the white, blonde, middle-class target of his assault is an unsympathetic victim.
What Lindsey wants is for the situation in her city to change. “What we are doing isn’t working. What we are doing right now is actually harming the city,” she says in the video. That’s a conclusion that a lot of Seattle residents have been reaching recently with regard to the city’s approach to homelessness. But there are many who are invested in the current approach. They don’t like it when their solutions are questioned or criticized and they are pushing back at anyone who says something they don’t like, including this 40-year-old mother who was a victim of rape. Again, I recommend you view the video of Lindsey telling her story here. Here’s a local news report reacting to the video.