Rewind


Published:

Christina Minnish has spent 15 years dealing with the aftermath of her own sexual assault. Now she’s ready to end her silence, using her voice to help others who can't use theirs.

Adjusting to a new normal has meant carrying the memory of being raped in the dirty stairwell of a dance club with her, replaying the visions in her mind with every trigger. And the triggers were everywhere. The birth of her children. Homecoming. The month of October. Each mention of rape or sexual assault on the evening news. She was cautious about sharing her story, in part out of shame and in part out of fear. Fear of the reaction. Fear of the unknown. This is that story.

It was a warm May afternoon. The kids were seated behind me in our family van. I was flipping through the radio stations while driving home from the carpool line at their elementary school.

My third-grade daughter’s voice disrupts the normalcy.

"Mommy, what is r-a-p-e?"

In an instant, I am back in time, reliving a nightmare that doesn’t go away when I wake up.

I was a spectator to my rape.

My body was exposed. I knew that.

I hear myself whisper, “Please stop.”

There was unbearable pain.I knew that, too.

It was as if I was there experiencing it all, but also as if I was watching from above.That’s how I survived. I think.

How far did he go? Too far.

Those details are foggy. I was a virgin.

How long did it last? I’ll never know for sure, but a friend has said I was missing for hours. I was in and out of consciousness. Flashes of lucid horror, one after another. I remember the songs changing, and then the music stopped. The club was closed. We were the only ones left.

Three things remain clear:

His hands pinning my motionless body to the dirty stairwell floor,

The feel of the cold, hard concrete pressed uncomfortably against the small of my back,

And his face.

The rapist is anonymous to me. We could have passed on the street. Strangers. Yet, he forced us to share the most intimate of acts. Except it wasn’t intimate at all. A few dances, too many drinks, and, without warning, there is the feeling of the concrete pressing against my back and his hand pinning my arms over my head. No recollection of the in between, just him on top of me groping me and raping me in the dirty, empty stairwell.

Salty tears stream down my face. I hear myself whisper, “Please stop.” But, there is no stopping. He is in control. I must find a way to survive.

People think they know how they would react in this situation. I was one of those people once, but that night I was paralyzed. Even if I could have unfrozen myself long enough to scream, no one would have heard. Music was blaring, people were dancing, drinking and thinking only happy thoughts. We were miles away from life. 

Fighting was not an option.

I blame myself for being so drunk, but I never could have fought him. He was much too strong, and needed only one hand to pin my wrists above my head. 

His head was shaved, close to completely bald. He had a strong face, with a chiseled jaw line. He smelled like sweat, beer and cigarette smoke. The rhythmic bass sounds of club music drowned out my pleading requests to stop. I whispered and cried, but was helpless. At some point, he told me I liked it. He told me,

“You want this.”

Finally, a club employee came around the corner and startled my attacker; he yanked up his pants and scurried off into the night. The employee doubled back around the corner and waited for me to dress myself and leave. When I passed him, he never said a word. Why didn't I?

To read the full article, subscribe now or pick up the January/February issue of South Magazine.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Greatest Kids 2019

Nominate your kid this year and tell us why he or she has to be the winner of our South's Greatest Kids contest. Don't be shy — this could be your year!

Greatest Chefs 2019

Behind every good meal is a great chef; they are the invisible artists, working behind the scenes. Nominate your favorite chef for South magazine’s Greatest Chefs contest!
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • SS Savannah (1819-2019)

    May 23, 2019
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Ships of the Sea Museum

    2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the SS Savannah's groundbreaking trans-Atlantic crossing.  In recognition of this monumental achievement,...

  • Savannah Philharmonic Chorus Auditions

    Sep 07, 2019
    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM @ Collegiate Church of St. Paul the Apostle

    The Savannah Philharmonic is holding auditions throughout the year for singers to have the opportunity to join the Chorus for the exciting...

  • "Portrait of the Artist" Exhibition at Telfair Museums

    Aug 03, 2019
    12:00 PM - 12:00 PM @ Jepson Center

    This exhibition brings together several photographic portraits of recognizable creative individuals from Telfair’s permanent collection....

  • Historic Savannah Foundation’s 13th Colony Garden Party

    Sep 19, 2019
    5:30 PM - 7:30 PM @ Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

    This event, sponsored by Savannah Dental: Stephanie J. Sweeney DMD LLC, will provide young professionals in the Savannah area with an opportunity...

  • Beverly Willett Book Launch/Signing

    Sep 19, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ 24e

    Join us at 24E on East Broughton from 6-8pm for the launch of Beverly Willett's memoir, Disassembly Required. Willett will have a reading, be...

  • Free Screening of 'Paris to Pittsburgh'

    Sep 19, 2019
    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM @ Asbury Memorial Church

    Asbury Memorial Church invites the community to attend a free screening of Paris to Pittsburgh, a documentary addressing climate change. This...

  • Girls' Night Out: "Doctor Zhivago"

    Sep 19, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Director David Lean’s cinematic masterpiece, it’s the epic tale of a sensitive Russian physician, who is torn between his loyal, long-suffering...

  • Katie Deal: Crazy for Patsy Cline

    Sep 20, 2019
    1:00 PM - 1:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Having sold out two national tours of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline,” including a performance at the Post, Katie Deal takes the stage with...

  • Yoga Relay for Family Caregivers

    Sep 20, 2019
    5:30 PM - 9:00 PM @ Service Brewing Co.

    You are invited to join us in raising support for our local caregivers by joining together in a yoga relay! What’s a Yoga Relay? We will do...

  • Hilton Head Choral Society's September Song Concert - Music for Family and Friends

    Sep 20, 2019
    7:00 PM - 8:30 PM @ Holy Family Catholic Church

    The Hilton Head Choral Society will kick off their new season with a fall concert of music meant to soothe the soul and lift the spirit –...

  • Friday Concert Series

    May 03, 2019
    7:00 PM - 12:00 AM @ Historic Courthouse, Downtown Blairsville on the S

    Come enjoy live music every Friday Night from the first Friday of May through the end of October. The Historic Union County Court House will host...

  • Katie Deal: Crazy for Patsy Cline

    Sep 20, 2019
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Having sold out two national tours of “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline,” including a performance at the Post, Katie Deal takes the stage with...

  • Leather & Latex Fetish Party

    Sep 20, 2019
    10:00 PM - 3:00 AM @ Club One

    Tied & Tasseled is bringing you another one of our fetish parties!Our goal is always to bring the BDSM community together and celebrate our...

  • Blue Ridge Conservancy 5K

    Sep 21, 2019
    7:00 AM - 11:00 AM @ Race Start: Blowing Rock American Legion

    20th annual 5K and kid’s fun run in neighborhood roads in Blowing Rock! Benefits the Blue Ridge Conservancy.

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Marietta StreetFest

    Sep 21, 2019
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    The Marietta StreetFest celebrates arts & crafts, family fun, live music and classic cars in historic Marietta Square. Held Saturday, Sept. 21...

  • Out of the Darkness Savannah Walk

    Sep 21, 2019
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM @ Lake Mayer Park

    When you walk in the Out of the Darkness Walks, you join the effort with hundreds of thousands of people to raise awareness and funds that allow...

  • Power Yoga Principles

    Sep 21, 2019
    11:00 AM - 12:15 PM @ Savannah Power Yoga

    This class is intended for students who are new to Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, as well as those hoping to learn more about finding their best...

  • Cruise In “On The Square”

    May 18, 2019
    4:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Downtown on the Square

    Join the Blairsville Cruisers every 3rd Saturday of each month to enjoy cruiser contests like the best interior, best engine, best custom and more!...

  • "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"

    Sep 21, 2019
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Tybee Post Theater

    Based on the runaway bestseller, “Where'd You Go, Bernadette” is an inspiring comedy starring Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, who plays Bernadette...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

Grand Opening Studio 60 | Body Brite

Studio60BodyBrite owner and girl boss Bobbie Ciaccio unveiled Savannah’s newest salon to the public by hosting a grand opening, “Pink Party,” on Friday, Sept. 13.

The Laughter After: George Montero's Visual Art Show

Savannah's art world gathered at the Cork House, Thursday to experience the award winning SCAD graphic design professor, Jorge Montero's opening exhibition of paintings, drawings, prints and more!

Buy Local's Big Barn Business Bash

Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22, was truly an unforgettable night, featuring live music by Thomas Claxton and some fantastic craft beer by Southern Eagle — along with the top-notch cuisine of Chris Hathcock. A variety of incredible auction items benefited the Royce Learning Center and the Chatham Academy, including a pearl necklace from International Diamond and several rounds on the Bacon Park Golf Course!

Ruth's Chris National Taste Maker's Veuve Clicquot Wine Dinner

Ruth's Chris held their Veuve Clicquot Tastemaker Dinner on Friday, August 23, pairing their signature steaks with renowned Veuve champagne — which was founded in 1772 and is one of the largest champagne houses in the world. The Tastemaker Dinners are held at Ruth's Chris locations across the country, featuring a five-course meal inspired by the French heritage of Veuve Clicquot, including dishes such as filet mignon and lobster agnolotti.

August Brews for a Cause at Husk

Brews for a Cause at Husk, August 22, was truly an unforgettable night, featuring live music by Thomas Claxton and some fantastic craft beer by Southern Eagle — along with the top-notch cuisine of Chris Hathcock. A variety of incredible auction items benefited the Royce Learning Center and the Chatham Academy, including a pearl necklace from International Diamond and several rounds on the Bacon Park Golf Course!

Leopold's Ice Cream's 100 Year Birthday Block Party

Leopold’s celebrated its 100th anniversary on Saturday, August 17, throwing a birthday block party to commemorate the event.

Savannah Downtown Business Association Luncheon

The Savannah Downtown Business Association held its monthly luncheon on Aug. 14

Bohemian Hotel 10th Anniversary

The Bohemian Hotel celebrated their 10th year in business with an incredible night of cocktails and appetizers. Guests ventured up to the stunning rooftop deck overlooking the Savannah River to celebrate the hotel's decennial anniversary — reveling in the scenery with a glass of champagne.

Stonewall50 - A Legendary Block Party

The Stonewall 50 block party, held on June 28th outside the LGBTQ Center on Bull Street, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Protest — one of the most important moments in LGBTQ history and the catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Pelindaba Lavender Savannah Grand Opening

Pelindaba Lavender Grand Opening was this past Thursday, June 28th! This fun night included ribbon cutting, product sampling, lavender refreshments and special prizes! During this festive evening 10% of sales benefitted the good work of Coastal Pet Rescue. Stop by the store at 112 E Broughton St, Savannah, Ga to see the many products they offer!