After a stranger violently raped a home baker, she's dedicating her life to making sure no other
Editor's note: This story includes descriptions of sexual violence that some may find disturbing. It may not be suitable for all ages. Reader discretion is advised.
...Forged in the #MeToo era, [Justina] Rucinski eschews the shame and silence sexual assault survivors once felt in favor of adding her voice to the chorus of men and women demanding to be seen and heard. Through raw, moment-to-moment social media updates detailing the emotional roller coaster of trauma, she hopes to let her fellow survivors know that it is OK to not be OK and that healing takes time.
But she’s also speaking out to bring awareness to Iowa regulations that say certain home bakers must sell only from their front doorstep or at farmers' markets, which Rucinski believes creates an unsafe environment and provides opportunities for predators. Experts believe Rucinski is the first person to ever have her home bakery business used so specifically and directly to commit violence, but the crime's rarity won't stop Rucinski from advocating to change laws so home bakers can deliver or meet customers in public places.
Still in the early days of her recovery, Rucinski is unflinching in her desire to put the man charged with doing this to her in prison. Right now, that feels like the only way to stop the flashbacks that play in her mind like a never-ending trailer to the worst moment of her life.