It all happened on the night when Jenn Gibbons was in South Haven, MI. She waited longer than she should have, but hesitated to call 911 due to being scared and being embarrassed.
She was stunned and alone on a desolate beach of Michigan's Upper Peninsula after being raped. She was surprised by her
attacker who had crept aboard her one-person rowboat in the middle of the night and forced his way into the boat's cabin, where Gibbons had been peacefully sleeping.
She began the 1,500 mile solo journey in June to raise money to buy boats for a Chicago rowing team she co-founded for breast cancer survivors. She kept the silence for a while for the fact that she thought the surviovors on the team, 50 women, from their 30's to their 70's, all that were different but but each person tough in their own ways. She had been through so much though this challenge, finding sponsors, the training, the sweat, the tears, and how she'd shared all of that with her team and supporters over the last two years.
She finally did call the police. In the days after, she also went public about the assault, in hopes to help police find her attacker. She worked with women who through practicing after chemo, losing their hair and all, she gained strength to come forward. After she revealed the attack of the rape, her determination to Lake Michigan trip,
Police dusted the boat for fingerprints, and even now as she uses her boat, she still finds remnants of the black finerprinting chalk. She no longer sleeps on the boat when she comes into harbors on the way home. She only goes into the boat's cabin, where the attack happened when she absolutely has to. While investigators await results from lab tests on
forensic evidence, they have tips and a possible sketch that they're leading on. The
sexual assault changed her, but she uses the rape, the attack as memories that have made her stronger and will continue to share her story as she moves forward in life.