Please donate to place a headstone on the grave of beloved Marcie J. Gerald. We have been asked by the Gerald family to assist in their efforts to raise money. As a result, we are amplifying Marcie's story in order to support her grieving family in their time of need.
Marcie J. Gerald was raped at the age of 14. Most cases of sexual assault (98%) are never brought to trial. Based on DNA recovered from the rape kit Marcie underwent after the sexual assault, the rapist was able to be identified and consequently brought to trial. As is a very common consequence of sexual assault trials, Marcie was severely triggered. Her rapist winked at her in the court room and repeatedly made comments about how pretty she was. As a result, during the trial, Marcie would come home and cut herself after hearing her attacker’s testimony. As a result of Marcie's increased self-harm and further traumatization, her family moved to quickly end the trial. On July 19, 2015 Marcie succumbed to suicide.
Marcie's mother wrote, "Since Marcie’s death, I’ve experienced an array of emotions from angry to sad. It’s something I will never get over. My baby was only 15, but my reality is that she will never graduate from high school, she will never go to college, and she will never get married. I think about it every day."
As September is suicide prevention month, we share this important information:
- The annual age-adjusted suicide rate is 12.93 per 100,000 individuals.
- Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women.
- On average, there are 117 suicides per day.
- Firearms account for almost 50% of all suicides
The rate of Black youth committing suicide has never been higher. A 2015 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that for the first time, the suicide rate of Black children in between the ages of 5 and 11 had doubled between 1993 and 2013 — while the rate among white children had declined. Suicides by hanging nearly tripled among Black boys in particular. Read more HERE.
As Marcie experienced sexual assault, please also reference these important statistics:
- 94% of women who are raped experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms during the two weeks following the rape.
- 30% of women report PTSD symptoms 9 months after the rape.
- 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide.
- 13% of women who are raped attempt suicide.
- Approximately 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress, a larger percentage than for any other violent crime.
Please share Marcie's story and please donate if you are financially able.
If you or a loved one are struggling with suicide or sexual assault, please call the hotlines listed below and seek help.
If you are in the Chicago area, please feel free to come to a fundraising event that we are holding with Marcie's family on September 30th.
Friday, September 3oth (6-10pm)
National Adolph Phillip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
10406 S. Maryland Ave
(Entrance on 104th Street Between Corliss & Maryland Ave)
About Black Lives Matter: Chicago
Black Lives Matter Chicago is a 100% volunteer organization.