Miss Pennsylvania Valerie Gatto, 24, who will compete for the Miss USA crown on Sunday, told NBC’s “Today” show that she wants to use her mom’s rape experience to teach women to be more aware of sexual assault. “Being a child of a rape, not knowing who my father is, not knowing if he’s ever been found, most people would think it’s such a negative situation,” she told the network. “Being a voice is life-changing, and I just want to keep going.” Gatto said that her mother was attacked on a busy Pittsburgh street by a man who dragged her behind a building and raped her. “My mom managed to get away,” Gatto told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He was going to murder her, but there was just this bright flash of light and he got scared and didn’t want any onlookers to see her and what he was doing to her.” At a very young age, her mother told her: “Something bad happened to me. A very bad man hurt me, but God gave me you,” she said on the “Today” show.
She kinda lost me at the whole "God gave me you" thing , but that doesn't matter in the slightest, because if whatever happened to her mom happened to me, first I'd call my local news affiliate because holy shit a dude pregnant, and then I would immediately try to find anything I could to make sense of what happened to me so I could move forward. Because say what you want about humankind, but we can go through some vile, horrific shit then wake up one morning and decide just go about our fucking day. And that's really all we can do. So in honor of Valerie Gatto, show an act of kindness to a stranger today, because you never know what somebody else is going through at that exact moment. It doesn't really matter what you say or do, that's up to you, just make sure when you walk away, all they can say is "I am not alone." Who knows? Maybe you'll feel the same way.