On Friday afternoon, a press release was issued on behalf of the two families of the young girls who were targeted and harassed by Jeremy Christian on May 26. The release was written by a small group of advocates for the family, including Mercury writer Jagger Blaec. The families wished express their sincere gratitude to the three men who stood up to Christian on their behalf, and the community who has rallied around them.
"There are no words to explain the unspeakable brutality that took place that day, or the pure hatred from which it stemmed," it reads, in part. "But last week, we witnessed Portland take action to condemn the violence through an outpouring of support from members of the community."
The statement reveals that prior to this incident, the family of Destinee Mangum, one of the victims, was struggling with a temporary period of homelessness. Destinee's mother Dyjuana is a single mother and sole provider for the family, and the contributions they have received from the community "have helped them gain access to basic staples and enhance the family’s safety and stability," the press release states.
The other victim, an African-American Muslim girl, is choosing to remain anonymous. According to the statement, she has been observing Ramadan and mourning with her family.
"The girls, ages 16 and 17 years old, are suffering immense trauma in the aftermath of this tragedy," the statement read. "Although they have survived, their lives will never be the same after being targets of hate."
The statement also includes a link to a support form which will be used to organize and coordinate community members who have reached out hoping to help the two girls.
If you would like to contact the families for media coverage or support, you can email email@example.com. This email is managed by the advocates who have gotten permission from the families to speak on their behalf.
Hit the jump for the full statement.
The two girls who were the intended victims of the horrifying attack that took place on Portland MAX last week are immensely grateful to the fallen heroes who saved their lives.
There are no words to explain the unspeakable brutality that took place that day, or the pure hatred from which it stemmed. But last week, we witnessed Portland take action to condemn the violence through an outpouring of support from members of the community.
The responses have been overwhelming. Dyjuana, the mother of one of the victims, has expressed a wish to send a message to the families of Micah Fletcher, Rick Best, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, the heroes who saved the life of her child, Destinee, and the life of her friend, who wishes to remain anonymous.
“Thank you for protecting my babies,” Dyjuana said. “I am forever grateful that these two men put their lives on the line for my girls. They saved my childrens’ lives.”
Destinee’s family is grieving, and the girls feel immense survivor's guilt knowing they were the intended target of the attacks. When it is appropriat e, Dyjuana and Destinee would love to meet the families of these heroes to offer their immense gratitude.
Dyjuana also expressed the sincerest gratitude for the unexpected support the girls and she have received during this painful time. They are immensely thankful to every person who has helped, and to those who have inquired about their well-being.
Neither Dyjuana or any member of her family asked for financial support, although a community crowdfunding effort emerged with the consent of the family. They are immensely thankful to the community for providing them.
Before the tragedy, the family had recently overcome a temporary period of homelessness. Dyjuana is a single mother who is the sole provider for her family, and the contributions have helped the m gain access to basic staples and enhance the family’s safety and stability. While Our Muslim Sister has not yet released a formal statement, she is also very grateful for the help she has received, and has been engaged in religious practice during the holy month of Ramadan. She hopes that you will respect the privacy of her and her family as they mourn.
Here are ways to support these survivors:
To learn more about how to support Our Young Girls
The girls, ages 16 and 17 years old, are suffering immense trauma in the aftermath of this tragedy. Although they have survived, their lives will never be the same after being targets of hate. In order to help them heal from this traumatic event, we are raising funds to help the girls move on and feel safe in the future.
The funds will go toward basic necessities like meals and transportation, as they currently feel unsafe riding public transportation after their experience. Most importantly, funds will go toward mental health services to ensure their mental and emotional welfare.
A Support Form has also been created to allow an organized system to manage the many volunteers who have reached out. Individuals are offering rides as alternatives to public transportation, and community members are helping to secure them a vehicle and food donations, along with a variety of other pro bono services.
It is going to be a long road to recovery, but with the proper resources, we believe that we as a community will be able to continue helping the victims on their path of healing.
As may be imagined, this is a traumatic event for everyone involved. During this delicate time, a spokesperson for the family has requested that the public allows the families the privacy they need in order to heal.
If you would like to contact the families for media coverage or support, reach out to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This statement has been created by volunteer advocates of the families with their consent and permission.