Your Honor, (There Is No Honor in your Sentence), You Just Minimalized Rape.
What is happening!? What are we teaching our children? Outrage cannot equally represent my sentiments at this time.
I don’t care if one million people write about this story, and I happen to be a small voice among them.
I don’t care if you think I am jumping on a bandwagon of trending rage.
I don’t care if your Facebook feed becomes inundated with similar posts.
And I certainly don’t care if you are tired of hearing Brock Allen Turner’s name.
What I do care about, is my children having to witness this horrifying injustice unfold before their eyes. As well as the repulsive memories flooding my brain as I relate to the victim.
Not only was she a victim of rape. Now she’s a victim of the bullshit, we call a Justice System.
I am appalled, sick to my stomach. Something terrifying is happening, and this most certainly is the time we need to speak up. If not for the victim, for a society ignorant to #RapeCulture. Our silence is as sickening as the act of rape itself.
I’m tired of screaming; my voice is hoarse, dammit people it is time to open up the conversation.
No more shame. No more hiding.
Brock Allen Turner raped a young woman and received a six-month sentence. His victim has to live with what rape has done to her for the rest of her life.
As a survivor of rape, I can tell you with unabashed certainty, she will never be the same.
The internet is crawling with anger; women, men, myself, we are angry. WE SHOULD BE. We should be so angry that our blood boils. We can’t stand by and let one more victim feel ashamed, especially while the Justice System fails them.
And hopefully, as each of us speak up, we can bring the ONLY good to come of this horrific injustice.
The victim’s impact statement, which explicitly and unequivocally expresses her pain, is one that will resonate with me for a long time. Not only was it difficult to read the pain she endured, but also brought up some painful personal memories.
I know all too well what it feels like to charge someone with a sex crime and not have justice served.
The victim is not only left to deal with the morbid reality she was raped.
There is an entirely different trauma she will endure now that she has lost faith in the justice system. A six-month sentence minimalizes the pain of her rape. It’s disgusting.
My journey to seek justice against a man who admittedly (the operative word being ADMITTEDLY) molested me from the ages of three to six came late in life. In Canada, there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault. It wasn’t until this man revealed what he had done to me twenty years later, did I find the strength to charge him.
There is nothing simple when charging someone with sexual assault. I appreciate the process must be intricate, as it is a serious charge.
In my experience, it left me sickened, heartbroken and suspicious. I trust nothing about the Justice System.
As I walked into the police station …
Not only was I treated as the guilty party while sitting in a cold steel chair in a tiny grey room, but was also reminded on many occasions the impact I would have on my assailant’s life. So often, in fact, I had no choice but to feel a little guilty wherein telling my truths. On one occasion having an officer remark, “It was so long ago, are you sure this is in the best interest of the community?” I remember wondering to myself if it was, was I just being a baby, not getting over something that happened so many years ago? At that moment, I reminded myself of why I was there. Not for me, but for anyone else this man may come in contact with, that he may indeed damage as he had done me.
I spent over four hours in that room. Hearing words like – digital penetration, forced fellatio, insertion, oral rape, sodomy, oral copulation – words that felt as traumatic as reliving my story. I recognised the need for the technical terminology. Nonetheless, those words have remained with me since that day. Sadly those clinical, cold hard words tasted as if they became my story.
Nevertheless, I did it; I was proud of myself for walking into the police station and giving my statement. Pleased I took a step towards justice.
In any sexual assault case, there is (and there should be), several months of investigation. In my case almost one year was spent investigating my allegations (despite the declaration of my assailant, admitting to myself and others, he had molested me).
It was just as the sting of coming forward had almost subsided when I received a phone call from the police officers dealing with my case.
A day in which the scales of justice shattered and demolished the heart of a little girl. Me.
The officer went on to explain they had gathered enough evidence and sent my case to Crown Counsel (Canadian for Prosecutor). Crown Counsel believed we had more than sufficient evidence to win in court. But when my case was brought before a Judge, to ask for a court date, the Judge threw it out. Exclaiming, there was no need to prosecute a man who is over fifty years old, for a crime, he is sure, has plagued him for many years. As well as stating, this poor man (what about me) has spent over twenty-five years in a wheelchair which should be punishment enough. FYI – my molester was in a wheelchair the entire time he molested me
Unfortunately, I learned a harsh lesson that day. One that has forever plagued my belief in the Justice System. It doesn’t matter if the prosecutor believes you, it doesn’t matter if a man tells an entire room he raped you, it matters what the Judge deems worthy of prosecution.
THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.
Well Sirs/Madams, Honorary up keepers of the law. I don’t believe you deserve your title anymore. “Your Honour” leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth. There is no Honour in what you’ve done. Not for me and certainly not for Brock Allen Turner’s victim. The political bias in which you base your judgments does nothing for the nightmares in which I am tormented. No, your decisions cannot and will never take away the terror of my sexual assault, but the injury you’ve caused by minimalizing rape is disturbing. You, Sirs/Madams, are permanently wounding other victims from coming forward. Shame on you.
Although I cannot stand in the victim’s shoes or claim to feel her pain. I can speak with my honesty and through my experiences. My heart aches for this woman; I have spent the day in tears, imagining how her heart must have felt when hearing the Judge give his sentence. I remember all too well the way my heart sank when my case was thrown out.
I worry for the moment after the publicity dies down and the reality of her post-traumatic stress envelops her.
I fear for my children who were just taught a Rape Sentence can last less time than a pregnancy.
I despair another serious violation story will go unnoticed out of fear of coming forward.
I grieve for every victim that has had their rape or sexual assault minimised by ignorance.
We can’t take away the nightmare, but we can share our survival stories and show the world we will no longer sit silently. Our voices will be justice.
We will be warriors.