Before I begin, I want to issue two warnings. First, I’m going to talk about rape. Second, I’m going to use some adult language. I want to offer a preemptive apology to my mother and mother-in-law before we go any further. For anyone that doesn’t want to see me getting super liberal with the F-word then avert your eyes, because shit is about to get real.
So by now I think the entire world knows about the fucking shit dick in California that raped a young woman just outside of a fraternity party early last year. He was mid-assault when he was discovered and stopped by two passing cyclists. The woman was bloody and unconscious behind a dumpster. The shit dick in question took off on foot and was later apprehended by authorities. The woman woke up in a hospital room and had to be informed by deputies that she had been assaulted. And this is just where her nightmare began.
If you don’t know anything about the American legal system, you are not alone. In fact, you probably know just as much as somebody that is actually practicing law in California right now.
Let me start over, I’m not here to rehash the details of what happened in the courtroom, or to pretend that I had four years of law school for breakfast. Let’s just say that there was a major fuck up somewhere along the lines. I suspect sincerely hope we will be subjected to at least one, “I’ve decided to step down to spend more time with my family” statement in the coming months.
Unfortunately, the damage has already been done, and the consequences may be more far reaching than we will ever know.
Because even though the rapist was convicted he will only serve a slight sentence. A paltry six months, (not even the “mandatory minimum”) in prison with just three years of probation. That is with two witnesses, damning evidence, and a conviction. I guess they couldn’t produce the golden unicorn that is required for to meet the sentencing requirements.
And, again, I’m not a lawyer, but isn’t the point of mandatory minimum sentencing so that crimes have… well a fucking mandatory minimum sentence? And so that affluent white males with “bright futures” can’t get away with shit for being affluent white males who are being sentenced by other affluent white males? Or is my female brain too small to understand the complexities of the law?
Even this dick wad’s dad was defending his crime calling it “twenty minutes of action”. You know, instead of a sexual assault. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, ignorance begets ignorance. It sounds like consent isn’t something that was taught at home.
Now, what came out of that California courtroom alongside that abysmal sentencing and subsequent justification for it, was a message to the world.
It says that rape isn’t that big of a deal.
That, yeah, while it’s technically illegal, it’s just not that big of a deal. It’s nothing that should ruin a rapists life or that he should let get in the way of his hopes and dreams. Come the fuck on.
It also sends a message to the victims, don’t bother coming forward. You’ll just clog up the legal system with your complaint and in the end your rapist will only get a slap on the wrist. That is if you can survive the questioning and invasive evidence collection to press charges in the first place.
This is unacceptable. It is 2016. Women have rights and the reasonable expectation that men aren’t going to put their dicks where they aren’t wanted. No matter what they are wearing, what they have had to drink, or what time of day it is.
So how do we change this? How do we protect our sons and daughters and make sure that things like this don’t keep happening?
We educate them. We teach them about consent. We teach them, right alongside of their Sex Ed classes, who has the ability to consent and that not being able to say “yes” is the same as saying “no”. We remind them that actions have consequences. We offer support, love, and understanding to victims of sexual assault and show them that we believe them. And we fucking apologize that we’re even in this boat because of years of covering it up, lying about it, and letting it be the dark family secret.
We offer justice and education and a promise that we will try and do better. And we treat it like the devastating crime that it is instead of a mild inconvenience.
I want to leave you with these facts. A sexual assault occurs every 107 seconds. That’s just in the US. You know, our industrialized-forward-thinking-super-awesome country.
68% of all sexual assaults are never reported to the authorities and 98% of rapists will never see the inside of a jail cell. Let that sink in for a moment, because that’s just appalling.
These statistics are real and they are devastating. As a mother, as a daughter, a sister, a friend, shit, as a human being, they terrify me. So I ask you, beg of you, talk to your children. Teach them about consent.
Thank you, I’ll put the soap box away now.
You can read the amazing and courageous letter that the victim read to her attacker in the courtroom here. Wherever you are, I am thinking of you and your class, bravery, and grace. https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra
For education, support, and information on how you can help other victims and survivors, please visit www.RAINN.org
And to make your voice heard and to request the sentencing judge be removed from both the bench and the upcoming election ballot please visit https://www.change.org/p/california-state-house-recall-judge-aaron-persky and https://www.change.org/p/update-join-official-brock-turner-rape-judge-recall-movement