Friday, June 10, 2016

Being angry about Brock Turner's verdict is fine, but what are you going to do about it?

I don't know about you but I'm about sick of seeing Brock Turner's face on my phone. I'm sick of the feeling I get in my stomach when I see him. When I think about his "bright future." Or his abhorrent father's endorsement of his son. I'm sick of thinking about rape being called 20 minutes of action. It's not doing anything for me but getting me angrier.  Maybe it's making me disproportionately angry.

This week I got to watch the sentencing of a man who sexually assaulted and raped me for almost 10 years. I never had the courage to press charges but another one of his victims did. And as I sat in that courtroom I had a bunch of emotions, but not one of them was vindication. Because his final sentence after all the things he had done to that woman is 2 months time already served and 5 years probation. He sexually assaulted her, broke into her house, assaulted her, and raped her, two separate times. But the best our justice system could do with the tools they had at their disposal was 2 months time already served and 5 years probation. He's not even on the sexual offender's registry, although his long list of victims will tell you that's exactly where he belongs. He still has partial custody of our children, and there's nothing the justice system will do about that. And we wonder why victims don't come forward. Brock Turner is not an isolated incident.

So I'm sick of being angry.  I'm sick of this broken ineffective justice system.  I'm sick of the futility of coming forward and saying you were assaulted or raped only to watch NOTHING HAPPEN. I have lost count of the friends that didn't receive justice when they did that. Maybe just by chance you're sick of the futility of all of this too.  Maybe it's beyond time for YOU, US, ME, OUR COUNTRY to do something about this! Change these laws, change the lawmakers, change the statutes that cover how long we have to come forward after being assaulted, change this "right to face your accuser" crap that terrifies rape victims and re-victimizes them. I, for one, am sick of doing nothing. I'm sick of just being enraged by the injustice of our justice system.  So I'm going to make some phone calls, probably a lot of them. I'm going to write some letters, probably even more of those. I'm going to keep calling and keep writing until those in positions of power do something! And if you think for one moment me doing all of this excuses you from making calls, writing letters and PROTESTING the abhorrence of this system then you're on the side of the rapists. There are no bystanders in this, you're either with the abusers or the on the side of the victims. Your silence does not serve those who are hurting, it only serves the Brock Turners of this world. Make no mistake, I'm sure that's offensive, it's meant to be. But I have no time for complacency anymore.  I'm done, are you?

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