Let’s Talk About Rape And The Failure Of Our System

Image result for quotes rape

I’m fed up. Once again. This post will be all over the place because I am truly angry. Angry and frustrated!

Fed up by the system that seems to be worth the same shit everywhere: Nothing. It’s called justice system and yet justice is not done in so many cases. The victim is marked forever while the offender walks away able to have a pretty life in a pretty home with his pretty family… oh, and a pretty future of course.

We live in a culture that obviously accepts sex being forced upon someone as not as bad. We live in a society that believes financial fraud needs to be punished harsher than rape. We live in a society where judges believe that a rapist needs to get away with only a couple of months behind bars because of the huge impact the sentence could otherwise have on his future. Poor boy… After all he only raped a unconscious girl. As his father already said, why destroying his future for “only 20 minutes”…

We live in a society where an ex student athlete can be the judge of a bloody rapist student athlete… Read the part about the judges notable cases! I bet the defenders partied after finding out who the judge would be for Mr Brock Turner! 3 months and he is out again! I have no words! No words! And yet, I will keep writing…
My head is spinning…

Let me just highlight some parts of this article:

Former Stanford University swim team standout Brock Turner was sentenced June 2 to six months in the county jail and placed on probation. He will be out in three months with good behavior.

For women in Santa Clara County and across California, Brock Turner’s sentence for three violent sexual felonies isn’t merely shocking, it’s dangerous. It reinforces the myth that sexual assault is not a serious crime, particularly when it is perpetrated by young white male athletes in elite universities.

In fact, Persky, who was captain of the club lacrosse team at Stanford when he was a student there in the 1980s, had to bend over backward to award Turner such a light sentence.

One of Turner’s crimes was assault with intent to commit rape, which carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison and is presumptively ineligible for probation.

Nevertheless, Judge Persky concluded that Turner’s youth and intoxication made him less morally culpable for his crime and that he had already been punished by the loss of his swimming scholarship and by the media coverage of the trial.

Does that make you feel sick too? But wait, there is more!

Persky also gave short shrift to the victim’s trauma. Many of the “character letters” that Persky hailed as persuasive were directly victim-blaming, attacking the victim for dancing prior to the assault and assailing her level of intoxication.

Persky did not even require Turner to take responsibility for the sexual assault. At sentencing, Turner continued to place responsibility for the crime on Stanford’s culture of “binge drinking and sexual promiscuity.”

Persky even verged on questioning the jury’s verdict, calling the trial an “imperfect process” and saying that Turner should not be “penalized” for failing to fully accept the findings of guilt.

Interesting that we often seem so shocked about the limitation women have in what we call our normal rights in Muslim countries. We judge them, we judge the religion because we feel women are not free. But looking at Turner’s case and so many more I actually wonder if we are different at all…

Think about it: A woman in our world is not allowed to drink and have fun and maybe even dress the way she’d like to without having to accept taking a risk of getting physically, sexually assaulted… How often do rapists excuse their act claiming the victim “asked’ for it because of her behavior, because of the way she was dressed or because of being drunk and having a good time. So the solution to keep our kids safe would be to lock them up, not allow them to drink and definitely make them wear wide cloths, hiding whatever can be hidden… Don’t let them have fun, don’t let them enjoy being themselves.

Just make sure pricks like Brock Turner can’t find anything to use as an excuse…

Do we really have to go there?

What about our freedom? What about the freedom of women to do the same thing guys do, without risking being labeled as sluts? What about the freedom of girls, women, to dress the way they want to?

One juror angrily wrote to Persky that the sentence was “ridiculously lenient” and made a “mockery” of the whole trial, according to the Palo Alto Weekly. “It seems to me that you really did not accept the jury’s findings,” he wrote. “We were unanimous in our finding of the defendant’s guilt and our verdicts were marginalized based on your own personal opinion.”

The prosecutor in Santa Clara County seems to agree. The week after the sentence in Turner’s case, the prosecutor asked to have Persky removed as the judge in an upcoming sexual assault trial, saying that he had lost confidence that the judge could “fairly participate” in the case.

Elected officials including Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and numerous members of the California legislature have called for him to resign or be removed. A former Santa Clara County judge called the sentence a clear example of “bias” and “white privilege.”

Jurors refuse to sit in Persky’s courtroom because they are so upset by his misapplication of the law, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

And still Persky remained the judge. Glorious world of money… hey… I mean how else would that be possible? This judge is dirtier than dirt and still gets to be in charge of a trial like this…

Sadly, this is not the first time that Persky has appeared to favor athletes accused of campus rape. In a 2011 civil trial following the alleged gang rape of an unconscious 17-year-old victim by members of a college baseball team, according to the Guardian, Persky allowed the jury to consider photographs of the victim taken at a party nearly a year after the assault in order to prove that the victim was not really traumatized. Her lawyers called the impact of the photos “prejudicial” and questioned other rulings by Persky that favored the defendants.

How sad is that? How frustrating is that? How can it be that our system fails us constantly and there seems to be nothing we can do?

And how the heck should you explain to your kids that your body is worth less than your bank account… No wait: A girl’s body is worth less than the reputation of an University athlete… Where will it end? What are we teaching our children?

My children are still little and yet with one just having turned a teenager it seems so important to talk about respect for themselves and for others. It is so important to enforce this and remember them that a “no” is a “no”. It scares the hell out of me. It makes me angry to know that I can teach them as much as I want about respect and protecting themselves. If they end up at the wrong place at the wrong time and some low life characters decide and manage to put some drugs in their drinks to then take what they want from them, rape them, hurt them, maybe even kill them, not even a judge will protect them… The system will most likely fail them. Because the low lives, if they have the right background money and alumni wise, will walk away. Always. Because apparently their reputation, their life is worth so much more than anyone else’s.

And I think to myself “Fuck it!”

It’s when I decide that awareness is one thing, but being able to physically protect themselves is another one. And then I get confused again and ask myself how much they can actually protect themselves if they get knocked out by KO drops. What do we have to teach them?

  • Never go out alone
  • Stick to your group of friends
  • Don’t let your drinks unattended
  • Don’t let anyone leave by themselves
  • Always be aware of our surroundings
  • A no is a no
  • Shout at someone who is annoying so you get the attention of people that might be around

So many things that work in theory. But what if the barkeeper is the one who spikes your drink? What if you get separated from your friends for whatever reason? What if you are trying your best to be aware of your surroundings but you just miss out on that one person? What if someone still doesn’t accept your no? What if it’s one of your friends that actually attacks you? What if people around you just don’t react to your shouting and screaming???

There are so many different feelings inside of me right now. I see my two kids, still being so innocent. And I almost feel sick. I’m sad and angry. Sad and angry because there are assholes like Brock Turner and Aaron Persky out there. Everywhere. Sad and angry because there will always be people out there who will try to take advantage of you. In any possible way. There are people out there who will try to take what is not theirs. No matter what. I’m frustrated because obviously the system fails. The idea of justice is just a sweet idea.

And I feel a fire inside of me. It doesn’t feel good. It’s destructive not productive and I know I have to turn it around. I owe it to my children to prepare them for everything. To teach them everything that will make their life good. And I will do my very best to do so. But I will also make a promise. I promise them that I will always fight for them and stand up for them. I will do whatever it takes for them…

 

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41 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Rape And The Failure Of Our System

  1. Thank you for writing this. I don’t write long posts that take a stand on very controversial topics, but it doesn’t mean that I am not feeling some way about it. I am sharing this over the weekend for my weekly faves!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Any judicial system that allows the victim to end up appearing as less a person than the accused is perverted. There need to be minimum sentences for rape that the judge must apply.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We feel your anger, and you expressed yourself so well here, Sandra. This story is not going away, there is so much to be learned. And it left me wondering about the judge and his questionable past…why does he keep defending these “boys” ?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This makes me really scared and angry. I also don’t understand why we insist on having “come so far” when stuff like this still happens and the system won’t even respond to all the public outcry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yes! Every day here. It is always the woman who was asking for it, or she should not have stayed late, or why was she wearing short clothes and drinking, or why was she out with a guy, or how dare she travel alone!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An excellent post. I followed this story and saw some updates this morning. The whole things saddens and frightens me and what’s more worrying, like others have said, this is not a one off. Unfortunately it happens all the time all over the place. My concern in this case is not just the response and reaction of the attacker and his father (which is totally unbelievable), but the actions of the judge and judicial system who failed that poor women. She deserves so much more. When I read things like this it actually makes me feel grateful that i don’t have children, but it doesn’t stop me feeling concern for all the other young girls growing up in this crazy, screwed up world.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You make a lot of good points. It’s also worth noting, though, that the victim doesn’t *have* to be female for the system to let down victims of rape. Take the same law that meant Brock Turner isn’t, legally speaking, a rapist and it actually means that women in California can’t be accused of rape.

    The system fails, and it does so badly in the vast majority of cases. A law in Germany which was only rewritten this year means that a victim saying “no” was not enough of a sign to not wanting to have sex for the act to be rape. The difficulty in these cases is that it is pretty much always one person’s word agaisnt another’s. That doesn’t excuse people like the judge you mention, it just makes it difficult to interpret everything and I don’t think anyone comes out of a rape case with no negative effects.

    That sounds like I’m trying to defend the system, which I’m not. (I complained about it myself – http://wp.me/p4jLZ5-1au) In my opinion it is both one of the most straight forward and most difficult areas for the law to deal with appropriately.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The system is so F**k up isn’t it? I have no more words for that..it’s just disgusting. We could only teach the kids to stay away from assh**es and yes, fight for them hard when we have to. I’m feeling your wrath in this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Let’s Talk About Rape And The Failure Of Our System | Making Time For Me

  10. As a survivor who didn’t bother to report it because “hey, maybe I *was* asking for it,” thank you for this post.
    It is such BS that we have to live daily with these fears, for children and for ourselves, and that still people are concerned with teaching girls how not to be raped rather than teaching boys not to rape. I’ve read some interesting stuff on teaching kids consent and bodily autonomy at young ages. I just found your blog so I’m not sure what ages your kids are, but I think it’s good stuff regardless of age. Things like “oh that boy hit you, that means he likes you” and combatting that by teaching that a person’s body is their own, regardless of age or gender. Another thing is allowing kids to say no to hugs and kisses from other people, even relatives. If a kid is creeped out by their uncle, a parent shouldn’t make them sit on his lap. [Ugh, I know that all too well.]
    Sorry for the paragraph. Suffice it to say I enjoyed your post. I feel you. Thank you.

    ~ Veronica

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Veronica, for sharing your thoughts. My children are just about 10 and a very fresh Teenager. It was always our mission to teach them that they don’t have to hug or kiss anyone if they don’t feel comfortable. They both should know that nobody is allowed to touch them if they don’t feel comfortable with it. It’s sad to see how it’s been labeled “rude” by people if a child refuses a hug. My daughter plays soccer and one day the head of coaching (a woman) came over to the team and said “give me a hug”. They have never seen her before. So first of all, why is it okay for someone to ask for a hug if you have never met before? All the kids in my daughter’s team hugged her. Most of them didn’t feel comfortable with it but did it because a grown up has asked them to. My daughter didn’t. The woman asked her why she’s not hugging her. She asked her if she doesn’t like her. My daughter looked at her and said “I don’t hug you because I don’t know you and I don’t feel like hugging you.” Needless to say that it made me proud. But I got this look from the HC. This “teach your child manners” look. I’m angry with myself for not saying anything to her but rather just stand there and tell my daughter afterwards how fantastic her reaction was. The team’s coach had a long chat with all the girls afterwards, telling them that they don’t have to hug people just because the ask for it. I’m glad the girls are in good hands there.

      Liked by 1 person

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