In the headlines again is another sexual assault case. The Brock Turner case. In case you aren't aware of it yet, here is the summary:
Stanford Party. Girl gets way too drunk and passes out behind a dumpster, where Brock Turner finds here. He takes off her cardigan, pulls up her bra, and throws her panties to the side. Two men on bikes pedal by and and see him on top of her thrusting away. She has no memory of it. She awakes in the ER to be told what has happened to her. She has injuries. Brock Turner only got 6 months in jail and probation for his crime. The country is horrified. His father said it was a tough sentence for twenty minutes of action. Seriously. He said that. Brock was athlete, a swimmer. He lost his scholarship too. The whole thing has everyone talking. To read all the articles online, you see how the woman was victimize and yet the court was more worried about this young man's future than what had happened to her. It's terrible. And you know what?
I feel for her.
I was her. Only I didn't press charges.
I was at a party a while back. I was a teenager. I was at a close friends apartment and knew just about everyone there. I even brought a friend with me. He was more like family, than a friend. I drank underage and drank way too much. I went to my friend's bedroom to lay down. I remember the guy I brought with me asking if he could lay with me. I felt safe. I passed out.
I woke up some time later with NO clothes on the bottom half of my body. I was sore. I started screaming for help and crying. My friends helped me find my clothes. We called the hospital to ask about rape kit. I couldn't have one without filing a police report. I was scared. That was the last thing I wanted. Police. Court. No. I just wanted to shower. It took some convincing, but my friends finally let me shower.
I don't think I ever scrubbed myself so hard in all my life. I cried the entire time.
Afterwards I retired to another bedroom where my friend stood watch over me all night. He gave me some medicine for pain, and I cried myself to sleep. I left the next morning, and left the guy I thought was family there to find his own ride home. Oh yeah... no one kicked him out.
I was a wreck. I didn't know what to do. I told my mom,who was best friends with his mom, and she was there
too. I just kept crying and said he hurt me. I was asked if I was
sure. I was told he admitted to partying too much that night (he not
only drank but did some drugs as well. Something I was not into. And
who talks to their mom about this stuff before hand if they don't think
they did anything wrong? Isn't that called damage control?) I was
asked that maybe it didn't happen like that. That maybe my drinking
meant that maybe I had consented and... ??? Yeah. He was the one
being defended. I was the one no one believed. Forget that I was
wreck. Forget there were witnesses who said he was the ONLY one in that
room with me, and had to help me find my clothes, and soothe me. No
no. It was my fault. I should not have drank so much (forget he did
too, on top of drugs). This was my fault. I must not be remembering
correctly. Forget those who knew... who were there...who saw my pain
and panic and tears. Let me tell you something... life's a bitch.
At first I had wished I had gone ahead and went to the hospital and pressed the charges. But then I realized that if those closest to me didn't believe me, why would the courts? To this day he is free man.
I HATE HIM. I trusted him. I thought of him like a brother. And he violated me. And no one cared. No one but the two men who helped me find my clothes, watched over me, kept me safe and begged me to go the hospital.
The guy who did this to me has never apologized, never felt remorse, never looked backed. He didn't care about how what he did affected me. He doesn't care that when something triggers me it effects me for weeks. WEEKS!!! Even to this day!
After this assault, I thought myself a victim. It took years, YEARS, to push past this. To push past all of this, and realize I was not a victim. I was a survivor. I was actually stronger than I thought. The sad fact is though, when something triggers me, I feel like a victim all over again.
This kind of thing becomes a part of you. It changes you in ways you can't even explain. It becomes a part of who you are. It's a sick and disgusting thing. And it's now a part of you. It shapes how you see others, how you trust, how you see yourself and any self worth you thought you had. It's sad when 20 years later you still can't see certain scenes in movies or shows because it triggers nightmares. It triggers all the feelings of helplessness, pain, sorrow, anger,.... so many things. It NEVER goes away. Like I said, it becomes a part of you. You can forget after some time. But when you least expect it, something will trigger you again. And it takes quite a while to get back to normal again. First months, then eventually weeks. It never really goes away. I still have issues with self worth.
You see, what this poor woman went through with Brock Turner, is not an exception. It happens every day. Every day women are assaulted and no one believes them. They make them out to be at fault. IT'S NOT THEIR FAULT!!! I was in jeans and shirt. What a woman is wearing does not matter. If a woman cannot talk, she cannot consent. A passed out woman is not asking for it. Neither is one who isn't passed out.
We have to stop blaming the victims. We need to start holding these predators accountable for their actions.
I no longer trust people like I use too. My now loving husband had to nurse me through my nightmares (which I still have when triggered). Seeing all this in the news and on social media has brought back all the pain again. I don't sleep (not that I was sleeping all that well anyway). I wake up having nightmares all over again. Feeling the shame, the pain, the panic, the anger. I worry about my daughters. Because I know all too well that those you trust can hurt you in the worst ways. This is something I carry with me. I cannot watch certain scenes in movies without flashing back to this night (and a few other assaults I have endured).
I hate what happened to this woman. I understand her pain. I hate that Brock Turner got a light slap on the wrist for forever changing this woman's life. I admire her for having the courage to do what I could not.
Let's stop blaming victims. Let's start really letting these perverts, these predators, know that they are at fault. And that we as society will no longer stand idly by and just let them do this.