She is Someone

“Support. Listen. Take Action. Because she is someone.”

I have been thinking about writing this post since last week when I first heard the news of the Stanford sexual assault case and ruling. And now, that I’m sitting down to my computer to write it, I’m at a loss for words.

She is Someone

The news is difficult to watch, read and listen to these days. We are living in a difficult world – shootings, terror plots – and our faith in humanity constantly is being challenged. Is there any goodness left? Do we need to live in fear? And now we have to be afraid of a lack of justice for rape victims?

When I read the Stanford rape victim’s letter to her assailant, Brock Turner, I cried. I cried for her. I cried for her sister. I cried for the other women present that night that Turner also could’ve preyed upon. And, I cried for myself – for all women. We, as women, are powerful creatures, and with that comes a ridiculous amount of responsibility – not only to ourselves but to our gender as a whole. Don’t dress that way, don’t drink too much, don’t flirt with multiple guys at a party, etc. Well, I don’t agree with any of that. While our society now seems to be quick to say that we are asking for it, I’m here to say that nobody EVER deserves to have their body violated without consent. Period. No questions or debate. Because she is someone.

You know what else we don’t deserve? For sexual assault to be summed up as “20 minutes of action,” as Turner’s father so poetically put it. Excuse me? 20 minutes of action? What kind of twisted world are you living in, buddy? Is your mind that sick and pathetic? You’re no better than your son, a sexual offender, if that’s how you’re choosing to cope and deal with this. Actually, I would question if whether or not you’re the reason your son has these stellar ideals and refuses to admit to his wrongdoing. Alcohol was not the driving force in this situation – YOUR son was. YOUR son made the conscious decision to RAPE an unconscious, innocent young woman. And, he should – no, needs – to face the consequences. I suppose that I can understand that he’s your child and you’d do anything to protect him, but don’t you dare lessen the crime that your son committed, and demean his victim and all sexual abuse victims with your words. Because she is someone.

While it disgusts me that the victim in this case won’t receive the justice that she and her family deserves – I even just saw that Turner most likely only will serve three of his six-month sentence – she is undoubtedly the bravest woman that I’ve come across. In a time of heartache and pain, she found the strength to share her words to open up conversation and offer comfort to other women in similar situations. Because she is someone.

What can we learn from her and her letter? SPEAK UP. Talk. Listen to each other. Offer support, even if all you can offer is a hug. If you’re out and you feel uncomfortable or someone is making you uneasy, seek out help. Not all women are fortunate enough to have two heroes come along like this victim did, so saying something before it’s too late is better safe than sorry.

If you do nothing else today, go read the victim’s letter and watch this PSA from the cast of Girls. While we all are our own woman and have our own beliefs and opinions, I’m confident that we all can agree that we need to fight for justice to protect victims of sexual abuse.

Because she is someone. Because YOU are someone.

 

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  • Biana Perez

    The victim’s letter was so profound and she so eloquently explained what I’m sure thousand’s of women and men have felt. His sentence was not justice – it was disgusting.

  • Debra Stachelski

    What a brave and extraordinary woman the victim is, she wrote such powerful words under horrible curcumstances. Brock Turner may not receive the punishment he deserves in court, but he will forever face the judgement in the court of public opinion. In a world that seems to have gone crazy, we need to talk to, support, listen to and love each other more than ever.

  • The Adored Life

    I am so proud of her and I get so ANGRY when I hear men perpetuate rape culture in such tiny ways throughout the day. I have been really listening to how we talk and it is such a shitty thing to ever question if someone was ASKING for it. UNLESS I HAVE A NOTE TAPED TO ME THAT SAYS PLEASE HURT ME NO ONE IS EVER ASKING FOR IT! I just cannot deal with how people can be so ignorant and not understand someone’s life was destroyed and many others are too but they are afraid to speak up. It’s so sad.

    The Adored Life

  • I have so much admiration for the victim, and how she’s taking the high road in such a horrible situation. Her attacker and his father are just disgusting to put it mildly. We all do dumb things under the influence of alcohol, but it takes a totally different level and type of person to commit an act like this. Beautiful post gurlie *hugs* <3
    Green Fashionista

    • Thanks for the love, friend! I don’t understand people that can commit these types of crimes and then not even own up to it. It makes me ill.

  • I really liked your post. I still can’t believe that things like this happen in our world. She is so brave
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

  • A

    I completely agree with you. I am so angry and devastated for this young woman, not only for what she had to endure but then the ultimate outcome of the case. What has been somewhat encouraging is the reaction of men to this situation. I have seen articles (and as silly as this may sound) Facebook posts from men about rape culture and their own fury at this situation. I hope that continues to occur. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important subject.

    • I agree with you! I’m glad that it has opened up conversation about this tough topic. Thanks for commenting!

  • Jenn

    The whole situation disgusts me. That people could 1) do something like this, and then 2) try and justify it away. I just can’t. Between that and what happened on Sunday morning, I just want to curl up and hide from this world. It’s not the one that I want to be living in, that’s for sure.

  • So much to be heartbroken in our world lately. You are right, we can make a difference by speaking up.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • It’s so sad how much violence is happening in our country right now, and how the justice system seems so broken at the same time. It made me so sick how much effort was put into discrediting this brave woman and how RAPE could be considered a 20 minute “accident”. I hope that eventually Brock finally understands what a horrible thing he really did.

    • I’m not sure he ever will, but at least his life will never be the same – regardless of his ridiculous jail sentence.

  • Yes. Absolutely yes. This whole case makes me physically ill.

  • Christina Sotherden

    I actually hadn’t seen the letter the victim wrote yet, so thank you for sharing! Such beautifully written post today.

    • I hope you had a chance to read it! It just really made an impact on me last week, so I needed to get some thoughts out.

  • I remember reading her letter and feeling such a huge range of emotions – sorrow, anger, but also a flicker of hope. Because she represents so many women who have felt they never had a voice. There is no way to justify such disgusting violence, but she was so brave and strong in her response and I think men are listening in a new way than we’ve seen before. Fear can do so much damage, and the fact that she has been able to overcome that and speak for so many women who feel they can’t is so powerful.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. She is so brave and has been able to open up the conversation about these heinous crimes. I truly admire her.

  • thank you for sharing this post love, beautifully written. i am still in shock over this, i cannot believe it has happened. she is an amazing woman for standing up and speaking out, and she – well, no-one – doesn’t deserve this. i am disappointed in the so called justice system and i hope this never happens again.

    • I know, the whole thing just still makes me sick. But I’m grateful for this girl for speaking out and sharing her feelings. She represents so many women and men who have suffered abuse, and I hope now we will do a better job as a society to not so quickly judge.

  • I love this post– so well said. Beyond what happened, it’s so upsetting that people can’t take responsibility for their actions and want to blame the victim or the circumstances.

    • Thank you! And yes, that’s what is so frustrating. Not only did he commit a horrible crime, but he can’t even admit to his actions. He’s scum in my eyes.

  • mdb0112

    You nailed this post. You know, we expect the justice system to be the driving force and think that appropriate sentences will be dealt out. But when it isn’t, it makes us question the systems and the fact that humans are the ones implementing the system, which leaves room for bias and personal feelings. I hate it for this girl, her family, and most importantly, for the message it sends all women. Also, did you read Joe Biden’s letter to her?

    • You are so right. And yes, I did read Biden’s letter – it was perfectly written, and I’m glad that he spoke out about the situation. It’s opened up such an important conversation that we need to be having.