Coming forward about being sexually assaulted isn’t right for everyone, and neither is going to court. But for some victims and survivors, it’s an extremely important part of regaining power. For one unnamed University of Colorado student, coming forward was the right move, and she’s hopeful that by openly discussing her sexual assault and challenging her attacker in court, she’ll inspire others to do the same. Her statement to the court, according to Refinery29, was incredibly moving and incredibly important.
Here’s a little of what she had to say:
She called out a system when we worry about ruining the life of rapists, rather than victims & survivors of sexual assault.
She reminded us that victims and survivors often know their rapists.
She opened up about they impact it’s had on her mental health.
She shared that the assault made her suicidal.
She reminded us of the financial impact of sexual violence.
And, finally, she talked about victim-blaming.
In the end, her rapist was sentenced to zero prison time for sexual assault.
Hearing about this unnamed survivor’s case, it’s impossible not to think of the Stanford Survivor. And, unfortunately, the case had a similar result: her rapist, Austin Wilkerson, got no prison time, while the Stanford Survivor’s rapist got only six months.
People are infuriated.
And rightfully so. It’s so sickening to live in a society where people continue to get away with sexual violence based on the argument like the one made by Judge Patrick Butler, as reported by The Huffington Post, that the rapists life would be damaged by jail time.
We hope that the survivor has found empowerment in her statement, and that we one day live in a society where all victims and survivors of sexual violence are listened to, respected, and empowered, rather than blamed for their own trauma.