13 Things You Need To Know About The Baylor Rape Case

13 Things You Need To Know About The Baylor Rape Case

Or in other words, thirteen more reasons why you should be pissed off with the US Criminal Justice System.

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Thanks to the #MeToo movement, there has been an increase in women coming out about their experiences with sexual assault. Although the movement has helped society progress into a more accepting, helpful environment, the justice system has not caught up.

In 2016, a 19-year-old female student attending Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, was choked and sexually assaulted by Jacob Anderson, president of Phi Delta Theta, at a party hosted by the fraternity. He accepted a plea deal in October, and it then became public. People were outraged at the lack of punishment for Anderson in his plea. A petition was soon created for the judge to deny the plea, and it received signatures from over 85,000 people around the world. The US Criminal Justice System failed this 19-year-old female, and sadly this is horrible handling of sexual assault is not shocking in today's day.

On December 10, 2018, this case was brought to national attention. On this day, the survivor made a statement to the judge on the case after he accepted Anderson's plea deal.

Instead of reading through many articles, I have compiled 13 major facts about this case because it needs to be heard.

1. Anderson left her on the ground, unconscious. 

NPR: "He led her to a secluded area on the grounds so she could get some air, and then repeatedly raped her, leaving her unconscious, alone and 'lying face down in her own vomit.'"

How does a person lack so much compassion for another person that he would force himself on her and leave her in a near-fatal state?

2. She was most likely drugged at the party.

NPR: "After sipping some punch, 'she became disoriented and felt very confused,' according to the affidavit."

Honestly, it sucks that there are so many rules for women when they drink at parties. Before I even started college, I was flooded with advice from friends and family: pour your own drinks, don't leave your drink anywhere, don't drink out of punch bowls, keep an eye on your friends, etc. Very few males, if any, have had to be educated on how to avoid being sexually assaulted, or even on how not to sexually assault.

3. The 19-year-old female was a virgin. 

"He stole my body, virginity, and power over my body." -A line from the 19-year-old's statement.

People should have sex for the first time when they want to. They have full rights to their body, and that is something that should never be taken away. This woman's rights to her own body were ripped away from her, stomped on, and thrown away with no remorse.

4. The prosecutors did not attend her hearing. 

"If I had the courage to come back to Waco and face my rapist and testify you could at least have had enough respect for me to show up today." She's damn right. Not only did the justice system fail to support her, but her own prosecutors failed to support her. Then the prosecutors made a deal that ripped away from her chance at justice. Unbelievable. The court system needs to do better. Survivors deserve support and justice.

Prosecutor Hilary LaBorde emailed the survivor that the case would not go to trial because "Our jurors aren't ready to blame rapists when there isn't concrete proof of more than one victim." 1) I'm pretty sure that should be up to the jurors, not one prosecutor. 2) Since when does a rape case need more than one victim? Ridiculous.

(This statement can be heard in the video posted at the end of this article.)

5. Anderson was expelled from Baylor University.

And rightfully so.

6. He took a plea deal.

One of the prosecutors on the case defended the plea deal. She claimed that the statements and evidence made the "original allegations difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt," which could have resulted in Mr. Anderson being acquitted if the case went to trial. She wanted to make sure that he received a consequence. The problem is that the consequences he did receive were insurmountable to the suffering he caused the victim. Such consequences were barely a step up from being acquitted in the first place. These so-called consequences are listed below.

7. In the deal, four counts of sexual assault were dismissed.

In exchange for the dismissal of four counts of sexual assault, Anderson pleaded no contest to unlawful restraint. By pleading no contest instead of pleading guilty, he did not even have to admit to unlawful restraint, a much lower charge than sexual assault. If he were to have been found guilty on counts of sexual assault, he would've served two to 20 years in prison.

8. Anderson will avoid jail time. 

Excuse me? A man can sexually assault a virgin, leave her to die, and receive no jail time whatsoever? The lack of jail time for this crime is degrading to survivors and every other woman in this country. Women are often seen as objects. Some men think that they can take women whenever they want them, and then easily dispose of the women when they are done without consequence. It seems to me that the court is telling them that they are right.

9. He will not be registered as a sex offender. 

Women should know what he did. How are we supposed to protect ourselves from rapists if we don't know who they are? My mom checks every guy she goes on a date with on the county court's online database. Since many rapists are convicted or even registered, she could end up on a date with a man who sees her as someone to take advantage of. Also, she would have no way of knowing his true self before meeting with him. The criminal justice system is supposed to protect women. Instead, it's hurting them.

10. He will pay a $400 fine and serve three years of probation.

$400. Probation. No jail time.

Yeah, that doesn't sound like justice to me either. A parking ticket can cost more than that fine.

11. If he completes his probation, his plea won't show up on his record.

No jail time, not on the sex offender registry, probation, a small fine, AND no record? The handling of this case is a disgrace.

12. The judge on this case was Ralph Strother. 

Judge Strother could have rejected the plea deal because it was quite frankly absurd, but he accepted it. Him accepting the plea deal was not a surprise because he has been lenient in sexual assault cases against other male students from Baylor University.

I had to take this statement directly from the NYT article because paraphrasing it would not do it justice:

"Judge Strother has been accused of approving lenient sentences for men in two other recent sexual assault cases. One was a probation sentence last year for a man who pleaded guilty to a 2013 sexual assault of a Baylor student. The other was a felony probation sentence imposed this year for the sexual assault of a former Baylor student in 2014 that includes 30 days of jail time to be served on weekends."

13. She wrote a response to the Judge after he accepted the plea deal. 

**Trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault.

She is on medication, getting therapy, having nightmares, and frequently has anxiety. He is ultimately a free man. She will heal, but she will never be truly free from what he did to her.

Her full statement can be read here.

If you're not pissed about this case and the lack of protection of women –– like your sisters, your mother, your significant other, your daughters –– then you're not paying attention.

The following video summarizes the case well:

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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What It Means To Raise Boys And Girls The Same

Their personalities matter more than their gender

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The year is now 2019. Gender equality has come a long way, but there is still progress to be made on both ends. Both men and women face prejudice and discrimination when assumptions are made about them based on their gender.

"Raise Boys and Girls the Same" is a popular saying and T-shirt slogan that has been circulating for as long as I can remember now. The premise is simple; boys and girls should not be treated differently from one another, especially not in the same family, simply based on their gender. Opponents of this idea, however, may claim that it is impractical to treat boys and girls the same because they're not the same. Some who are parents insist that boys naturally seem to gravitate towards the rough and more rowdy activities, while girls seem to naturally like more feminine activities.

Others say that it is subconscious societal influence on children that created such large gender dichotomies. For example, marketing that pushes girls towards dolls and boys towards legos, or parents that unconsciously encourage their girls to be more expressive with their emotions than boys.

Some psychological studies have supported the former view, while others have supported the latter.

However, I've never thought that the nature vs nurture debate in this case is as important as people make it out to be. Why? Because by and large, whether or not the differences exhibited by young children are natural or subconsciously taught, men and women still have more in common than not. We're all human, not species from different planets trying to understand one another. And it is a disservice to humankind to act like we are.

I've heard stories, sometimes heartbreaking, of boys who could never form bonds or relationships with their parents because they didn't behave enough "like a man", or didn't have the interests/hobbies their parents had assigned to them before birth based solely on their genitals. Or girls with parents who never respected or trusted them as much as they did their brothers.

A couple years ago, I was spending time with two friends (both male) and we somehow got on the subject of whether or not we were having children. One friend stated that he would prefer to have a boy over a girl, saying that he wanted to have someone he could teach how to play ball.

And I couldn't help wondering, is there any reason you couldn't do that with a girl? What if this friend ended up with a boy who hated sports and a girl who just wanted to spend time throwing a baseball around with her dad?

The problem with having a preconceived notion of how you should raise a child based on their gender is that every child, just like every person, is not exactly the same. Children should be raised to nurture the interests they have already have, not be pushed towards one thing or another based on their gender. If that means you end up with a boy who likes pink dolls and a girl who likes trucks, what's wrong with that? On the flipside, if it means a boy who loves sports and a girl who adores making bead necklaces and arts and crafts, there's nothing wrong with that either.

Raising boys and girls the same way means giving them the same amount of respect and consideration. It means not telling your 10-year old son that he's not allowed to cry because he's a man, while being fine with his teen sister crying her heart out. It means not telling your daughter that it's weird to wear certain clothes because she's a girl.

That's what it means to raise boys and girls the same. Masculinity and femininity are both traits that should be given an equal amount of respect. There is no set amount of masculinity that makes someone a "real man" just like there is no set amount of femininity that makes someone a "real woman." Some men are more feminine and some women are more masculine, and that's just the way it is.

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