As a society, we're becoming desensitized to rape. You can deny it all you want, but it's happening. You can see it with Brock Turner, a case that's very public, and you can see it in the cases that never get any media attention. Brock Turner served three months out of a six-month sentence, a sentence that was ridiculous to begin with. You begin to wonder why you should even speak up if the monster who did this to you, who took away a part of you, is going to still be out there some day. There's a part of you that wishes you had never told anyone, because now, what difference does it make? A white male who rapes a woman will never get the appropriate punishment for what he has done, for what he has taken from someone.
I understand why it's hard for people to sympathize with victims of rape or sexual assault. It was hard for me to sympathize with them. I knew that rape was a bad thing and that people who do such a thing should be put away for a very long time, but I didn't know exactly how those men and woman who had gone through it felt until I went through it myself. The funny thing is, you think that you're so cautious and you're too careful for "something like that" to ever happen to you. I know that because that's exactly what I thought. My ultimate reaction was to tell as many people as I could about the person who did this to me so that they would know to be careful. I didn't want anything to happen to anyone else, and the situation was just too complex to take any sort of legal action. I expected people to believe and support me. But here's what happened: I lost all my friends. People talked, whispered, and made rumors. They thought I lied. No one wanted to believe that the person who did it would ever do something so awful.
Right now, there's no victory for the victims. There's no peace for us because we're not the first and we're definitely not the last. We fight tirelessly to help people understand that rapists are not people who should be able to be successful, or should be able to roam around freely, left to harm whomever they please. So here's why we need to make rape a bigger deal: so that people stop saying "well you should've fought back" or "that could've been prevented." So that people will know that it happens to people that they know, that it's not something that happens rarely, that it happens every day. So that people will want to stand up and say "this person did this to me, and they deserve to be punished," and for the punishment to actually be adequately given. So help us. Help us get our victory.
I'm not asking for your sympathy. I'm asking for justice. You should be, too.