I recently came across the #WhyIDidntReport trend going around on social media. For those who are unaware, this is a trending hashtag where women explain why they didn't report their sexual assaults. Also trending is the #MeToo movement, also based around stopping sexual assault.
And every time I see these things, I always think back to the Brock Turner case of 2015.
In case you are unaware, Brock Turner is the boy who decided to brutally rape a young woman on their Stanford campus. His parents stood by his side, acting as if he did nothing wrong. Meanwhile, the woman wrote a very powerful letter to Turner during the trial. However, the most shocking part is that he was only given 6 months (and was actually released after only 3 for "good behavior") because a real sentence would have a huge impact on the boy.
Sadly, this type of lenient sentencing happens more often than we'd hope.
Now, I have never had to deal with the horrible things these women have, but I do know that they should be getting justice. Their rapists and assaulters should not be walking away with a slap on the wrist.
There is no reason that criminals should be getting the sympathy rather than the victims.
A woman shouldn't have to hide her sexual assault because she knows nothing will be done about it. She shouldn't have to feel ashamed to tell the world her story. She shouldn't have to deal with any of the things that our legal system puts them through.
I'm no hardcore feminist and I definitely have never had to deal with things as heavy as this, but there is absolutely no reason that the #MeToo and #WhyIDidntReport hashtags should be trending. Women shouldn't have to go through such lengths to get the justice they deserve. They shouldn't have to fight so hard just to be called liars and told they can't be helped.
It's time that our legal system make some changes.
The country needs to get it together. Stop the victim shaming, stop the hate, stop protecting the criminals. Start protecting the victims who need the help and the support.