Open Letter To The Stanford Rape Victim

Open Letter To The Stanford Rape Victim

You deserve so much more than this and he deserves an actual prison sentence.
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Dear Stanford Rape Victim

I want to first start this off by saying you didn’t deserve this, none of it. Deserve to go through such a traumatic and life altering experience and then to have your assault be seen as only “20 minutes of action.” I’m sorry that you have to look in the media and see your attacker and his family defending his actions. You didn’t choose to be raped, he made the decision to rape you. Yet he and his family chose to seek sympathy in a situation where there should be no sympathy for him at all.

At 20 years old, this young man should have been able to see the clear line between right and wrong, and yet he chose to do the unthinkable. At the same time, all his family can talk about is his lack of appetite and how much this experience has negatively affected them. This young man sexually assaulted you. This man took advantage of your unconscious self. This man did the unthinkable and I am sorry that they don’t think he needs more prison time, that some people think the maximum 15-year sentence will affect him too much. I am sorry he will not get the punishment he deserves. I am sorry that some people think the worst experience of your life is only worth six months of jail time. I am sorry that this young man will probably be back out on the streets in only three months. I am sorry that the media made him out to be a clean cut young man, when his real mug shot shows who he truly is. I am sorry for the fact they look at his academics and his swimming record when they have nothing to do with the fact that he raped you. I am sorry that they make this disgusting excuse for a human being out to be a fine young man right in front of you. You deserve so much more than this and he deserves an actual prison sentence.

Though I am sorry this happened to you, at the same time I want to say thank you. Thank you for becoming a voice for other rape victims. A voice for other women. You have handled this situation with such grace while your attacker and his family have been trying to make him out to be the victim. Your letter to your attacker was heart wrenching and eye opening and I thank you for taking that leap. Your strength is something so many women can look up too when so many of them get knocked down, especially in these situations.

The moment I heard the beginning of your letter my mouth actually dropped. “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we are here today.” Most women are too scared to go on trial in front of their rapist, and you chose to go on the stand and make a statement. Your letter should make an impact on every single person that reads it. Every. Single. One. How dare they read your letter and see what you have gone through and still not believe that this young man deserves a real prison sentence. Reading lines of your letter such as, “And then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times. She was found breathing, unresponsive with her underwear six inches away from her bare stomach curled in fetal position. By the way, he’s really good at swimming. Throw in my mile time if that’s what we’re doing. I’m good at cooking, put that in there, I think the end is where you list your extracurriculars to cancel out all the sickening things that’ve happened.” This statement is so so so important. You are just proving that they are looking too much into what this attacker has been, not who he actually is. Also, my favorite quote from your entire letter, “to girls everywhere, I am with you. Thank you.” I just want you to know, that not just girls, but everyone, we are with you too. I am with you. We support you. You will get through this. There will be justice.

From,

Just one of your supporters.

P.S.

Thank you. Thank you to the two young men on bikes who stopped and helped. Thank you for chasing down a disgusting excuse for a human. Thank you for stepping in when so many people would not have made it their problem. You two are wonderful people and I have an endless amount of respect for you. You are true heroes.
Cover Image Credit: nbcnews.com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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