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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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