Mariah B. Indiana

The Real Crime of Sexual Assault

Dealing with the negative stigmas associated with victims of sexual assault.

Dear President,

It’s no secret to anyone in today’s society that there are various issues in the United States’ Justice Department; with social media nothing is truly a secret from the public. In recent months there has been one national case where the man facing charges, Brock Turner, was convicted on a rape charge and sentenced to a mere 6 months; a sentence that he only served half of before he was released. The girl’s life was ruined, she was violated and destroyed while unconscious, yet there are still people that are blaming her for Turner’s actions.

The assailant claimed that this one night of drinking had ruined his life and he didn’t deserve the lifelong repercussions that came with his mindless actions, but what about the girl? Doesn’t our justice system owe her and all of the victims who never had the courage to come forward a proper sentence for all of the people who commit such a heinous crime? I believe we do. We live in a world where men and women are still not equals, in a majority of rape cases the victims choose not to come forward out of shame and fear. Women are consistently blamed for the crimes committed against them. People say, “she looked older” or “she was dressed a certain way”. Neither one of those things matter. A physical appearance or personality is not, and never will be an open invitation.

A word has so much power that is something undeniable, so why when it comes to the word ‘no’ is it so hard to understand? We as a country need to have more sympathy for victims of sexual assault, too often the victims are considered the ones to blame and it cannot go any longer. A young woman walking down the street shouldn’t be scared or paranoid constantly, what sort of life is that? 54% of rapes go unreported and in some cases those who do report the crime are turned away by officers who tell them they don’t have a case. This unnecessary and heart-wrenching cycle needs to be put to an end. Rape is a completely avoidable crime and no matter who the victim is, what they were wearing, or their level of intoxication should never matter when it comes to serving justice against those who have committed a crime.

You, along with the help of everyone in this country, need to make the process of reporting a sex crime less traumatizing for the victim. The officers shouldn’t have to ask them how many times they said no because once should be enough. Only together can we can educate the country. We need to focus on preventing this crime and the injustices that come with it; rather than just telling females to dress or act a certain way. Sexual assault officers need to be educated on their procedures with the victims, placing blame on the victim doesn’t change the fact that this horrible crime occurred. It’s vital that we stop letting rapists off with minor sentences because the victims have a life sentence of pain and trauma afterwards. A rapist knows what they are doing, they understand it’s wrong and unlawful but time and time again they get away with it. Our country needs to change this, the crime is 100% preventable and it doesn’t make sense why assailants are consistently allowed to walk free.

Bills are being passed and laws are being created, but it’s still not enough. Girls like myself need your help to right this egregious wrong.