Friday, June 10, 2016

An Open Letter to Judge Aaron Persky and the Survivor of Rape in the Brock Turner Case

I hate open letters. I'll be honest, I think they are quite silly and a waste of energy most of the time. However here I sit with a social media feed full of Brock Turner, and I am both angered and sad. I find myself wishing I could do something. Something more than just signing a petition or sharing a post. As a survivor of 10 years of rape, I know the realities of what this young woman is going through. It doesn't matter if a person is raped once or thousands of times the feeling left is the same.

 Judge Aaron Persky, 

      A young lady stood before you, a victim of rape. Your only job was to deliver her justice and sentence accordingly. Instead you chose to not deliver her justice because "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.". So Judge I ask you did you think about saying this before you did? Did you assume that because the defendant was a rich white guy that no one would care that you stated this? Did you not think about what impact this rape will cause this young lady?

     Let me tell you. You have no idea what impact YOU will feel from this! These are not your old school days. These are the times of social media. These are the times of constant media. These are the times when online petitions can actually do something. These are the times when we will all know what kind of man YOU are. You will not be safe from judgment for the rest of your life. Your family will face judgement, your wife, your children, your brothers and sisters, your grandchildren, all because they ended up with YOU as a family member. They will face ridicule because you decided that a rich white guy was more important than the rape victim.

     In those moments when you feel like it isn't fair that your wife, children, or grandchildren be judged for your mistake I hope you will think about that young lady who laid behind a dumpster while Brock Turner raped her and which impact should have been your priority.

     The only impact you should have been worrying about is the impact all of this had on the victim. Alcohol is not an excuse for rape. Being drunk is not asking for rape. No amount of alcohol excuses the behavior of Brock Turner, and no amount of alcohol equals to consent!

     The survivor of rape in this case will go through the rest of her life having to deal with not only what Brock Turner did, but what you failed to do. She will have dreams about what was done to her. She will have memories that will never fade of how she felt getting a rape kit done.She will have to live her life knowing the man who raped her is free to carry on.

     Aaron Persky, By giving a 6 month sentence for RAPE you are not only a disappointment as a judge, you are a disappointment as a man, as a fellow human. I hope you carry this as a regret for the rest of your life. I can speak with experience, your actions WILL impact this young woman for many years to come. You failed her, and in failing her you failed all of us.


     I thought for a couple minutes trying to figure out what to refer to you as. The victim, the raped, the victim of rape. I wondered what you would want to be called. I suppose you would want to be called your name, or ideally nothing because this would have never happened. Instead I will call you what I wanted to be called. I never liked the idea of the word victim. Your letter that I read makes it very clear what you are.

     You are a survivor. You have just joined a group of men and women who you never wanted to join, but oh let me tell you. You have just joined one kick ass group of people. WE are survivors! WE will stand by you. WE will stick up for you. WE will be there for you if you let us.

     This army of We is strong. We have gone through what you have and become survivors. We know you never asked to become one of us. We know that consent is not determined based on the number of drinks you have had. We know your judge is a fucking idiot! We know your worth is not determined by what this low life rich guy did to you. We know it will be rough. We know there will be times when getting up or pushing forward is not something you want to do. We know that you never deserved to go through this. We know that your attacker deserved more time. If WE had our say he wouldn't have anything left to ever use on any woman ever again. We will be doing what we can without knowing you to stop this from happening to others. We will blast Brock Turner on social media. We will blast the judge. We will sign the petitions. Most importantly we will continue fighting for all of WE to spread awareness.

     I know there are no words I can say to make you feel better. I know there is nothing that can be done by our open letters or our petition signing that will make the pain go away. I know that even though there are thousands of fellow survivors rallying behind you, you are simply trying to manage through one more day. I will not be the person to tell you all things happen for a reason. I will not be the person to tell you that time will make it better. What I will tell you is that in time you will learn to cope. You may be coping well, or you might not, and you may cope well for 10 years and suddenly it all comes back, we never know. But when coping feels impossible, just know in time coping becomes easier.

     I'm sorry you have to face this. I am sorry you have become one of us. I'm sorry there is nothing I can say or do for you that will change how you feel. I just wanted you to know, if this ever makes it to you, that you are supported. That thousands upon thousands of fellow survivors stand behind you and beside you. We care even if this judge did not. We care about the impact this all has on you. We are sorry that you had to become one of us, but we welcome you with support, tears, and love! I hope time makes things easier on you. If you ever need an ear that understands we are everywhere!