There’s been an overwhelming thought I’ve had since reading this rape victim’s amazing statement to her rapist that’s slowly been intensifying since reading Courtney’s equally amazing reaction to the case yesterday: she did everything “right.”
I all too often find myself arguing with people who “don’t think she’s lying,” they just “don’t know the facts” when it comes to rape cases. Especially when the sexual assault case involves drinking. Because somehow a woman saying “I didn’t want him to grope/ penetrate me” isn’t believable once the keg’s been tapped. But in the Turner rape case (never forget, Brock Turner is a rapist), it seems like we had an unassailable case. Yes, she’d had too much to drink so we couldn’t take her word for it that she didn’t want to be stripped naked and penetrated behind a dumpster by a complete stranger. But there were two completely sober grad students who witnessed the assault, meaning they were properly equipped (with maleness) to identify this as a rape. This isn’t a case of “he-said” vs “she-said.” It’s a case of “he-said” vs “she-said-and-he-said-and-he-said-slowly-through-sobs-because-he-was-so-disturbed-by-what-he-witnessed.” The prosecution had a victim willing to testify, it had witnesses who could confirm that the victim was unconscious as Rapist Brock Turner assaulted her, and they were lucky enough to live in a state that declares “Yeah, anytime you touch the genitals of an unconscious person or make them touch yours, that is in fact rape, you crazy fucking asshole.” Because apparently that’s a thing that we need to be grateful for.
In terms of sexual assault cases, this one had all of the above and beyond evidence it needed, and just enough luck to convince the jury to see this rape for what it was. But none of that fucking mattered, because one judge didn’t want prison to be too severe for Rapist Brock Turner. She did everything “right”, and it still didn’t matter, because as a society we don’t really care about helping rape victims. We just want the problem to go away. We actually don’t care about doing everything “right.” We care that the problems contributing to and stemming from rape don’t bother us too much.
So maybe it’s easy to dismiss a young woman who drank too much at a frat party because she “should have expected it.” But we by-and-large don’t care for people raping our soldiers. Meaning, God bless us all, but Ted Cruz might have actually done something to change the shitty, shitty way we treat sexual assault victims.