When will we stop blaming victims?
I never thought I’d be here again, writing about another rape case that has me seeing all shades of red. I recently wrote about my own rape, and that of the woman victimized by Brock Turner. I must have been naive to think that after the Turner case, we’d grow as human beings and justice would prevail in the future.
But here we are, with Austin Wilkerson, a former Colorado University student who, back in 2014, promised to care for a friend who had been drinking at a celebration on St. Patrick’s Day.
Of course, we may want to clarify what “caring for” means because obviously, Wilkerson and I (and hopefully the rest of the world) have different definitions. According to his initial statement, he had been rebuffed by the victim several times and it had pissed him off. So he berated her, then assured her friend he’d take her home to make sure she was OK.
He admitted he wasn’t getting any responses from the victim, so he finished himself off on her chest, and sent a confirmation text to her friend that she was cared for. But clearly this was rape. DISGUSTING!
What’s especially gross is that he painted a very different picture during the trial than the truth he eventually told: the victim was enjoying the consensual sex, and made sounds to indicate how happy she was. In my mind, I can only imagine the sounds this poor woman made and how he used those as a defense instead of taking responsibility for his actions.
BUT WAIT! He’s sorry, he says. He understands his actions and wishes he could make things better, he says. I call BULLSH*T! And I'm not alone.
— Neicole Crepeau (@neicolec) August 12, 2016
Once again, an entitled white boy (I’ll never see him as a man) took advantage of a woman, sexually assaulting her, and had FRIENDS WRITE TO THE JUDGE ON HIS BEHALF!
“I think he is a young man that will go far in this world if not defined by this one incident.” Read one letter.
The victim is now, unfortunately, defined by this incident; she will suffer long term effects while Wilkerson will try to “recover” from his unfortunate misstep.
Instead of getting prison time, which was requested by both the victim and the prosecution team, this boy will get a work-release program and probation for some odd amount of years. In plain terms, he gets to move on from his life while the victim does not.
How can a judge, appointed to make decisions and provide justice to those hurt by inhumane man-boys, justify such a sentence? Well, Judge Patrick Butler wasn’t entirely sure he would be rehabilitated in jail.
Oh, well then, by all means, let’s make the criminal as comfortable as possible.
Let him continue his education and gain work experience outside of the prison system because, well, who knows if jail would work, anyway? Am I right?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with Brock Turner or Austin Wilkerson. Recently, in Baltimore, MD, an unnamed official who was handling a rape case spoke about the victim to an officer, calling her a “conniving whore.” The police officer laughed and agreed, via text, because privacy means nothing as well.
Why does this keep happening?
I don’t want to hear that girls are getting drunk and leaving themselves vulnerable.
I don’t want to hear that girls are wearing skimpy outfits and asking for it.
I want to know why the victim is constantly barraged with questions and condescension while the criminal is whisked away to a cushy environment, for fear he won’t be able to handle the appropriate punishment.
I need answers. I need closure for the victims.
I need our judicial system to recognize that rape shouldn’t be classified as an “incident” to be forgotten, but a crime with consequences.
We need future generations to understand that you can’t just do what you want without being disciplined.
But more importantly, we need future generations of women and girls to not have to fear for their own safety when they say no.
It’s our duty now to protect our girls. It’s our duty now to punish the bad guys. We, as women, have worked too damn hard to lose it now. We deserve better.