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One Outrage Is Spurring Hope

One Outrage Is Spurring Hope

After I was raped I lived in PTSD for months with the rapist as my backyard neighbor.  He was out on $250,000 bail in 1982, a huge sum then.  It took months for a conviction and sentencing; not for my case, but the one he was out on bail for.  I went to his sentencing.  He was brought into court in ball and chains.  I won’t forget that image.  Little did I know how rare it was for these crimes to get convictions.  It is a miracle he was convicted at all.  The bad news is he was eligible for a 49 year prison term.  He ended up with 10 and was out in 5.  They were never able to charge him with mine due to only circumstantial evidence. He had written instructions to the previous survivor and police found them in his car.

imagesTwo cases have been making the news lately. In the case of the ex-Vanderbilt football player it seems it has been a roller coaster ride.

“The victim had a speedy trial and it got set aside because a juror chose to make a mockery of the jury selection process,” he said. The juror failed to disclose that he had been a victim of statutory rape.

The woman does not remember a period of hours between sipping a blue drink Vanderbilt (never take an offered drink, get your own. It’s nothing to slip a rape drug into one) gave her at the bar and waking up in his bed, alone and in the worst pain she’s felt, at 8 a.m. the next day, she said.  Three men raped her.  I suspect she was slipped  ‘roofie’ or GHP.

There is hard evidence recorded.  He is eligible for 15-25 years.  I wonder what he will get.

The trials have lasted three years.  Brandon Vandenberg has now been convicted; not yet sentenced.  All this time he has been free to rape again.  As Dr. Phil is famous for saying…”The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

The sentence comes not long after another on-campus sex assault case gained notoriety. Former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in prison for sexually assaulting an unconscious student behind a dumpster.  Six months!!

And the good news is…

The prosecutor in the high-profile sexual assault case against former Stanford University student Brock Turner, announced Wednesday that he is sponsoring state legislation that would be tougher on those found guilty of sexual assault, inspired by a sentence for Turner that many have criticized as too lenient.

The legislation, sponsored by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, would add sexual assault of an intoxicated or unconscious person to the list of criminal offenses that are ineligible for probation, ensuring the sentence is served in prison. The legislation says it aims to “close a loophole” that “allows judges to impulsively sentence perpetrators of sexual assault to little or no jail time.”

A rape free society is possible.  Dr. Peggy Sanday has made it her career to study them and write about them.  She studied a fraternity and identified many characteristics that make it safe for women:



A rape-free campus is relatively easy to imagine, but hard to find. Based on anecdotal information one candidate comes to mind. On this campus everyone, administrators, faculty, and students are on a first-name basis, which makes the atmosphere more egalitarian than most campuses. Decision making is by consensus and interpersonal interaction is guided by an ethic of respect for the individual. Those who are disrespectful of others are ostracized as campus life is motivated by a strong sense of community and the common good. No one group (such as fraternities, males, or athletes) dominates the social scene. Sexual assault is a serious offense treated with suspension or expulsion. Homophobic, racist, and sexist attitudes are virtually nonexistent. Individuals bond together in groups not to turn against others but because they are drawn together by mutual interests. Interviews suggest that the incidence of unwanted sex on this campus is low…

A beacon of hope in the face of sexual violence.

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