I’m just going to write. I’m not going to worry about how the sentences connect to one another, the grammar, or whether or not I’m staying on point. I just need to write. Maybe it was yesterday’s article in the Telegraph Herald about the bus driver from my school district that got a suspended sentence for raping young boys, not having to serve any jail time. Maybe it was the death threat I received after our Super Bowl Bingo game that challenged the overwhelming amount of sexism found during the commercials. Maybe it’s the woman that continues to seek justice for being physically assaulted by her boyfriend, and not being heard. Whenever it happened and for whatever reason, I’m mad as hell.
I plan on reaching out to the County Attorney about this recent case to ask how it could possibly have ended in a suspended sentence, but I know what the response is going to sound like. In yesterday’s article, she was quoted about the suspended sentence saying, “it’s the best we could have hoped for.” Do you have any idea how many times I have heard this from a county attorney, state’s attorney, or judge? Enough! It’s not the best we could have hoped for, not even close. What do you suppose the guy that is thinking about raping a child in our community right now thinks of this decision? And rest assured, he is there. OF COURSE HE IS! This decision has only empowered him. We have done NOTHING to deter him.
Is anyone else as angry and disappointed as I am about this? Will anyone else question why more than 85% of sexual and domestic assault cases in our community gets dismissed or reduced? Aside from being concerned about future victims, aren’t you worried about the message this lack of accountability sends to perpetrators?
Here’s the cold, hard truth: We live in communities in which kindergarteners are slaughtered, little boys and girls are raped and abused, and women are physically abused every single night. And by and large we do nothing about it. We close a blind eye to it all, focusing our attention on things like gun control, the state of mental health services, increased law enforcement, and the Kardashians.
I’d like to think that everyone I know wants to prevent the violence mentioned before. But here’s the thing, you need to DO SOMETHING to make it happen. Violence prevention is not the work for a select few. It’s ridiculous and quite dangerous to assume such a fallacy to be true. Hopefully you’re wondering now where you can start. Start by opening up the newspaper tomorrow or watching the news tonight and paying attention to the stories that include violence against women, sexism, racism, or homophobia. I’ll bet my paycheck you’ll find one of them there. Now do something to speak out against this garbage. Start a conversation with a friend or post something on Facebook.
At the very least, just start paying attention…please.