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I have gone back and forth for days trying to figure out how to say this. Who to say it to and more importantly who to NOT say it to. Should I say it at all? What are the repercussions for doing this sort of thing since not enough people actually go through with it? It’s deep stuff and not everyone wanted or needed to know any of this about me. I am pretty terrified to be sharing it publicly because I’m used to being a relatively private person, but I have gotten to the point with the rape culture in our great country that I just can’t hold it in anymore.
I watched “He Named Me Malala” recently and this strong, funny, and brave teenage girl reminded us all to speak passionately and raise your voice on topics that you believe in. I am taking a page from Malala’s book, and I am going to raise my voice on something in particular that is starting to make me feel ashamed of our justice system here in the United States. I have so much to say on this subject and I know there are many stories to be told, but I’m going to start with my own and just hope that others may follow suit.
There are few things that push me to the point where I am literally consumed with thoughts that I just can’t function properly until I get them out. Many people do not know that I have my own rape experience that I don’t talk about often, and why would I? Considering how it all ended up, the general feeling I received from the state of Florida, the crime scene, was one of throw-your-hands-up-and-shrug-it-off because well, there isn’t really anything that can be done. We’re really sorry girl, we know this hurt you, but better luck to you next time.
But I have recently learned that my words can go a long way. Though I am terrified about my dad, my uncles, my husband, my family, my in-laws, my friends, and all of my acquaintances reading this, learning it for the first time, being generally disgusted by it just like they should be, I have to get it out. Perhaps if I make my story known and introduce to you a little slogan that makes me feel better just thinking about it, and we all band together, we can make a stand. Maybe we can get a little justice, too. Because not nearly enough of us actually get justice; not even close.
I first want to say that every time I see Brock Turner’s blood shot eyes, puffy hair and stupid expression in either one of his mugshots or high school photos that I am confronted with multiple times every single day on the Internet, I feel three things very, very strongly.
The first is intense anger about the entire thing, that he did this to another person, that he’s getting off with an embarrassingly short jail sentence, that the whole world cares about this one person enough to raise public outrage over something that goes on all the time. Because he was an all-star, because he was smart, because he was respected, because people think he received less of a sentence than he deserved, now his face is everywhere. Let me reiterate here that I am NOT saying because it goes on all the time that it is okay, because it isn’t. But there are many more of us who haven’t gotten to tell our stories to anyone who can do anything about it and that is an extremely defeating feeling. But there are everyday people who have raped people like me and no one even knows it because an official verdict of guilt didn’t come down the pipeline. Because we didn’t win our case or maybe we didn’t even get a chance to make a case in front of a judge, we feel that it’s something we must not talk about any longer. Well, I’m not going to be that quiet girl anymore.
Second, I feel sadness when I see that damn mugshot because I read the victim’s letter to Brock that she disclosed to him face-to-face in court. I feel sad for her because her story is horrible and no good person deserves that. I feel sad because I immediately remember what happened to me. I recognized the parallels immediately while reading her words, the fear and confusion of rape kit testing, the “what do I do now?” feeling, the very real daily conversation that goes on in a victim’s head where we replay what we could have done differently that could have maybe changed the outcome.
WHY didn’t I just leave?
WHY did I drink so much?
WHY was I EVEN talking to this guy?
WHY didn’t I push harder with the state for the outcome I deserved?
My heart goes out to this girl whose body Brock Turner felt entitled to, and I commend her for going through with the case (I am not sure anyone truly recognizes the amount of people who don’t, for different reasons, but stats claim 70% are UNREPORTED) and having the courage to stand up there and face him. Go girl. You’ll heal eventually, I promise. We all will. You shouldn’t have had to do any of these things, but just know that as a country, we all support you.
But most of all, when seeing Brock Turner’s mugshot on my Facebook mini-feed all throughout the day, the feeling that overwhelmingly overcomes me every single day of my life since he became labeled across our country as a known rapist, is pure, unadulterated envy.
I am ridiculously jealous that this girl got to stand up in court and slay him, aloud, to his face.
I am absolutely green that his face and his name and what he did will never be forgiven or forgotten, and everyone in the United States who isn’t living under a rock knows it.
I have a little bit of an idea of what this girl went through to get to this point, to an actual sentencing for her attacker and trust me, it couldn’t have been easy. What happened to her is awful beyond words, but thank goodness for her, there were witnesses. Because not all rape cases end in justice for the victim and recognition of the assailant. Especially not nationwide recognition!
In my case, I provided a rape kit, actual photos of lacerations, DNA evidence, and an account of what happened, but none of that was good enough for the state of Florida. Can you imagine? Why do we go through rape testing if the results are treated like more of a guideline than actual evidence? I had absolute confidence after leaving the police station that day (Father’s Day, mind you) that my case would be tried and handled. I never ever expected it to go the way it did, but it truly opened my eyes to how our courts and lawyers are allowed to operate.
One day I was at work when I got a call from my victim advocate in Florida (yeah, I felt real advocated for, let me tell you). I will never forget the way this phone call made me feel and how I couldn’t hold in my tears as I tried to avoid my coworkers until I could pull myself back together. How my hands were shaking in hot rage and a tsunami of defeat came over me when she told me that she suggested that I drop the case because it would be very hard physically and emotionally to travel to Florida for multiple hearings (I told her I didn’t care about that and I’d do what it takes) and that I would likely not win my case.
It was my understanding that it had everything to do with alcohol and how a defense attorney would rip me apart with questions to catch me on as many fuzzy minor details as possible and get the case thrown out.
Wanna read that again?
Because we were drinking alcohol together prior to this fucker climbing on top of me unsolicited and with multiple very clear “no” responses from me, it was the defense’s tactic to try and catch me on as many minor details as possible to show that I, the victim, was not trustworthy and to therefore get the case thrown out.
There is truly a special place in Hell for defense attorneys who look victims in the eye and do this type of thing. There really, really is, I’m sure of it. There must at least be some supreme Karma that is brewing for them deep down somewhere in a large dark energy field.
Here is an excerpt from the letter written by the victim of Brock Turner’s disrespect and unwanted sexual “action”:
How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drink out of? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? What’ d you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside? Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 I’d like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well, we’ll let Brock fill it in.
When I read this part of her letter, I understood it wholly and completely. I know, girl. I do.
Because I’ve been there with her, only I did not pass Go. I did not collect $200. I did not get to look my rapist in the eye and tell him what he did to me, my family, my husband, and his own pathetic life. I did not get my revenge on the man who took advantage of me after I repeatedly told him no and while I slept.
I never saw him in person again. And I didn’t think I wanted to until Brock’s mugshot was banged into my mind multiple times a day every day and I realized that I wanted more of these mugshots making waves for the other people out there who are guilty. Brock Turner made headlines because he got a short sentence; what about the guys who get no sentence at all like the guy who did this to me?
In fact, I can still look this loser up on Facebook. I can see that he’s married as of 2011, probably to the same girl that he told me he was going to marry just a couple hours before he decided he’d rather take advantage of me than be any sort of nice guy.
I can see that she is apparently very much “in love” with him, but does she know what he did to me in 2008? What would she think if she did? What if there are others? I’m not in the business of ruining lives, but I really can’t take it seeing things like this and all the people who hold him in such high regard. There are obviously quite a few people that do based on all the comments I can see on Facebook of people saying “love you guys!” to him and his wife.
I’m here to tell you that he is NOT a good person deep down, no matter what any of them might think. He has never apologized to me (not that this would be enough in any way, shape, or form) and he got off scot-mother-freakin-free in all of this while I have to think and obsess about it for the rest of my life. I bet he doesn’t think about it anymore. But I do.
So I’m here to remind him.
I can see where his aunt wrote a comment on one of his pictures that he is the “best guy ever!”
EWWWWWW, FUCKING GAG ME!
This one got me the MOST. The feeling of wanting to throw up followed by, “Honey, do I have news for you…”
I can’t fathom that anyone would think that about him.
Oh that’s right. BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS HE’S A RAPIST. No one but me, and the ex-mutual friend who decided to go all “bros before hoes” on me, and went MIA when I needed him the most. He was the only person in existence who heard my rapist (that’s what I’m going to call him because that’s what he is and I don’t need a guilty sentence in court to tell me so) say to him the next morning, “I think I might have messed up.” The only admission he probably ever made to a living person besides himself. I just hope he let his “God” in on his secret, too.
He said this to my friend after I had awoken the next day, realized what the hell was going on, and kicked him off of me. I remember processing it all and all I could say was “WTF, WTF?” over and over again as I collected my clothes and ran out of that hotel room.
The hotel room that I would have never needed if the two guys, rapist and mutual friend, were actually acting like bros that day. Because they most certainly were not acting like they were friends. In fact, they were fighting each other with fists in a parking lot and got the cops called on themselves, ending in a big, stupid mess. But in the end, I’m the one who got shit on, because they “go way back” and one wouldn’t testify against the other on my behalf.
Real ethics, these two have, right?
So here we are. I am at a place in my life where I have dealt with this, I have talked about this, I have tried to press charges against this weak sonofabitch to NO avail.
I was honestly okay with that until Brock Turner’s mugshot was forced down my throat and I decided to Facebook the person who did the same thing to me. Only I guess he thought no one would ever know and he could move on with his life without anyone finding out. Obviously, he didn’t know me.
I can read positive comments and well wishes and what a great fucking guy people think this clown is on his Facebook account.
You know what I don’t get to do though?
Say what I want to this guy. Get even a little bit of justice for what he did to me. Have his name and his picture well-known across the country, no matter if he’s a swimmer, a criminal on the streets, a college kid, a rich older man, or poor working trash.
But today, that changes.
I am not the only one.
How many of you out there have been raped or sexually assaulted by someone and were made to feel like there wasn’t a thing anyone could do to help you get justice for the crime committed unwillingly against you?
Say the name.
How many of you have felt silenced or scared or ashamed because of what someone did to you in terms of sexual assault?
Say the name.
How many of you did not receive any sort of justice or recognition whatsoever in a rape case against the person who took advantage of you?
Say the name.
How many of you have, sadly, become another statistic, the one out of the three women (so we think) in this country who have been a VICTIM of another person’s unwanted actions?
Say the name.
How many of you know without a doubt that the monster who did this to you lives a normal life, free from recognition of his/her crime, just like it never happened, and will never be punished or made to understand the consequences of what happens to people who commit RAPE on other innocent and unsuspecting people?
Let’s do it.
Are you hearing me?
#Saythename and let people know that these favorite nephews and “best guys ever” are in fact just really good at wearing a costume and putting on a mask every morning. They are masking who they really are, and if WE, the victims, don’t make it known to anyone then no one will ever know. Isn’t it sad how it’s allowed to happen like this? Because I would have been made out to be some sort of alcoholic who clearly brought rape upon myself (it hurt just to type out that hypothetical) in court by some defense attorney DOES NOT MEAN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
Because the state of Florida suggested that I drop the case because they didn’t think I would win it DOES NOT MEAN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
Because this guy didn’t get convicted or go to prison for what he did to me, it DOES NOT MEAN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
Because this guy isn’t on a register sex offender’s list and is allowed to move freely in his life DOES NOT MEAN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
I don’t care what the state of Florida, or anyone else thinks of my doing this but you know what? At the end of the day, it’ll make me feel a small relief if I can make this known to at least one other person. This isn’t slander, or defamation of character, and it’s not some grudge I held before I met this asshat, and I would have no reason whatsoever to lie about a stranger. It’s the 100% truth.
He was a person I had just met who thought he was entitled to have sex with me after I repeatedly told him no and we had talked for an hour about our significant others and their importance to us.
Oh and did I mention I was asleep?
Yes alcohol was involved. But was there ANY doubt that I did not want him to touch me that night?
Drinking some beers did not take away my memory of saying no. It did not take away my memory of refusing to sleep in the same bed as this creep until I finally got tired of him asking. Every single time this event replays in my mind, I kick myself all over again for not leaving both of them in Florida and driving home. For not getting my own room. For not sleeping in my own bed. In my car. Anywhere but there.
I know it’s not my fault, I just know now that I did some things that were unwise and maybe I wasn’t fully looking out for myself. But the entire experience made my suit of armor a little bit thicker.
I am a largely trusting person, but the guy who got me while I slept really turned that around for me.
Have any of you ever read comments, stories or letters from people who have been raped? They never mention their attacker’s name. Why?
Why is not okay to exercise freedom of speech and tell the truth just the way it happened? I think we should all be able to say it, publicly, for all to see. I hope it gets around to him and his family and makes him remember it, just like I do multiple times a day when I have to see Brock Turner’s mug repeatedly.
His name is Neil Fincher, and he lives in Tampa, Florida, and our mutual friend was Wade Lister who lives in Charleston, South Carolina. Wade, my only witness to what Neil told him about thinking he “might have messed up last night” (his words, not mine), changed his phone number and avoided both me and anyone else calling him so he wouldn’t have to turn on his “friend” in front of a court. You know, he was avoiding actually being a good person and doing the right thing. So a matter of him simply changing his phone number one day and ignoring it until it went away changed so much for my entire life and getting any sort of closure out of this whole thing. And all he got was a new number.
Thanks, Wade, that was real nice of you, dude.
Neil is obviously sadly mistaken for some kind of nice guy. He has a wife. He has family that care about him. What a fuckin’ rude awakening these people are in for and sooooo sorry I’m not sorry.
I’m going to #saythename.
I’m going to call Neil out for doing this to me and Wade for allowing it to happen the way that it did. And then having the nerve later on to say hello to me in public and ask me how I’m doing. I’m doing great, thanks, now that I’ve gotten the truth out!
I’m insanely jealous that the Stanford rape victim got her chance to at least confront the guy. Now everyone knows what kind of person Brock Turner is. Now I’d like to let the world know what kind of person Neil Fincher is, and how they are not so different from each other, in my humble opinion.
I’m pretty sure I would know.
No one should ever, EVER take sexual advantage of another person. None of our situations were any worse or any better than another because the bottom line is that it happened to all of us victims. And therefore, some of us had to move on afterward, to learn not to be scared, to learn to fight back, to get out of red flag situations, to stand up for ourselves. We had to do this on our own, knowing that there are still monsters under the bed who will never actually have to face what they did to us.
The only way I know how to get my point across and to physically show my hand in revealing any of the red rage I have inside is to publicly #saythename and hope that others have the courage to do the same.
Speak up against the ones who are guilty. Just because the Guilty ruling didn’t come across the court does not mean that a person is not guilty of a crime. Hell, they don’t even recognize the crime as Rape in Florida, they call it Sexual Battery. I know because I obviously kept all my records surrounding this entire thing. It’s not exactly something you throw in the trash. Anyone who wants proof, holler at me.
Every time you see Brock Turner or any other person’s mugshot and you remember that you didn’t get your day in court because of some defense manipulation bullshit that we all know goes on in this country, #saythename anyway. It’s not fair that our secret attackers get to keep on living completely under the radar with no accountability for their actions. They parade around making people think they are upstanding citizens who have done no wrong and this, I cannot handle. Our Founding Fathers gave us freedom of speech in the Constitution and its high time we exercise it to shed some light on the evil that walks among us. I’m not looking for pity or remorse. I’m looking for justice for myself, and to share yet another story of how this sort of thing goes down and another rapist walks away from his crime while the rest of the world never knows.
People say that “only God can judge us”. I don’t happen to be a believer, but even if I was, I still wouldn’t think the statement is true. Plenty of people can judge others and there are plenty of people who are deserving of the judgement. I’d like to hand-deliver some judgments to the person who walked away consequence-free from the crime he committed against me. I’ve sat by idly for far too long.
I’m here to tell you that monsters are real.
Just like in the Scooby Doo cartoon though, the real monsters are regular people. Only once you take off the mask and expose them do people see them for who they really are.