There are hundreds of reasons women don’t come forward when having experienced sexual assault. The biggest one being that women fear not being believed, and feel that the justice system is stacked against them. We can look at any major news source on any given day and we see time and again women being failed, and their rapists getting away with impunity. From sexual assault allegations against Republican nominee Donald Trump being met with appalling attempts to discredit his accusers, to the light sentence the Stanford rapist received in order to spare the impact the consequences would have on his life- it is no wonder women feel that way.
In yet another gross failure of justice “Martin Blake, 40, of Glasgow, Montana, plead guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl, a relative, on a charge of felony incest. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison – all of it suspended. He will have to register as a sex offender but otherwise will walk free after violating the innocence of a child. Under the deal, he was charged for only one assault, even though he admitted to several more assaults.”
Colin Taylor of Occupy Democrats writes:
Prosecutors were shocked after they agreed to a deal in which a guilty plea would have sentenced Blake to 100 years in state prison, with 75 of those years suspended. The defense argued that Blake suffered a “collapse of social support” after he lost his job and cited the fact that he was living at home with his parents and “attending church every Sunday” as a defense, which the judge accepted:
The agreement would have seen Blake serve 25 years but sentencing Judge John C. McKeon did not follow recommendations citing the support Blake received from family, his church and employer as reasons for his leniency.
“During his testimony, Blake indicated that he is currently living with his mother and stepdad, is employed, and attends church every Sunday. His testimony was confirmed when his mother took the stand and indicated, ‘My son is welcome at my home for any time that he needs.’”
Only three in a hundred rapists in America will ever see jail for their crimes – and apparently raping a twelve-year old can be excused by a show of contrition and showing up to church. No wonder the women of America are so reluctant to come forward with their assaults. The disgusting show of victim blaming emanating from the Trump campaign – and the vicious response from his rabid followers against the victims – is evidence enough of that.
News of yet another light sentence of a sexual predator has caused huge condemnation. Apparently having your family and employer support you, and that you are now a Church going man is enough to prove one is capable of being rehabilitated to Judge McKeon. The general public however, vehemently disagree.
Similar to the reaction that judge Aaron Persky received for not following the recommended sentencing in the Stanford Rapist case, an online petition protesting Judge McKeon and his decision has been set up.
The petition states: “It is time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets. It is time to remove Judge McKeon from the bench.”
I couldn’t agree more. We have to let sexual assault victims know that they are to be believed, and that justice for them will be served. Until justice is served and we believe victims , their silence will continue.
(Article by Tasha Sharifa)