This is an expansion on an article that appears in our current issue of Crazy B!tch Magazine, get your FREE copy here: http://crazybitchmagazine.com/current-issue/
What is Justice? Most of us have a pretty clear idea in our minds of what that word means. Is that picture accurate? Maybe not. What is rape? Wikipedia says Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or below the legal age of consent. What are the ethical and moral implications for individuals in a position of power that knowingly cover up or facilitate rape? What are the responsibilities of these individuals? Where is the line drawn?
These questions have come up in the media a lot lately, especially after Brock Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious woman outside behind a dumpster following a frat party. Turner was only given a 6 month sentence behind bars with the possibility of only serving 3 if he behaves better in prison. While Turner’s defense attorneys dragged the victim through painful and invasive questions on the stand, Turner was played up in the media as a star swimmer. His mug shot was released months later, the media used his school picture and portrayed him as an all American boy. His father stated that even the meager sentences his son received was too much “for just 20 minutes of action.” 20 minutes of action? 20 minutes of Rape, as it is clearly defined. The woman was unconscious and could not consent.
Brock Turner admitted to fingering this unconscious woman but insisted the act was consensual. The jury found him guilty of assault with intent to commit rape. According to The Guardian, Raul Ramirez was arrested after a similar sexual assault against his roommate. Ramirez reportedly gave her a “love letter” and later entered her room and fingered her for five to 10 minutes. The act was not consensual, and Ramirez only stopped when the roommate started crying. Unlike Turner, who attempted to flee the scene when spotted by two passersby, Ramirez remained until police arrived, and admitted to the assault, telling police “he knew what he did was wrong.” Both men raped a woman. Neither had prior criminal records of convictions for serious or violent felonies. Turner’s bail was $150,000. Ramirez’s was $200,000. Persky gave Turner six months in county jail and probation. Persky was overseeing a plea deal that would put Ramirez away for three years in state lockup. Ramirez’s defense attorneys are not contesting his sentence. They recognize that because Ramirez pled guilty to a felony, the three-year sentence was the minimum the judge could order. What it highlights is how Persky, a former Stanford athlete himself, went above and beyond what is appropriate to make sure Turner served an incredibly light sentence. Judge Aaron Persky was later removed from a a different assault case.”After … the recent turn of events, we lack confidence that Judge Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetized female patient,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. Twenty jurors refused to serve in Persky’s courtroom Wednesday, citing the judge as a hardship, according to CNN affiliate KPIX-TV in San Francisco.
On February 22nd, 2016, The Rolling Stone reported, “In 2014, Kesha sued producer Dr. Luke, seeking to void all their contracts because of how, the suit claimed, Dr. Luke “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life.” Dr. Luke countersued shortly after. The first big decision in these cases came on February 19, when a New York judge denied Kesha a court injunction that would have allowed her to record new music — apart from her record label, Sony Music, as well as Dr. Luke — while the suits proceeded through the courts. Since then, stars such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga have shown support for Kesha, and fans have taken to the streets, holding rallies outside courtrooms and boardrooms.” Kesha’s attorney Mark Geragos, who’s representing the singer, claims that the first incident of alleged rape goes back to when Kesha was 18 and that, while no so-called “rape kit” exists, therapy records and “witnesses that she complained to repeatedly” will corroborate the claims. The civil suit, he adds, “allows us to do all the discovery.” Whether that might amount to future criminal action, “All options are on the table,” Geragos tells Billboard, adding that he anticipates others will come forward in the wake of Kesha’s filing. “She’s still scared to death of him.” Many women (and men also) in abusive relationships stay for years. They make excuses for their abusers. Many justify and don’t believe they are abused. Many rape victims blame themselves and wait years to come forward if they ever do. This is common psychology. The law is not set up in a way that is effective to protect victims from themselves or from their aggressors in a way that makes them feel safe to come forward and fight.
Many do not fight, even in court. They are too ashamed to endure the suffering, the prodding, the attacks on their personal character that go with prosecuting someone for rape. The population as a whole is woefully uneducated on the failures of our justice system and at many points has turned on those most in need of justice because of common interpretations about how the courts operate.
I know first hand that the timeline that many people feel that courts must operate on based on the expediency that television shows imply it does can sway public opinion against victims despite the evidence proving otherwise. I was raped in Two Rivers Psychiatric Hospital when I was 13. I was supposed to be on suicide watch, which meant they were supposed to check on me every 15 minutes. They did not. They knowingly placed me with a 16 year old (considerably larger in height and strength than me) openly bisexual, previously convicted sex offender for a roommate. I’m not the first nor last girl to be raped in this institution. A year before me, a girl was raped by a boy who snuck into her room at night. Her trial went quickly, she received a large sum of money. I guess they wanted to avoid publicity, I also wanted to avoid publicity being 13. It probably didn’t help that it was girl on girl rape and the year 2000. I was afraid. I was ashamed. I developed severe panic attacks and had to stop going to school for a long time. The girl who raped me plead guilty on September 11, 2001. We were the last case heard for the day after the twin tower attacks. Their attorneys managed to hold up my case in court against the hospital itself for 7 years. When I was 20 and finally starting college, I was offered a very low settlement amount. My attorney urged me to take it. He said it was highly unlikely that a jury would be on my side because of the amount of time that had passed. He explained to me that the majority of the population only had TV shows to learn from about how courts work and that swift justice, while often not reality, is what they expect. I took the settlement because I needed the money for school and also wasn’t happy about the idea of going back on the stand and recounting all the details again. You might think that since they had a clear responsibility for my care and wellbeing and that the girl admitted to it in court, that it would be cut and dried for them to take responsibility. That’s not the way the judicial rape system works. It just isn’t. It’s a complicated problem and public perceptions about rape are a large part of the issue.
Emilie Autumn told KERRANG “An asylum is not a sanctuary for people with mental health problems. It’s a sanctuary for sexual predators and it’s always been that way right back to the Victorian days. I was a victim of the ultimate violation; I was sexually abused, raped and fucked with. The only thing that made it survivable, trite as it sounds, is that I can use it for good and have my revenge turning this nightmare into creativity. I hope that by talking about it, I can help other people feel like they aren’t the only ones.” Emilie Autumn is a musical artist who frequently uses themes involving asylums, insanity and rape in her music. She is now working on a musical called THE ASYLUM.
Shia LaBeouf came forward and said that he was raped by a woman during an art installation he participated in. “One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me… There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well…On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.” The art installation took place at 7354 Beverly Boulevard Los Angeles, CA in 2014. #IAMSORRY involved LaBeouf sitting silently behind a desk in a room in LA’s Cohen gallery with a paper bag bearing the legend “I am not famous anymore” over his head. For five days, members of the public queued to be able to sit alone with him in the room with a prop of their choice. The internet and media reacted with doubt and shame towards the actor. Many said that he could not be raped because he is male. Anyone who does not consent can be raped. A man can have physiological responses to touch, while still saying no and not wanting to have sex.
Originally reported by Gothamist, Secret Feminist Society Fights Brock Turner & Rape Culture
BY KRISTIN HUNT IN NEWS ON JUN 16, 2016 12:50 PM “My first encounter with rape was when I was eight years old. We had a home invasion, and I could hear my mother being raped in the other room. Rather than call the police, my mother called my father, who was her ex at the time, and his first response to her was, ‘Do you think it’s something you did or wore, that caused this to happen to you?’” That’s Jessicka Addams, the frontwoman of Scarling and Jack Off Jill, speaking via Google Hangouts to a packed house in East Williamsburg’s Holyrad Studio on Wednesday night. Addams chose to share her experience at a party/rally in New York City to oust Aaron Persky. The following week she spoke at a gathering for the same purpose in Los Angeles. She went on to tell another story, one she hadn’t told before. This story is from when Addams was still an up-and-coming musician. Her friend walked in on Addams’ ex-boyfriend raping her. It’s incredibly rare for a sexual assault to have a witness who can offer testimony but that friend didn’t encourage Addams to go to the police—he encouraged her to keep it to herself, so she didn’t compromise a record deal. Addams says her friend has since apologized and told her that, as the father of a 15-year-old daughter, he has nightmares about the incident every night. “You’ve let an eight-year-old unlock the door and tell her story for the first time,” says Addams. Then, after thanking the crowd for listening, Addams raises two middle fingers and yells, “Fuck rape culture.”
(CNN) Reported By Sandra Gonzalez, Tue August 2, 2016 Kesha dropped one of her lawsuits against her label and music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald in an effort to revive her stalled music career.
Kesha’s attorney told Rolling Stone the singer dropped her civil lawsuit in California, but will continue to pursue appeals in New York where a judge dismissed her sexual abuse claims against Gottwald in April. (The sole claim pending is a request to terminate Kesha’s contract with Gottwald’s company.)
Kesha will now focus her efforts toward fulfilling her contract with Gottwald’s Kemosabe Records and parent company Sony Music Entertainment. She recently provided the label 28 new songs in hopes of releasing an album and single soon, her lawyer said. “My fight continues,” Kesha wrote in a Facebook post. “I need to get my music out. I have so much to say. This lawsuit is so heavy on my once free spirit, and I can only pray to one day feel that happiness again.”
Awareness and open communication about rape, even within institutions and involving individuals that once thought themselves above the law is the only way to make it so that victims have a voice and the ability to come forward safely and effectively defend themselves against this violence.
I’m expanding on this narrative because I want to share the following in continuation of this discussion: