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To the person who was victimized in the Stanford Case:

To the person who was victimized in the Stanford Case:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything you have endured. I’m sorry your rapist won’t be held accountable for his actions. I’m sorry his father believes ‘20 minutes of action’ doesn’t equate to six months in jail. I’m sorry his best friend says ‘He isn’t a monster’ and rapists don’t look like him. ‘Rapists kidnap girls and then rape them.’ Because the fact of the matter is, he is exactly what a rapist looks like. His best friend goes on to say how it’s the campus’s fault for allowing 20-something boys and girls to drink past the point of intoxication, to the point where they know no boundaries. While I certainly agree alcohol on campus is a huge problem, intoxication is not an excuse to rape someone. I’m so sorry you have to read about how it’s everybody else’s fault but his. I’m sorry for the way the media has handled the case. Almost every article I read highlights his accomplishments and never fails to mention that you were drunk. His accomplishments mean nothing and you have every single right to get drunk without someone violating you. You are healing from your own trauma. You don’t need this on top of it.  I’m so sorry every system has failed you. I’m sorry we live in a society that has allowed this to happen.

You are so brave. And I thank you for being so brave. The letter you wrote and shared in court and has been shared countless times on social medial is starting a conversation. People are outraged. They cannot believe he received such a lenient sentence. They cannot believe his father is more concerned with him not being able to eat a steak than his actions. People are seeing rape culture in real time, from numerous sources. People are talking and until we can talk about it, we cannot end it.

You’ve given a voice to thousands of young women who don’t have one, women who never saw their day in court, whose rapists won’t be held accountable at all. Twenty-three percent of college women report they have been sexually assaulted. Of those who didn’t report, two-thirds said it wouldn’t matter if they did because nothing would happen. We are going to work on changing that.

Stay strong. You have an army on your side.