Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Justice Systems and Battlefields

It's been almost 3 1/2 years since I was sexually assaulted. When I decided to press charges I knew I would be dealing with the outcome for as long as this case was considered active. The sentence for the man who raped me was 7 years in prison for sexual assault. He took a plea deal, which reduced his sentence to 4 months of shock time(county jail) and 5 years of probation. His probation guidelines are random polygraph tests, drug and alcohol screenings, sex offender classes, no use of pornographic material. He was put on a 9pm to 6am curfew and is not allowed where alcohol is present, he is not allowed in contact with minors without adult consent or allowed contact with me or any of my family members. He was not allowed to get in trouble with the law and had to pay all court costs. He was charged with a domestic assault charge and avoided having to actually be on the sex offenders registration list. The guidelines stated that if any of these rules were violated, he would get charged with his original sentence.

Because most of you have never sat in one of these court sentencing's I'll explain a little more. When a defendant agrees to take a plea deal, they actually have to admit what they are pleading guilty to. So, in this case a rapist admitted in front of a judge to sexually assaulting his victim. Then he was not charged with that crime, but a lesser one.

Since his sentencing, he was granted work release and school release while serving his 4 months in jail. So he basically just slept there. He has violated his probation twice that I know of. The most recent was a few weeks ago when he threatened his neighbors life numerous times while trying to break down their door. That victim has since filed an abuse stalking charge against him. 

When I became aware of all of this I thought this was it. This was a huge violation, I was sure (and so was everyone around me) that this was going to be what would wake up the probation and parole and finally get him charged with his actual crime.

I have learned throughout this experience to never have high expectations and I have become pretty good at it. But, I'd be lying if I said I didn't get my hopes up. My advocate broke the news to me a few days later that the probation officer was not considering this a violation. And to put a little more icing on the cake, they are considering him for early release from his probation completely.

When I heard this, I was the closest I had been to the kind of depression I've fought so hard to overcome. For two days, my emotions where all over the place. I would start sobbing and wouldn't be able to turn it off. I was devastated, I was absolutely heartbroken. For the past 3 1/3 years my disappointments and heartaches haven't come from another single person, like a significant other. They have come from our justice system that is supposed to be protecting me. I have to thank the few people who knew and helped pick me back up, because I can honestly say I couldn't of picked myself up alone.

After this last experience I know that I can't keep holding onto this. I am tough, but there are only so many disappointments a person can handle and my quota is up. I think I held on for so long because this was my fight. This case was my voice. I felt for a long time that if I let it go, I'd some how be letting him win. But, I can't let this one battle get me down to the point where it's taking away from the war. I have honestly done everything I can do and I realized that my own fight ended a long time ago. I have been fighting against something that is so much bigger than myself. It has been filled with money and politics and so many other things stacked against me. And I came out standing. That is enough of a victory for me.

The law is full of corruption. It always has been. But, it took me being the one taking the blunt end of the stick to see it. And I honestly think that's how we all are. We have our eyes sheltered to what's reality until we have to face it ourselves. Which is said, but reguardless... It's the truth. 

Now that my eyes aren't covered, when I hear of people hurting or going through hard times, I really take the time to listen. I make sure they know that someone hears them. I give a damn. I give a damn because I've been exactly where they are. I know what it feels like to feel like there is no winning, like there is no hope. I know what it's like to feel like my voice isn't being heard. I know what it's like to want to give up and I know what it's like to not look forward to tomorrow. But I also know that there is a fire that comes from all of the above. All that these people need is someone to help them see that fire, which will help them get through their days and looking forward to the ones to come.

So now my fight is for those people, who haven't quite found their voices yet. And the war is against anyone or anything that makes these survivors feel like they can't speak up. 

With that being said, this blog page is going to go under a bit of a transformation, so stick with me and stay tuned.

"And now you finally know what it feels like to risk everything and still survive. When you're standing on the battlefield and all the pain is real. That's when you realize, that you must have done something right because you never felt so alive."