Some Goods News: A Small Rant (Not so much cursing this time)

Well, I discovered today that brave Savannah Dietrich will not be held in contempt. When I saw The Courier-Journal of Louisville, KY reported “Contempt motion withdrawn for assault victim Savannah Dietrich,” I could’ve sworn I heard the halleluiah choir singing from the heavens. At last, some sense of justice has prevailed!

And yet, as I read through the reasoning behind the withdraw, I felt a little pissed off.  On of the attacker’s attorney,  David Mejia, said in an interview, “What could contempt do now?” adding that the boys’ names have already been circulated far beyond the original tweet. “Seems like a rather useless exercise doesn’t it?” Well, yes, but it was also a dick move on your part, Mr. Mejia, but I suppose a man who protects the “good ol’ boys” wouldn’t really care about some girl’s rights when it comes to having pictures passed around about her fucking rape. God forbid the boys names are slandered!

The names of the boys, by the way, are not released to the general public because they’re minors. However, several videos on YouTube, White Knight/ Black Knight forums on various sites, and a whole bunch of other tweets claim to know who the boys are. I find this a little dangerous to spread around. It’s not because I don’t want to see those two asshats get their names smeared, but I will say that I don’t think people should take justice into their own hands and go vigilante on them. I’ve already heard talk about various people determined to make those boys’ lives living hell in return for what he did to Savannah. While one side of me cheers, the more logical side of me realizes that hurting the boys won’t do anything in terms of getting Savannah justice.

Instead, what I want to see is some new legislation put into effect. I want to see more laws that protect the victim’s rights, laws that would trump a ruling like Judge McDonald’s. After I simmered down from the earlier rant, I felt a cold chill when I realized that this gag order could happen to any victim of rape and assault. There’s nothing to protect victims from a gag order like that, and honestly, I don’t know if it’s happened before because the victims are silenced.

I still want to hear from Judge McDonald on the reasoning behind the asinine decision to silence a victim of rape and call that justice. So far, I hear only silence. What’s wrong, McDonald? You’re not afraid to speak up and pick on 17 year old rape victims when no one knows about it, but now that there’s some attention called to your decision you go all quiet? Asshole.

I am glad the motion was withdrawn, and I am extremely happy that Savannah will never have to serve jail time for standing her ground. At the same time, I feel like this battle is only half-way over. The war is getting to  a day when all victims of assault- be they women or men, children or adults- can break the silence without fear of backlash. A day when they can face their attackers and get justice instead of shame. I want to see a world that blames the attacker first, victim second. Until that day comes, we haven’t won.

But today, Savannah wins, and that is one victory I cherish.

 

Where our legal system still goes wrong: A Rant (Warning! Copious amounts of cursing)

I read an article tonight about an unfortunately fucking awful situation unfolding in my home state, Kentucky. In the article “Savannah Dietrich, 17-Year-Old Sexual Assault Victim, Faces Charge For Naming Attackers” on Huffington Post, I discovered that this brave girl was put under a gag order by the oh-so “honorable” Judge Dee McDonald to not talk about what happened in court or the crime itself.

What was the crime? Savannah was sexually assaulted. Two boys she knew assaulted her, and somehow pictures were taken of her assault and then shared! Savannah was quoted saying, “For months, I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t go out in public places…You just sit there and wonder, who saw (the pictures), who knows?” She dared to defy the gag order (you go girl!) and tweet about what happened and release the names of the two boys.

There are many reason this case pisses me the fuck off. Firstly, how the hell is it alright for those two boys to pass around her assault pictures, showing exactly what happened to her, but the girl is not allowed to tweet their fucking names? The answer is simple: NO, IT’S NOT FUCKING OKAY AND IT’S NOT FUCKING JUSTICE!

These boys violated her body and then violated her privacy by showing those goddamned photos. Not only should she be allowed to tweet their names, but please, by all means, show a mugshot of the assholes! They deserve no less.

Next, what the fuck Judge McDonald? A gag order? As if it’s hard enough for victims of sexual abuse and assault to come forward, now we’re going to silence them after the fact? And for what? To protect two shitheads that will most likely commit another sexual offense in the future? Are you fucking kidding me?

When I saw that my hero Savannah was told to not talk about the crime, I saw red. A vital part of the fucking healing process of rape is motherfucking talking about it! To deny her that right denies her the ability to heal from this experience. Also, silencing her prevents her from helping other woman who’ve been involved in a rape. If she so chose to share her experience with others, she could get jailed for it when all she wants to do is help another victim. What kind of message does that send? Talk and you will be the one in trouble.

And here’s my final word: How the fuck is it that we supposedly live in an “enlightened” modern world with all in equality YET bullshit like this is still fucking happening?

One would think that after the Sandunsky trial we would’ve learned something. Silence does not solve the fucking problem! It creates more victims, it creates shame, and it prevents justice from being done. When the legal system demands that silence, where can victims go for justice?

To Savannah, I admire your bravery. Thank you for breaking the silence. I’m on your side.

Fuck the Silence.