Scrolling through my Facebook feed casually , seeing updates on people’s weekends, but when I scrolled past a news article by NPR I froze, I felt an eerie creepy feeling tingle up and down my spine, I could feel my body temperature rise, heart beat rapid it read:
“Brock Turner Freed From Jail After Serving Half Of 6-Month Sentence”
My initial thought was “what the fuck.” I felt angry. Outraged. As I kept reading
the judge’s comments that day — “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on [Turner]. I think he will not be a danger to others.”
I couldn’t help but think back to a darker time in my life, being one who has PTSD I couldn’t keep the flashbacks of deep anguished fear vulnerability and sadness from disrupting my train of thought. I felt sick to my stomach.
I was 19 years old. a college student just back home for the summer excited about my new-found freedom and “adulthood” I wanted to go out and celebrate a great year. I went out alone that night thinking I would be safe in my home town.
It was a party put on by some friends and acquaintances. I showed up just as the sun set. When I arrived it had seemed as thought everyone had started a few hours before me. I was quickly handed a drink and welcomed in. I started drinking, feeling good. Relaxed and while I’m being honest I felt cool and accepted.
I had noticed a familiar face making eye contact with me I smiled. He approached me, we had met briefly before I was the recent Ex of his good friend.
“Hey good to see you here, can I get you another drink?”
It felt innocent enough I nodded my head yes just incase he couldn’t hear me over the loud music. He quickly went to get me another drink.
He made sure that I wasn’t without a drink which at the time I thought was a gentlemen’s gesture of kindness.
The last memory I have of that night was talking to him outside on the front porch, after that darkness. No recollection.
I awoke the next morning in my car, alone. I sat up confused. I looked around. I started to get scared. a sense of panic washed over me. I looked down I was covered in a blanket but something didn’t feel right. As pulled the blanket away I was naked from the waste down. I started crying. no one was there. I looked around for my things my phone my keys. My pants I found in the trunk I quickly put them on. and got out of the car. I realized my car had been moved down the road.
I started down the road towards the house, I went in it smelled of lingering beer spills and puke. I started digging around looking for my keys and phone my keys were in the trash can my phone under the couch. I quickly ran out of there back to my car and started driving home.
The drive was torturous I wanted to escape these feelings of what happened. I wanted to get far away from that place but I couldn’t. I was driving the car in which it happened. I didn’t know where to go what to do. I couldn’t remember anything. I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt, shame and disgust.
I quickly decided to drive home and go straight to the bathroom. It was there that I took solace in a burning hot bath. I stayed in there for hours curled up in a ball crying. I wanted to jump out of my skin I wanted to escape from my body. But I couldn’t. I felt so trapped.
It wasn’t till a week or so later that I got a call from a friend who asked how I was doing, He told me that he had seen me that night and noticed that I was completely hammered and that guy who so graciously kept feeding me drinks took the liberty of carrying me to my car. That was the last my friend had seen of me that night.
It came out a few weeks later that this guy who I still let remain unnamed. Told an acquaintance that he didn’t care that I was unconscious. He wanted it that bad, that it didn’t matter. He saw his chance and took it.
So when I read these current articles about Brock Turner , it only solidifies how I felt after my trauma. I too wanted justice and revenge for what happened to me. But I was too sacred and I knew that I would have to relive every single detail, I would be made to feel guilty and shamed for being a woman. I would hear things like:
“You shouldn’t have drunk so much.”
“You shouldn’t have been out by yourself.”
“You asked for it.”
Does any unconscious woman “ask for it?”
It breaks my heart that we are still blaming the victim in this story. How is it that we are more concerned with Brock Turners comfort and life quality over the woman who had the courage to speak up, the woman who had no choice in this tragedy, the woman who will forever live with this violation. I hope this doesn’t detour other women from breaking the silence.