To whom it may concern: Which is everyone. I repeat, EVERYONE.
I hold the personal belief that we are responsible for one another to a certain degree.
I also would love to preface this letter with an overwhelming clarification that I am a survivor of many things including child molestation and rape/sexual assaults while attending college. I love alleged perpetrators just as much as I love my fellow survivors.
What I say in this letter to you, yes, YOU the reader, is NOT with malice or any other form of hatred toward any entity.
As a survivor, I do not claim to speak on behalf of the surviving community, but I speak up on behalf of myself and the similarities that we all share. As an investigative journalist, I get it. As an aspiring lawyer, I get it. As a forensic scientist, I get it. As an activist, I kind of get it. As a survivor, I DON'T GET IT!
I just don't understand our systems. It pains me when I look at a system where I have to be revictimized when I take the Sexual Assault Nurse Exam, which includes a medical tool inserted into my vagina that is "CRANKED" to spread my already bloody and hurting insides to gather possible DNA samples.
I don't understand why I have to keep proving myself TO myself, my professors, police officers, lawyers, doctors, friends and random people on ask.fm who hide behind anonymity to blame ME for my own rapes and assaults.
Look. I don't CARE if I wore leggings! I don't CARE if I wore a short skirt! I don't care if I was alone with guys all the time! Ninety-five percent of those times I WAS NOT RAPED OR ASSAULTED! Rape is about CONTROL, not sex! And as long as our society believes in regulating the actions of women, and NOT the actions of the alleged perpetrators (not just men by the way), then Mizzou, we have a HUGE problem!!!
So I don't get it. I don't get why we have to live in a world of fear. Why women (individuals) who go through this have to "reclaim" their bodies by having more and more sex. If that's their choice, I respect it. If it is self-harm in a different form, I seek to help them! I don't blame them and call them out as promiscuous just because I didn't choose to take that route. I just wanted to be held.
I don't get rape jokes. If I hear one, I will kindly educate you on how that might be offensive to some and send you straight to the RSVP Center. I don't get why I had to fight off a stronger individual during an almost four-hour unwanted interaction on several occasions. So I just decided to stop fighting. My mind was in utter shock mode. My virgin body that I can't even insert tampons inside was ravaged and sore.
I don't get why my survivors have to face their alleged perpetrators EVERY DAY because no one believes them. And if authorities do, they can't do anything about it because of the way our justice system is set up.
I don't get why they didn't take "no" and my uncomfortable and uneasy feelings seriously.
I don't get why we only teach "No means no," when really "YES MEANS YES," UNTIL they express in SOME/ANY FORM they NO LONGER WANT THIS!
STOP! JUST STOP!!!! Because I don't get it.
I don't get why I have to call the police out of my normal calm character in order for them to take my safety seriously.
I don't get why I haven't heard from my advocate since July!
I don't get why I feel my case was swept under the rug because my attorney was handling a high-profile murder case.
I don't get why our justice system protects those on the defense, and places the burden of proof solely on the survivor.
Survivors are put on the stand in their everyday lives. We are CONSTANTLY reminded of our faults. While alleged perpetrators are released, we are bound to the hurt and shame we carry with us. I SAY NO MORE! Take a hint from my spoken word piece #ScratchTHAT:
"Suspect. They'll turn it on me. I know they'll think, that I provoked it if I happened to wink. But let me tell you this one thing: just b/c I flirted with the idea of love doesn't mean I was a flirt. Just because I dress classy the way I do has nothing to do with long or short skirts. ...I wouldn't and couldn't even touch him in an area of privacy. An area of intimacy. Into me see. Not into me be. I didn't want any part of you in me. You were nothing like you pretended faithfully. Faking to love me. Made me do things that wasn't made for this unprepared me. Immaturity. Something like a baby and that was not one of my needs. No! Ouch. That hurts! Stop! Please. I need you to see. I couldn't scream out b/c I was concentrated on me. So I wouldn't release that that he would seek. ... But he was my hero. He put on a cape. But I didn't know saviors had it in them to rape."
I don't want to focus on the individuals who did this to me. They have no power here. I pray for them. HOWEVER, instead of teaching individuals how not to BE raped, can we just teach individuals how NOT to rape?
But really. I am also a Christian. I am mad as hell and I am mad AT hell. Including the hell we are living in here on earth!
To my survivors: take some solace in Emeli Sande's Read All About It:
"“You've got the words to change a nation but you're biting your tongue You've spent a lifetime stuck in silence afraid you'll say something wrong If no one ever hears it how we gonna learn your song? So come, on come on Come on, come on. Lets get the tv and the radio to play our tune again its 'bout time we got some airplay of our version of events there's no need to be afraid, I will sing with you my friends. I wanna sing, I wanna shout I wanna scream till the words dry out so put it in all of the papers, I’m not afraid they can read all about it. Read all about it.”
You have a friend in me. Don't listen to them. Speak up and #ScratchTHAT.
Mizzou, let's lead the charge against sexual assault and rape against individuals in partner-based violent crimes.
As a Shining Light Ambassador, I'll help show you how. And it all started with the RSVP Center on campus. What a fantastic resource among many. We are not alone. We are here to stay! This revolution will be televised. I'll make sure of it. Can we be mad as/at hell together?
With all my love and hurt,
— Jamie I.Y. Crockett, student and founder, Shining Light Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
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