Tuesday, June 7, 2016

No Means No Means No

I've been thinking about the slap-on-the-wrist sentence that Judge Aaron Persky handed down to convicted rapist Brock Turner. I'm sickened and horrified. But I'm not surprised. And it makes me wonder if people have a clue about what a woman goes through in order to press charges for rape. I know. Twelve years ago I held the hands of a nineteen year old girl as she endured the two hour plus process of the rape exam. A standard rape kit for the collection of evidence contains more than a dozen tubes, envelopes, and little plastic bags. They pluck pubic hairs and hairs from your head. Not cut or trim, pluck. They stick a monster sized Q-tip up your vagina and another one up your anus. It's a second violation, even though it's one you consent to. They scrape under your fingernails. They comb through your pubic hair with a tiny comb. The female EMT and RN were professional, caring, and considerate over the course of the exam. They explained what they were doing and asked periodically if she needed time for a breather in between samples. They were careful to use a dampened sponge to seal the envelopes. If they had licked them, their DNA would have contaminated the sample. They kept her panties, the condom he used, and the sheets from her bed as evidence. I don't know how she is, how this experience has affected her life since then. I do know that I have never gotten over it. I can only imagine what it was like for her.

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