Friday, October 30, 2009

Bystanders Do Nothing During Assault

We all have a role in preventing sexual assault. Even a bystander during an assault has the responsibility to try and stop it from happening. There are certainly instances in which you could be harmed for attempting to stop the crime from happening (one person in this story was said to be too afraid to say anything for fear of getting beaten up), but there is always an option to speak out, make a phone call, go to police, something.

In Richmond, California a fifteen year old girl was assaulted outside her high school following a dance. Multiple people are being accused of raping her, while others "just stood there and watched". The young woman was given alcohol and some of the accused are over eighteen. Those involved are said to have invited the girl over to a common area on school grounds to drink. Where were school officials and why were 19-21 years olds, or any non-students for that matter on school grounds? Who stands by and watches a young girl get repeatedly assaulted and laugh about it? Over 20 people are said to be involved. Over 20 people thought this was okay? It's awfully sad that these people are too afraid of the consequences if they say something. It is probably a real fear which makes it that much more depressing and disturbing. What will become of the girl? Will she, or could she ever return to school? Should she be afraid of retaliation?

Here's hoping she will have more support from those around her now and in the future. She will need it more than anything.

A Survivor Comes Face To Face

Most of us have heard about Jaycee Lee Dugard. The young woman who was kidnapped almost eighteen years ago and held captive by Phillip Garrido. She was recently on the cover of People magazine and the whole world has been captivated by her story. What most of us don't know, or realize, is that Jaycee was not Garrido's first victim (and probably not his last, unfortunately). A woman named Katie Callaway Hall appeared in a California courthouse this week to face the man who brutally raped her over 30 years ago. Garrido was found guilty and served just eleven years on his fifty year sentence for raping Katie Hall. Three years later he would allegedly abduct Jaycee in front of her house, repeatedly rape her and hold her captive in terrible conditions. Hall's reason for going to the courthouse is simple. She wants to ensure that this man is never let out of prison again. She wants to ensure that another little girl or woman does not meet this man's wrath.

After feeling like her assault was something in her past, she was faced with the news that the man who had assaulted her was not only out of prison, but was facing new charges for another sexual assault. Now, struggling with feelings of guilt for Jaycee's abduction and emotions she thought were locked away, she is determined to see Garrido spend the rest of his days behind bars. He would've been in jail when Jaycee was taken. The opportunity to steal a little girl and subject her to years of abuse should have never been available to him.

Although having to face Garrido again proved to be difficult, Hall is hoping to find strength and closure with his upcoming trial. Having a previous victim of his come forward should only enforce the fact that he is a repeat offender who will prey on someone else if given the chance. Now, we just have to make sure our justice system comes through and puts him away for life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Tube Video Gets Mixed Reactions

A video that appeared on YouTube recently is causing mixed reactions. In this particular video, a young man seems to be blaming the victims of rape. Apparently, this is not what he means to do, but to some that is exactly how they see it. The reactions of the viewers are strong. Some are completely mortified, some confused or speechless. Some argue that although he seems to be harsh, he is trying to make a point to the victims of sexual assault. Without the voices of victims, we will never be able to stop a sexual predator or save others from the same fate. Regardless of what he means to say, it is the way in which it is perceived by the viewers that is causing so much emotion. This could be heartbreaking for some victims to hear, or the motivation they need to say something about their assault.

Many viewers have posted comments, and some have responded with their own videos. There are even those who are not victims of sexual assault and rape and have spoken out, which shows how many people sexual violence truly affects. The victims of such a terrible crime are always affected, but so are the friends and family members of that victim, the witnesses, the community, the perpetrator and their loved ones.

How do you feel about this video? Could he have spread the same message, but in a different manner? Did he need to sound "firm and uncaring" to make his point?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sex Crimes Can Happen Anywhere-Jasmine's Law

Whether you watch the 6:00 news, read a newspaper or catch up with stories on the Internet, you hear about crimes being committed everyday. A lot of those crimes involve sexual assault, molestation, or pornography. No matter how large or small the town is, these crimes occur all too often. No matter how nice of neighborhood you live in, or how peaceful things may seem, it's still very possible for these horrific crimes to take place.

In Newberg, Oregon a man was just arrested with four other adults for multiple sex crimes including rape and sodomy. This man lived in a quiet little town with his two daughters. In addition to the rape and sodomy charges, Darrin Daily is said to also have images of a four year old girl on his computer and was posting Craigslist ads for others to have sex with a fourteen year old girl. Both she and another teenage girl have said they have had sex with Daily, and that he had given them alcohol and marijuana. Any adult who takes advantage of an underage child is wrong. To use drugs and alcohol to further manipulate them is even worse.

This story does not state whether Daily's own daughters were victims, and does not say where their mother may be. It also does not say whether Daily has a previous record. These are all questions that should be answered. His daughters were probably witness to some of these crimes if not victims themselves. Let's hope this that they are in a safe place now while waiting to hear what their father's future may hold. If he is found guilty on ANY of these charges, he should not be allowed to care for his two children. It will be interesting to see how this one unfolds.

There is a petition right now that is even asking for an additional eleven years to be added to sentencing when an offender uses alcohol on a victim. Please visit this site to learn more about Jasmine's Law and to sign this petition.