I know we don’t know each other, and we may never meet, but I love you. I don’t mean that in the creepy way, but in the way with which I openly love my closest friends, my dearest family and with all the respect I can have for a person. Your struggle has been highly publicized, your words have been spoken with great emotion and while you fight to exist each day, I want you to know that I support you.
While my own efforts are small compared to the bravery and strength you have shown over the past year or so, I want you to know that I signed the petition to recall the judge from your case. No one, man or woman, should be forced to endure the tragedy of sexual assault, go through the system fearlessly and then come out the other end feeling violated by both the perpetrator and the system which is in place to protect and defend.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that your time with your sister will be forever blotted out by the devastation which came from an entitled child with no moral compass-who took your time, your privacy and the intimate parts of you and laid them bare for the world to scrutinize. I’m sorry that his academic merits and athleticism seem to be all anyone focuses on, and that while his lawyers tried to pry into your past, none of them looked into your future-like they did with him.
I listened to the reading of your statement, and I remember coming across the line: “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.” And my heart broke for you. Because no one deserves to be made to feel worthless by the actions of someone else. I don’t know you at all, I’ve never seen you, I’ve never heard your voice, and yet I know that you are a beautiful person. You are so much more than this situation would impress upon you, so much more than a six-month verdict and I’m glad that the jury thought so too.
I hope that you find some peace, hope and a little rest. No matter what anyone else labels you, I think you’re a true heroine. You keep fighting, even when it gets tough and you don’t give up. That makes you the most courageous person I can think of. I hope you find great joy in the small moments in life, and that you get to meet those bicyclists who became your first line of defense.
All my admiration,
A 23 Year Old Woman