125 days ago, I was raped. Rape is rape, is rape. Period. Within 15 minutes of the incident I was in the arms of my best friend, hysterically crying, speechless,broken.
“I said no but he did it anyways.”
But emotion does not matter anymore does it? When I wrote about reporting my rape, people said it didn’t. No, no it does not. Not at all. Never. It never mattered. People want the facts. So here, this is strictly the facts. My personal opinion will be left entirely out. Because, it does not matter does it? No, no it does not.
I was driven to the hospital, clothes stripped off of me, one by one. Naked, under blacklight. Shivering. Cold. The SANE nurse, pried and poked at my body, taking swabs, pictures, writing notes. I put on the oversized sweatpants and underwear and walked out of the room. Six hours post rape.
I followed up with a detective from my University. Gave my statement for the police. Started a journal. Every minor detail, each one, written down, for me. So I could know my story. Kept a binder, filled it with prescriptions, documents, copies of medical records, as well as every ounce of information I was given for the Title IX investigation. Exchanged emails a few times with my Detective, and the Dean of Student Affairs. Interviewed a few more times.
109 days later. Title IX hearing number one was to take place.
The alleged perpetrator was not available to be present. They cancelled it.
I did not consent to this. I did not consent to sex. Rape is rape, is rape. But that does not matter does it? No, no it does not. I voiced my opinion. This process was supposed to be over in 60 days. 49 days overdue. This is simple math, not an opinion. I promise. Trust me. Barraded with excuses, I was. Oh no, that might be an opinion. Shit. FUCK. I can’t. I can’t even. Ok, I’m done now. I can continue, unbiased.
113 days later. Title IX hearing number two takes place. My alleged perpetrator refrains from showing up. The hearing progresses. My character is vehemently brought into question. Yes, because I am such a goddam fucking slut. Oh no, sorry. I am so sorry please forgive me. Yea..ok cool, I shall progress.
120 days later. I am told that the hearing found him responsible and in violation of the University’s policy and that he was recommended to be dismissed. I guess I could consider this justice. But does it matter? No, no it does not because there was a procedural error so of course the entire hearing had to be fucking redone. Well, so they fucking think. Bullshit. Oh my god I am so sorry. My sincerest apologies for being emotional and showing passion in my writing. Disregard all of that. Any part of it that you want. Be happy. Everything is going fine I promise. Trust me.
I questioned why the hearing had to be redone, and what procedural error was made. I was given vague answers. “He was not given an advisor in time.”
Wait, stop. I don’t have an advisor? Do I? No. No well it doesn’t matter does it? No, no it does not.
I was told that he had now prepared a slew of witnesses to speak on his behalf, as well as a presentation, and legal council. Well SHIT. OK, so you refused to act first and now you get this fucking second chance. Yea bro you fucked up good. But, but now you have a chance for the University to save you! Take it, hell take it. But I won’t. I protested this third hearing and prepared a speech as follows:
125 days later. It is Friday, April 11th 2014. On December 7th, 2013, I was raped by [name redacted].
I, without hesitation followed through with all the proper steps. I reported the crime. We emphasize to students to report their crimes, especially sexual assault and rape. At first I wondered why people would not report it, but now, now I know.
I have been victimized. I have been victimized since the moment I was raped, following through with the 6 hours at the hospital, continuing on with living with PTSD, anorexia, and the pain. The pain that when I looked in the mirror I was no longer myself. I, I didn’t know who I was. I was a shell.
Imagine picking up a harmless turtle on the bank of a pristine, clear riverbed, and heartlessly ripping it out of it’s protective, uniquely designed, shell. The turtle cannot survive without it’s shell.
Beyond my emotional anecdote. Herein my argument lies, to make it simple. Discrimination and victimization. The purpose of the Title IX document and subsequent investigation is to provide equality to both the victim and the alleged perpetrator. This equality has been harshly denied to me.
Butler University has allowed my rapist to dictate what WILL occur in this process. It was HE who denied a presence at the first scheduled hearing, well he requested it, and since he is a rapist he must be a rational person, so the reasonable, rational request was granted. I did not agree to this. I was not asked if I found this request reasonable, or if I was amenable to a latter date for a hearing.
I was patronized for my lack of response, yet my rapist is given the utmost time to ludicrously make decisions, for ME. I was re victimized, telling my story to a group of individuals whom I trusted to end this reign of hell for me. Three weeks later I am told that this was not the case. What procedural error do you speak of?
Time to find an advisor? Well I was certainly not given an advisor. I was left in open water surrounded by sharks, seeking a mere piece of driftwood. Was I given time to find witnesses? Write letters of “character”? Where is my rape kit? I have nothing to work with except my volition. How dare you.
And yet when I make a reasonable request for more information, please, tell me why this decision was made. No, I am denied such. And when my rapist is asked for a second chance, after failing to act the first time, he is jovially granted with such means. My rapist raped me. He does not get a second chance. He is a rapist. Continuing on, after further investigating what knowledge was skillfully hidden from me, I took a trip downtown to the County Prosecutor’s Office, where I was so casually told that my record does not exist. There is no case, or nor has there ever been a case.
No, there is JUST a police report. So why then do I have a letter that if I may note was not mailed to me by a prosecutor but was sealed inside a [University title] envelope, saying that my case was denied charges?
I am done. I am done with this politically semantic waste of what this University calls a judicial process.
This hearing will not take place today, at 9:45am in [building name redacted] 200.
I will not be moved from my physical, nor emotional and mental platform. I will be diminished no longer. I demand equality and fairness. End the victim discrimination. Now.
Take no disciplinary action towards those around me. This is my rape. It belongs to me.
I will do whatever it takes to achieve my justice. The U.S Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights will be receiving a complaint from me. Thank you for your consideration.
Needless to say, I am writing this after being denied the right to even read my speech and protest my own hearing. I was dismissed so that my rapist could be attended to according to procedure. This is my last chance. I make this plea, not as a means of empathy or help, but as a means to promote change and justice. Is this right? I mean is it really?
Evidently my university is exempt from adhering to the United States Constitution, as well as laws in general.
You read correctly, there is no record of my case at the Prosecutor’ office. Yes, I was told that my case was presented and that there was not enough evidence to press charges. Probably because my rape kit is MIA. It’s casual. Oh, sorry again. I’m growing more and more bias. But this time it does matter.
It matters because my rapist is being given more and more chances, and I am asked for more and more excuses.
I was raped. Period. Rape is rape, is rape. Do not tell me it doesn’t matter. It does. Yes, yes it does.
“You can either come to the hearing or not, choose.”
“No, I refrain to choose.”
“Well then excuse me as I have a hearing to chair.”
I am done letting people decide things for me. Stop it dammit you need consent! I am not giving you consent! It’s about consent! Consent, consent, consent!
But no, it doesn’t matter does it?