Open letter to the victim/survivor

I don’t know your name.  I probably never will.  We have never met, probably never will.  But I want to share something with you in the event that you find this blog.  There are many of us worldwide that stand with you.  We believe you.  We are horrified by what you suffered first at the hands of the rapists and then at the hands of the justice system.  Judge Deni is wrong.  You were raped.

Your courage in daring to stand up to the rapists and take them into the legal system is incredible.  What every woman regardless of circumstance faces in the legal system when she is raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, etc, is horrible to go through and takes an incredible amount of courage.  With all the stigma attached to sex workers that you had the courage to fight for justice is truly heroic.  While justice was stolen from you, while a piece of you most likely was stolen by both the rapists and the legal system, your courage, your strength and your humanity can never be taken.

Even though we have never met, know that I anguish over the suffering you must have endured.  And probably still do.  I like others am here with you, we believe you, we know you were raped, we know the justice system also raped you, we are with you even if we never meet.  You are not alone.

We stand with you in solidarity,

11 Responses

  1. indeed, and absolutely

  2. Great post jill. I feel the same way.

  3. She actually is indeed aware that many people are outraged and I’m told she is very moved. I’m going to print your letter and pass it on to someone whom I think will be able to get it to her.

    I had such a conundrum when I first started writing up briefs about the Deni incident because I felt conflicted about referring to the woman who was attacked as a “victim”. I chose to go with the word whenever I refer to the actual assault as it seemed the most fitting and economical choice. But make no mistake, you are right to call her a survivor. Let’s hope that after tomorrow we can stop thinking of her double victimization and instead start thinking of her as the survivor that she is.

  4. Beautiful, Jill. Thank you!

  5. She truly is a survivor in the greatest sense of the word! I am so glad that she is aware that many do care. The isolation of going through what she has is crushing. If we can be part of her healing, even the smallest part, it is truly a great gift that we all share with each other.

  6. She did not deserve this. There is nothing that any person can do that makes raping them okay. Fortunately, she made it through. Every day you wake up after being raped is a victory regardless of whether the courts give you justice. She wins because she has the guts to keep on living, mothering, and standing up for herself.

  7. You are absolutely right on all points.

  8. Mattie The Cat, can you get a message to her for me? Let her know that a random woman in Minnesota e-mailed every free-time-heavy Philadelphian she could think of last night (including random college women’t clubs she doesn’t even know) trying to get out the vote and that she still wants to do whatever she needs. Also please let her know that she admires her greatly for everything that she doesn’t need (that is, every way in which she’s totally surviving already).

  9. Yes, Katie, I definitely will. I’m actually giving the post along with the comments to the contact tomorrow.

  10. […] letter to the victim/survivor November 5th. 2007, 4:58pm attitude wrote an interesting post today […]

  11. Sister Survivor,

    Even from far away, I am wishing you peace,healing, and blessings. Even though we have not met, I know you deserve safety and respect. Even through the lies of the court and the criminal legal system, I see that you are a real woman who has bravely reported a real crime.

    I just want you to know that I believe you. I recognize the courage it took for you to speak up. I want to thank you for speaking, and tell you that I am celebrating your survival.

    With Love,

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