One of the worst things that any person in this world would ever have to experience is sexual assault. It is one of the hardest things there is to survive, because unlike most crimes where once its done and over sexual assault does not just leave the victim when its done and over. It is something that stays with the victim. There is no way that someone who has never had to survive being raped could truly understand. They can try, they can want to, but they can never truly understand what it is like. The feeling of being filthy even when you are clean. That feeling when you are in the shower and you are just scrubbing away as hard as you can, and no matter how hard you scrub yourself, no matter how hot you make the water, you just can’t feel clean enough. It’s like the person who raped you is always there. As though the showers are not enough to deal with, often times there are the nightmares and flashbacks. There are the feelings of self blame and hatred. If you had this different, or if you had done that differently maybe you would not have been raped. It is partly your fault you were raped, because you did not do this or that differently. For the record I am not blaming victims of sexual assault. But I know those thoughts. I know what it’s like to hate yourself and blame yourself, because I am a rape survivor.
Sexual assault does not only hit the person who it happened to hard. It hits their friends and family hard as well. Friends and family who want to understand feel powerless, because there is really nothing that they can do to take away the hurt. Sometimes they even blame themselves if they were the ones who put you in the position to be raped. As a whole it hits society hard, because there are so many incidents of sexual assault out there. The American people had a small taste of how hard sexual assault hits at us. The sexual assault accusations of Christine Blasey Ford caused a serious divide in the country. There was no evidence that the accusations she made ever happened. Why would there be? She said that the incident happened over 30 years ago. There were no witnesses to corroborate her account. There were serious pieces of memory that she claimed to be unable to recall that may have offered her accusations more credibility. Despite missing all of this evidence and the lack of witnesses that could back up her story, if it had only been Christine Blasey Ford who came forward and made an accusation against Kavanaugh there is a very real chance that he never would have been confirmed to the Supreme Court.
As a country Americans were treated to a wake up call to the argument that has been taking place for most of the last ten years. It has been said that women rarely lie about rape, but rarely does not mean never. It only means that it rarely happens. Americans do not take the time to really consider cases like Nikki Yovino who falsely accused two football players of raping her in 2016. When a man is sentenced to prison for rape, the average rape sentence is some where between 5 to 7 years. Nikki Yovino who made a false rape accusation against two football players could have sent two innocent men to prison for 5 to 7 years if they received the average sentence. However, Nikki Yovino herself is not facing 5 to 7 years in prison. She was sentenced to one year. It can be said that the football players were never arrested, but that did not stop her from ruining two innocent lives. While facing discipline from the university they attended for a rape that they weren’t even guilty of the two football players dropped out of college. Americans do not stop and think about women like Leanne Black. Leanne Black made five false rape accusations over a period of eight years. They don’t stop and think about women like Jemma Beale who made 15 false rape accusations over a three year period of time. What about Crystal Magnum? The black woman who falsely accused the Duke Lacrosse team of raping her. Between the four women there are over 20 false rape accusations. Out of these four women only one of them has seen the inside of a prison cell, because of her false rape accusation. That does not mean the others did not go to prison. They did. It was just for charges not related to their false rape accusations.
Women rarely lie about rape. This may be true. Rarely does not mean never. Despite the fact that there are women out there like the four that I named above a large number of Americans place the blame for a lack of convictions on the criminal and civil justice system. These people feel that we must make it easier for women to bring claims of sexual misconduct to the public attention. They feel that women who make rape accusations simply need to be believed and protected from having to be able to prove that their rape really happened. It is these same Americans who stood against Brett Kavanaugh after Christine Blasey Ford made her accusations. These Americans believe that when a woman cries rape things like due process are not important even when a man’s life is on the line inside a courtroom. More than that they feel that due process is even less important outside the courtroom when a woman cries rape. After all, the Senate Judiciary Committee isn’t going to send a man to prison, it’s just a job interview to determine whether or not a man is fit to serve on the United States Supreme Court.
This kind of thinking that justifies the absence of due process under any circumstances has not led America anywhere good. It is this thought process that justifies the absence of due process that has caused a division across America separating friends and family from each other. It is this kind of thinking that have allowed for the lives of men both in and out of college to easily be ruined. Americans have dismissed the need for evidence and believe that it is okay to restrict witnesses and the accuser from being cross examined by the accused. They believe that it is okay to even limit whether or not the accused has access to the evidence that is being used against them in the name of making it easier to punish sex offenders.
From one side of the country to the other side of the country men have been punished and found their lives destroyed, because there were sexual assault accusations made against them. These men were not even given a fair chance to defend themselves against the accusations that were made against them. It doesn’t just happen out in the world of business. It happens on college universities where todays sons and daughters go to school. Judges across the country find themselves blown away by how universities handle accusations of this nature. Anyone who does not think that wrongful convictions in the eyes of public opinion and at the university level are not important, because the men do not go to prison need to speak to the two football players whose life Nikki Yovino ruined. Their college football careers are over. Their reputations are ruined. Before they even had a chance to really live life they had their lives destroyed because Nikki Yovino did not want to risk losing a potential boyfriend. All of it could have been avoided if she had chosen not to be a slut who had sex with two men and then accused them of raping her.
During the weeks that led to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court people who did not believe the word of Christine Blasey Ford found themselves attacked. Some of those attacks came from people who they know. Other attacks came from people who they don’t know. They were attacked nonetheless. While people hold their protests signs and scream “we believe survivors” , between Nikki Yovino, Leanne Black, Jemma Beale, and Crystal Magnum, there are no less than twenty good reasons not to believe a woman who cries rape without evidence and witnesses to support her accusation. This why we must return to the days of due process when the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.