The Tide is finally Turning! (trigger warning)

I won’t go into the details of the crime, other than to say that the offender was sentenced to a paltry six months in prison, though looks set to serve only three. When I read how his father sprang to his defense, and attempted to minimize his actions, I couldn’t believe it. Here is the victim’s stunning Impact Statement.

The sense of entitlement regarding the offender, both before and after his insipid crime brought back memories. You see, I was this girl, and he and his family remind me of another one I encountered… The offender in my case had a long history of violence, and menacing behavior, starting when he was still in primary school. He set fire to the family home after an argument, and his parents covered for him. Using a compensation payout, he repaired the damage, and all was forgiven. The occasions of violence -which they knew of and either overlooked or helped him escape the consequences of -are many. Then, he met me…

The night of my fall, his parents stayed with him, as he was under police guard in the ER. I was placed next to him at first, a curtain separating us. There was meant to be a bedside hearing in the morning, to charge him with attempted murder. He called out to me all night as I lay broken and bloodied. His parents soothed him, promising that it would all be okay. I was fifteen, and he was 26 years of age. They arranged for him to be transferred to a comfortable clinic the next day, of where he stayed for the next year. They attended court with him when I turned sixteen, and again, never left his side. I was by myself when I had a conference with the Prosecutor and detective on the case in a side room. They hired a cruel lawyer to attempt to discredit me. Despite being assured that he was set to plead guilty on all charges, he changed his mind at the last minute. I watched him walk from the court a free man, his family smiling and congratulating him whilst I stood there broken.

I am tormented by the thought that he may have been aided and abetted after he left that courthouse in terrorizing other girls. I tried to put him away and protect others… The outcry and rage shown to this offender (and regarding the justice system and his father’s response), have comforted me. Times are changing, and I am so very glad that I am here to witness it. When this happened to me, we had no internet. I was effectively silenced. There were letters to the Ombudsman and relevant authorities, but there was no public forum in which to share what had occurred.

Parents can no longer aid and abet these offenders without public scrutiny. Their outcries of unfair sentences and ruined opportunities for their boys will no longer be tolerated. At last, at last!

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13 thoughts on “The Tide is finally Turning! (trigger warning)

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  1. I am so truly sorry to know about what you endured, It seems that there still is not enough justice in the justice system. It is often the victim that is made out to be the villain. I wonder if this archaic protocol will ever subside. ❤

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  2. Before I had even finished reading your first sentence, I identified the case you to which you were referring. My daughter had read the news and was telling me about it and the first thoughts about a six month sentence without hesitation were “Is that all?” Victims of such violence have to carry the pain their entire lives. The trauma will affect the victim’s future profoundly, especially in relationships, because it rips at the core of a person’s being. The world is never the same again.

    A six-month sentence has no comparison to the length and depth of suffering of victims of violent crimes. I believe that perpetrators of any crime should suffer for the same amount of time as the victim. Why should victims be expected to be the only one to carry the burden of pain? To me, these paltry sentences are another slap in the face to victims and, in my mind, perpetuating the ‘blame the victim’ mentality.

    Like you, I am heartened to see my children growing up with no taboos around topics that were previously swept under the carpet such as domestic violence, addiction and gender inequality.

    Raphaela, please don’t ever feel that your letters and efforts to seek justice have fallen on deaf ears. It takes a long time to change society attitudes and your efforts have been integral to the process of change and continue to be so with your blogging and writing.

    There is hope for the future and thank God for people like you and Rosie Battye etc. who have the determination, strength and courage to keep fighting, educating and spreading the word. While the conversations around these issues continue in public forums and people become more comfortable about discussing them (like our young people), there is much hope.

    May the rapid technological changes aid a rapid shift in society’s attitudes and change everything within one generation.

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  3. I remember reading about this case (the original one). The entitlement made me sick. I will never raise my kids that way. But it is about damn time that these people get brought out into the spotlight. One of the bonuses of social media, I guess.

    But I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal. It leaves me at a loss for words (something that doesn’t happen very often.) it just leaves me shocked and saddened and wishing that there was something I could do to help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Social media can be used for good, that’s for sure. I think it has raised the consciousness out there. I know what you mean, regarding raising your kids. I wouldn’t be doing my job if my child was raised with sense of entitlement, and I saved her from all consequences. It is important to understand that these people often have a whole team behind them, indulging and feeding the monster.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my friend. The unfairness of it all was stunning, and it took me many years to accept that yes, it was allowed to play out as it did. The fact that social media has been flooded with an outpouring of outrage on this young woman’s behalf, gives me hope that our society is changing.

      Liked by 3 people

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