An Open Letter To Judge Janine Howard, Who Said The Girl “Was Not The Victim She Claimed To Be”, No Means No.

   Judge, you do not understand the harm you have done to the young woman who was raped. I am going to try to explain it to you but more importantly I intend to hold you and anyone who does not understand this crime accountable while I educate you. What this young man did to this woman changed her entire life in the matter of moments. He took away her ability to feel safe in the world. He CHOSE to exert his control over her and used violence to do so. This is not about sex. The sooner everyone is able to understand this, the better. He used sex to commit a violent act. He used sex to take away this young woman’s choice over her body and what happened to it.

This incident has changed her life. She no longer feels safe in her world and no one knows, not even her how long it will take for her or if she will ever feel safe again. She may develop an eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, overeating and wearing a layer of fat that protects her from the world. It is not a conscious decision. It is a reaction to trauma. Rape is a trauma. It is violence and a violation of a person, male or female.
How do I know? I was sexually abused as a child of seven. This is the first time I have publicly said this. It colored my view of the world and myself. It changed my entire life. I did not feel safe. I KNEW I was not safe. The first time I felt safe again was when I was forty- seven years old. I am now fifty-two. It cost me a great deal.

 Yes, this man should get ten or twenty years in jail. He took this girl’s life from her and any sense of safety she had.  I hope she is able to recover and get her life and sense of safety back quickly. I wish her well. I hope she has the love and support of family and friends. I hope she understands no matter what you or anyone says that the rape was not her fault.  However, this will change her life. He had no right to change her life in this way.

You, Judge, did not have the right to make her feel like she did the wrong thing by reporting the crime. You did not have the right to say that she “was not the victim she claimed to be”. What the hell does that even mean? You betrayed her trust. You as a Judge violated the trust that was placed in you. It is your responsibility to educate yourself not just on the written law but on the reality of crimes. Have you ever sat, talked with and really tried to empathize with crime victims outside of your court room? Have you talked one on one with rape survivors, child abuse survivors, domestic abuse survivors or survivors of any crime?  Do you know what the real human beings experienced? Do you know what their lives were like five, ten or fifteen years later when they still couldn’t sleep at night or were afraid to go out alone? Perhaps they didn’t know how to trust other people again.

Rape is rape whether is takes place in a dark alley between strangers or on a date between people who know each other well. No means no. Period.  How difficult is it to understand this? Rape is not about sex. Rape is about power and control and uses sex to achieve power and control. Judge, everyone, please EDUCATE yourselves.

The crime of rape makes me angry, furious. The fact that people do not acknowledge that rape is a crime and hold the rapist accountable makes me even angrier. 

The fact that a JUDGE got it completely wrong……I have no words or at least none that are not just a stream of cursing. You,Judge, should be removed. Clearly, you know nothing about the crime of rape.

We as a society need to be better than this. We need to do and be so much better.



About jambiethoughts

My name is Jamie W. Bryant,. Sometimes I drop the W. I am a currently a 55 year old woman with a serious sense of whimsy. I was having a hard time describing myself but when a friend said everyone wanted to be a princess, men and women, I said to call me a Queen, Warrior Queen. I think Whimsical Happy sometimes Silly Warrior Queen Who Takes No Shit But Is Really Kind and loves to have fun but is really responsible might do it. It is long, however I have never been good at editing myself, in SO MANY WAYS, so there is that. If you still have no idea who I am, well, read my blog and try to figure it out. I can be serious. I can be silly. I love to make myself and others laugh. I speak real shit. I believe everyone should be treated with respect, and I will if you will. I calls them as I sees them. I sometimes swear. Gasp! I do not swear when I am in the presence of children, but this blog is for grown ups. You have been warned.
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One Response to An Open Letter To Judge Janine Howard, Who Said The Girl “Was Not The Victim She Claimed To Be”, No Means No.

  1. I want to add to what I have written. A wise woman, Kristal, told me that she believed the Judge’s intention was to rehabilitate this young man because he was young. If this was the Judge’s intention, then I wish she had said THAT instead of blaming the victim. I do believe this young man still needs to receive appropriate consequences for his actions, this crime. The Judge still put the focus on the victim here and blamed her, making things worse for her. I stand by what I said in that regard and I am still offended and disgusted by it.

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