Last week, a sentence was handed down on a convicted rapist in our community. These sentences are unreasonably rare and we’re grateful to see some justice served in this case. At the same time, we as a community need to do better in supporting survivors through an arduous and re-traumatizing time. The media was not helpful in protecting the survivor in the case in question. We share a quote from the victim’s impact statement below. Our role as advocates at the Abused Adult Resource Center compels us to highlight her concerns and ask the media and the public to take heart with these words. We need to do better to support survivors and reduce re-traumatization.
“In addition to the court process, the other aspect that has been traumatizing is how this case was portrayed in the media. I had chosen not to disclose personal details of that night to my closest friends and family, but those details were plastered all over the internet and Facebook for everyone to read. People were able to comment and make assumptions on the type of person I was without knowing anything about me. Throughout the trial, the media was instructed that no identifying features of me were to be released. You pushed that boundary every step of the way. You released audio of my voice, showed my friends and family in the courtroom, and ultimately showed no respect for me as a victim. You made me feel like I was the one on trial having to defend myself.”