In a harrowing and all-too-common court hearing of a sexual assault case, a University of Colorado student bravely wrote and read a statement aloud before the man who raped her was sentenced. The rape survivor's statement to her attacker shows exactly what life is like for this sexual assault victim, and the traumatic experiences and feelings are told in her own words.
The attack happened during a St. Patrick's Day party in 2014, Mother Jones reported. Another University of Colorado student had reportedly offered to help the victim after she had too much to drink, but once they were alone, he reportedly raped her, according to Mother Jones. In March, the victim's attacker was convicted of "sexual assault of a helpless victim and sexual contact without consent," but rather than prison time, he received "two years of work-release, which will allow him to work and attend school while spending nights in jail, and 20 years of probation," Mother Jones reported.
There are a number of emotional and mental reactions that sexual assault survivors experience after a rape. Things like Major Depressive Disorder, social issues, and anger are just a few; Mother Jones reported that the University of Colorado student has said that she's dealt with anxiety, depression, and social anxiety following her attack.
Here's the entire University of Colorado's rape survivor's statement, in her own words, which she read before the court:
"His life is ruined." Oh yeah and it's not like my life isn't ruined or anything. It's always been about the rapist since the assault. As the victim of this sexual assault, my life has been ruined socially, psychologically, academically, and financially.
To begin with, this sexual assault has ruined me socially. I don't go to CU football games anymore. I don't drink at parties anymore. I don't even go out anymore. This is partially because I'm too scared to be in situations that remind me of the sexual assault. But it's also in part because of all the victim blaming that I have internalized. Instead of having the typical fun 21st birthday celebration, I was saying that I couldn't go to the bars with everyone because I had too much homework. In reality, I was too scared of my friends' friends because the rapist was a friend of a friend. Another instance of being afraid of my friends' friends was my living situation for the 2015-2016 school year. My friend and I were going to live with our group of friends. However, during the contract negotiation, my supposed friends sprung a new roommate on us. I was fine with this for the most part, until my "friends" had the new roommate share a bathroom and floor with us girls. These were not the terms I consented to. Everyone thought I was being irrational for not wanting to share a bathroom and be on the same floor level as their friend, who was a guy I had met only twice. I feel like those dogs who become afraid or don't like being around certain people. In my case, I'm afraid of acquaintances, since this sexual assault was an acquaintance rape. Safety is my #1 priority, even if it means jeopardizing relationships.