7/5/2012: A $600,000 settlement and 30 years later, self-proclaimed sexual abuse victim William Lynch enters a senior citizen care facility and savagely beats the 69-year-old alleged abuser. A jury acquits him of all charges. Read about it: Vigilante attack on elderly man described as "a rapist" with no proof unpunished and cheered by the public
7/17/2012: Sentencing begins for Robert Pascale, who along with Michael Garay, gruesomely beat 78-year-old Hugh Edwards to death in his own home, because they thought he was a "child molester." Read about it: Elderly man murdered "for the victims"
There's a new trend now. Instead of being carried out by thuggish young men with supposed interests in child safety, or middle-aged supposed sexual abuse victims looking for revenge, a different type of vigilante martyr is emerging: the young, pretty female rape survivor. Meet the new face: Savannah Dietrich gets away with breaking the law and putting others in danger, simply because she's pretty and endured sexual assault.
It's almost the perfect, untouchable strategy. It appeals to so many: other
To me this only reinforces how weak our society has become. Pretty young rape victim needs support? It comes in droves, and not a single question about her intentions. Millions of families and children in direct danger because their addresses and vehicle descriptions are published all over the internet, tacked onto telephone poles, and gossiped through towns? Nothing. That would be too hard, too scary. Too much work.
Apparently, Ms. Dietrich's petition on Change.org to drop the contempt charges against her gained 82,000 signatures. Our petition to the ACLU of Washington - asking them to get involved in the prosecution of Patrick Drum, who literally shredded two families into pieces? 284.
I've been accused innumerable times of being unsympathetic towards victims - of having no idea what it's like to be overpowered, violated, terrified. Usually I counter with the fact that the person I love is a victim of brutal childhood abuse, the aftermath of which is still palpable. But today I am going to remind everyone that I myself am no stranger to the terror.
I remember the mad dash to the kitchen door, desperately trying to undo the latch and make it to my car...and losing almost every time. I remember being yanked back, forced to the ground on my hands and knees, a chunk of my hair in his fist and feeling the force of the vinyl floor to my face over and over and over again. I remember the way he grasped my head and knocked it into a butcher block cutting board leaning against the wall. I remember being chased into the bedroom, knowing it was a dead end, and just melting into the bedspread, hoping it would somehow soften the blows to my thighs and my stomach...holding my breath while his hand clamped over my lips so tightly that they bled onto his fingers. I remember after he was done, trying to brace myself between the floor and the chair, attempting to stand up - and realizing I could not breathe without the sharp stick of a knife in my ribcage. I remember the terror. I remember it well.
But I survived. I am alive. And with that life, I will do my best to do only good. If I ever hurt somebody, do something wrong, break a law or kill somebody, I won't blame it on my past. I want to be treated like the human being that I am and held responsible for my actions - not a person incapable or undeserving of consequences. That's the right thing to do - NOT the easy one.