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Justice Wasn't Served
The lights were bright and I had a splitting headache. I didn’t know where I was, nor did I know how I got here. I sat up in a bed that wasn’t mine and looked around. Another bed sat next to me, with black sheets, and a guy asleep in them. I continued to look around and saw another guy on the floor. I heard a noise in the distance, sounding like running water, but couldn’t quite make it out. When I fully came to, I noticed I had no clothes on; my bra and shirt were on the floor, along with my jeans and underwear. I quickly gathered my clothes put them on and left the room. When I was leaving, I noticed the room was Michael’s. As I left, I assumed that Michael was in the shower and that’s what the noise was. I got on the elevator and proceeded to my room. I have no idea what happened last night, nor do I want to know. I must have just stayed in Michael’s room last night because I wanted to.
As the day went on I never thought of it again, sure it was in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t a priority. Later on that night I got showered, dressed, and went out. My cousin and I went to a club downtown and we started to drink and have a great time. The lights were flashing and the music was playing loudly. The club was an okay space but kind of crowded. The ceiling rafters lit up with color as the lights shined everywhere. A drink in my hand, my cousin and I, touched are plastic cups together and threw back a shot of Jaeger. We started to unwind and dance, the floor was very slick from spilt drinks. Beer bottles were on every shelf you saw along with being on the floor. There was a nice little place where you could go outside and sit or dance if the inside was too crowded. Before I knew it we were having another shot handed to us by our friend, so once again we all touched our plastic cups together and threw back another shot.
As the night progressed I started to get a little tipsy and did not want to get drunk so I left. I walked outside to where I breathed fresh air into my lungs and it felt heavenly. I was feeling great and appreciating life more than ever, it was like a high that I couldn’t explain. I was in the greatest mood that I had ever been in. I was walking down the street when my phone started to ring, I answered, and my friend frantically asked where I was, I proceeded to tell her where I was when she told me to meet her at the fountain as soon as possible. I knew something was wrong so I started to walk faster. Finally I reached the fountain. “Do you know what happened last night?” Lilly asked me. I hesitated before I answered knowing that I had probably done something wrong and I was praying that it wasn’t about last night. “No?” I managed to get out. “Honey, you were raped last night!” The words rang through my head as she said them. I hit the ground quickly, crying not knowing what to say. I felt their hands on top of me as I tried to breath. My breath was short to the point of hyperventilation and that’s what happened. I passed out.
I woke up once again in a strange bed with bright lights, and a splitting headache. I started to panic, because if what she said was true, I had gotten myself in the situation again. I looked around and there was Lilly. She was telling me to calm down that everything was going to be okay. “Where am I?” I managed once again to get out of my mouth. She proceeded to tell me that I was in the hospital and they were just doing their job because I had passed out. I looked at her in fear as her words rang through my head once again, “you were raped.” Tears ran down my face as I looked at her and asked her if it was true. She held me tightly and said it was going to be alright.
We left the hospital at 5:00 a.m. and went to the police station. Everyone looked like death walking. I had mascara running down my face, and Lilly had the same problem. Once we entered the station there was a feeling of guilt that ran through my whole body, I started to get cold chills as I wrapped my jacket tightly around me. I followed the chief to the back of the room where he started to ask me questions. He started with the normal questions then proceeded into the graphic questions. Every time I thought of the situation little by little I remembered. I thought we were done by the way he held his head and he took a deep breath than looked at me. “You have told me your story, and I’m sorry I have to be the one to make you remember” he said, “its okay.” I replied.
Weeks later I received a phone call, “this is Chief Minger, we have a court appearance November 24th at 8:00 a.m.” “Okay” was my reply and I hung up the phone. For the first time in weeks that was the only good news I heard. Life went on with sleep deprivation, vomiting, and nightmares when I could sleep, it was not the greatest moments in life, and I knew after court, life would either get easier or harder.
November 24th finally rolled around and I felt sick to my stomach once again, but that was nothing new. I walked into the court room with my head held high even though guilt was making it hard to hold high. I sat down and looked at Chief Minger and tried not to cry. About 3 minutes passed, however it felt like an hour, here they came, the three guys who have changed my life, the three pieces of scum that made my life living hell for the past 3 months. When I saw them I felt as if I could throw up again. They sat at the table next to me and court began. All four of us were called to the stand and every attorney basically had the same questions that they wanted answered. After the testifying part I was ready to leave. I did not want to hear what these pieces of scum had to say. However, I lost that battle. I was made to sit through all of the gruesome details of what they did to me and what they made me do to them. Once again tears and guilt filled my face. After they testified no one else was called to the stand and that I was grateful for. The judge called recess and said he would be back with his decision.
About an hour passed and all of a sudden I heard “all rise.” This was it; this was the moment that would decide if I would be emotionless for the rest of my life. We sat down and I gripped the chair tightly as I felt my breathing becoming short and the judge started to speak “This case should have never been brought to this level. None of you are old enough to drink, yet you did. No one is denying sex in this courtroom. In order for rape to happen sex has to happen, and neither this young lady nor these boys are denying sex. Therefore it’s sad to inform but the boys are found not guilty, due to lack of evidence.” My head hung in shame as his gavel came down upon the pulpit. The pieces of scum that raped me now have the pleasure of walking out of the courtroom innocent.
Night after night I can’t help but think that if I hadn’t been drunk, this would’ve played out differently. I continued to wonder why the boys didn’t keep quiet. I started to think about why the boys didn’t keep this as a secret to themselves. Were they proud of what they had done? Did they think that it was okay to have sex with a belligerent woman? As I continue to think about this I’m grateful the boys did not keep quiet, due to the fact I would have been a statistic. I am glad that I can face the fact that I have been raped because if not, denial would have been the death of me.
I think to myself and wonder each night, of how many girls have been raped and haven’t told anyone about it. How many people do I see on a regular basis that have been or are going through the same thing I went through? The guilt, hatred, anxiety, and depression of what they feel must tear them apart. Honestly though, the worst feeling of all of the emotions is feeling as if you’re alone through all of this. So, I wish the girls out there that have been through this would realize that this kind of secret is not meant to be kept. It is to be told or the emotions that come with this secret will eat you alive. Even if there are no consequences legally those boys will still know what they did. They will still remember that night in the dorm room, and that day in the courtroom. They will still remember years down the road and they will have to pay for it with all the emotions that I had to pay.
I am asking you to tell secrets that are meant to be told; because there is a chance that justice will be served. However in my story justice was not served that day, nor will it ever be served for me. All I can hope for is that there isn’t a girl who is stupid enough to fall for the taste of alcohol and the sound of music in a club like I did.