The Story of Sabrina
Statistics say every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted in the United States, says RAINN.
On Oct. 16, #MeToo began trending on Twitter, which showcased victims' stories of sexual assault. According to RAINN, there are 7 million cases of statutory rape each year in the US. . Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with someone below the age of consent. The crime has a fine of $100,000 including eight years of jail time.
This is the story of Sabrina.
Sabrina was 16-year-old when she attended West Covina High School. She enjoyed acting and being a part of drama production. A 20-year-old white male alumni was also a part of theater production and would help with the class. They knew of each other due to being in the same production and she often felt peer pressured into being in an intimate relationship with him . Her classmates sought they would be perfect in a relationship.
"At first I was extremely hesistant because I knew it was wrong and well, illegal. But he had his way of getting into my mind. He was my first everything."
The alumni saw through the illegal idea of being i`n a relationship with a minor, but went ahead and pursued a relationship with Sabrina. As the secret relationship went on, for months she would keep this from her parents and family. As a result, he started to mentally, emotionally and sexually abuse her.
“My parents grew suspicious, my behavior changed so much. I was exhausted and scared and drained,” Sabrina said.
Sabrina knew that having sexual relations with a man who was much older than her was illegal and went out of her way to try to escape the situation before it got any worse. He found a way to retrieve her back including staying up until five in the morning to beg for her forgiveness once.
“He used to tell me he was in the CIA and that he’s hurt people before. That he knew how to make people disappear. He would “joke” about locking me in a closet and keeping me as his sex slave. He told me that I was stupid and crazy constantly. He drilled into my mind that I was worthless and that he was the only person who could ever love me,” she said.
Sabrina realized the relationship was ending and reported the crime to the police and revealed evidence. It was deemed statutory rape. As they were both interviewed, the alumni confessed to being sexually involved with Sabrina, but denied being in a relationship with her. She explained that he only wanted her for her body rather than being in a relationship. As the police looked into the case, they didn’t find anything to arrest the young male and let him go. She felt there was no hope and justice for her let alone her case.
"I was completely alone when this happened, I felt like no one understood I felt awful", said as she cried.
There are many untold stories and people who are afraid of seeking help and justice. Rape survivors who speak out about their assault experiences are often punished for doing so when they are subjected to negative reactions from support providers says Courtney E. Ahrens. Many people are being shut down and felt like the victims are the ones to "blame" when in reality sexual assault should be taken very seriously and victims should no longer silenced. Victims should be able to speak out about their stories without the feeling like it's their fault, it's because of what they're "wearing", what they were doing and so on. There needs to be a change. We need justice. We need peace.