An update from my girlfriend, who was raped 3 years ago. Her words are more powerful than mine.
It boggles my mind what some are jailed for, and what actions some walk away from, even with a guilty plea.
Again, fight for each other and stay safe.
It's taken me a while to be able to write this without it turning into a screaming rant...
My mom and dad and Mr. Awesome came to Vancouver with me on August 17 to attend the sentencing of Fernando Manuel Alves. You may remember he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual assault in order to have a second charge dropped.
I read my victim impact statement to the court. It was honest and it was painful and though I had to stop a few times to get my voice back or stop my shaking hands, I read it loud and clear. I am proud of that. The judge thanked me for it, and said he hoped one day I would be able to deal with the pain. Then he gave Alves a 9 month conditional sentence, which means no jail time.
... no jail time for sexual assault.
The judge apparently fell for the defence lawyer's "aw shucks, he's a good guy, just didn't realize that she was in no state to be able to give consent." I did not consent, nor would I EVER, to being drugged, leaving a bar through the back door with a disgusting individual, having my nose broken, body bloodied and bruised, and being violently raped. I am enraged, and horrified, and stunned.
The good news is that he IS registered on the Sex Offender's database for the next 20 years. So at least they'll be able to find him when he does it again, which he will.
It has been a long road, almost 3 years, and it's hard not to see this as a huge waste of time. Funny thing is, I did everything I was supposed to, everything I possibly could. It was the police, the Crown counsel, the legal system, and the judge that, in my view, failed horrendously to protect me and all other women out there.
I have found some comfort in the fact that many people are taking up the fight. There are numerous blogs on the internet about the injustice done, and many are writing to the Crown counsel to have the sentence appealed. If you search "Fernando Manuel Alves" you will find the story about the sentencing on CBC.ca, and links to dozens of blogs and comments about it - all thanks to my Special K, who originally wrote about it on her blog. At least the general public seems to understand the horror of our justice system.
We will carry on, as time marches inexorably forward, and time will pass. This chapter is over, and we can only go forward.
Thanks to you all for your support.