Hello Everyone!Posted by on September 3, 2009 in General
I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer! I just want to thank you all for the support through the comments and stories you’ve shared it’s been so valuable to others to read and to see that although we’ve all felt alone going through these different events in our lives, we really aren’t alone at all.
I just wanted to share something I’ve been thinking about lately. I’m sure just about everyones seen the story about Jaycee Dugard and her two daughters in Antioch. It’s been all over the news lately and the other night I was watching it and hearing all of these people calling in talking about how appalled they were that Phillip Garrido, the man who abducted her 18 years ago and had been keeping her in his custody was actually a sex offender and was originally sentenced to 50 years in prison, a term which he only served about one-fifth of. No one could believe that this man who had commit these disgusting crimes was not only released from prison very early, but that now he was able to get away with holding Jaycee and her two daughters for 18 years before they were discovered. 18 years…that’s about how long I’ve been alive, just the thought of it is hard for me to wrap my head around. Hearing stories like this really confirm my fear that these people really do slip through the cracks and seemingly without much trouble…it’s disappointing, unacceptable, and far too common.
I’ll never forget the day my coach was sentenced, we went into the courtroom and since we didn’t have a trial they gave each of us girls and one of our parents the opportunity to stand in front of the court and say anything we wanted to. I had felt so confident about everything I was going to say, until I stepped up there with my parents by my sides and I opened my mouth to speak but couldn’t. My eyes began to water more than I knew was even physically possible, my legs went weak and if my parents hadn’t been there to hold me up I would’ve fallen to the ground. Every word that came out of our mouths that day were powerful and packed with emotion that everyone listening could feel. After everyone who wanted to speak had gone up, the judge said that we were more fortunate than others because it could’ve been worse, he told us that he wished we would all seek counseling so that we wouldn’t end up like him (our abuser), he went on to say that the amount of time he served wouldn’t really make much of a difference and that he listened to everything we had to say and had read each of the our impact statements, but the point of the justice system is to take the emotion out. My coach was sentenced to 3 years and served less than that.
I honestly don’t want to sound like I think that all judges, parole officers, etc are like this, but I’m afraid of the ones who are, the ones who let these people off easier than they should and allow sex offenders to slip through the cracks. It just seems too easy for them to go back to living normal lives even after they’re released from prison and are registered sex offenders. I find it frustrating because I know just how many people have gone through abuse or something related to this and still it’s a bigger issue than people allow themselves to realize.
This needs to change, we NEED it to. Talking about it is a good way to start and also writing to legislators, people who are supposed to listen to our concerns and represent our voice. You may not even realize how powerful sharing your story can be, but I can tell you from reading what all of you have shared with us, it makes me just so sad, so angry, and feeling like I want to do anything I can to make an impact. I want everyone to be aware of this issue, so they can care and do what they can to make it better. Please continue to share your stories because it does make a difference and we can do something about this, it can get better if we just continue to fight it together.
If you aren’t sure who you should be writing to you can find out here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml