Friday, December 6, 2013

Jameis Winston case: Victimizing the victim in rape accusations

One day, you have consensual sex with someone. Later that same day, you go out to a bar, have some drinks and get a little woozy. You’re talking to a guy, maybe you even flirt. He whisks you away and things get a little out of hand, and you tell him to stop. He doesn't. You leave in shock. It might even take you a little while to realize what happened. You were raped. You know you should go to the police, but at the time you don’t want to deal with that. You just want to forget. Or, you do go to the police, and they don’t take you seriously because you’re drunk. Then imagine finding out, or knowing, that he is a star athlete. And everyone in town wants you to keep your mouth shut. Because apparently your attack is less important than a game.

On Dec. 5, Florida state attorney Willie Meggs decided not to charge Florida State quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jameis Winston with rape because of “major lapses in the accuser's memory, her level of intoxication at the time of the incident and the presence of two different men in the woman's rape kit."

I’m going to get up on my soap box for a few minute, because I am pissed. I'm pissed because rape is an epidemic in our country, and people act like it isn't - statistically, nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have been through a rape or attempted rape[i].  I am mad that yet another woman was made out to be a slut because she had consensual sex with someone earlier in the day; that she was "asking for it" because she was drinking. Whether he intended to or not, what Meggs said is, if you are drinking and get raped, then your recollection can’t be trusted. And if you had consensual sex earlier that night, then there is no way the police should believe that the second person made you do something you didn't want to do. Because apparently having two sets of DNA inside of her, one which is reported to be that of her boyfriend, makes her a slut. That is the implication and don’t try to make the argument that isn't what they are saying – it absolutely is. This is why 60 percent of women who are raped don’t report it – because 97 percent of rapists won’t spend a day in jail[ii].

What a crock. I think we all know that most rapes happen when the victim is drinking. According to police reports, the woman’s speech was slightly slurred and she doesn't remember certain parts of the night. I’m sure the police instantly shook their heads at the “dumb slut who was asking for it.” Generalization on my part? Perhaps. But “no” in slurred speech is still “no.” 

When speaking about the victim’s memory gaps, the state attorney pointed to "an analysis of a blood-alcohol test taken several hours after the alleged attack that showed her blood-alcohol content at the time of the incident could have been 0.10 percent, even though when it was taken the rest registered a 0.04 reading. The 0.10 reading would have been higher than the 0.08 legal limit for driving."

Wait... so when her blood was taken it was .04, but they are speculating it "could" have been .10? If this girl weighed somewhere around 120 lbs, that is 2-3 drinks in an hour[iii]. Not to sound like an alcoholic, but I drink that amount on a regular Friday night and am nowhere near "blackout." Even if she is a lightweight, I find it hard to believe having a few drinks would cause her to have so many memory gaps that the prosecution couldn't count on her recollection of the night of the attack. It just seems like a very convenient excuse.

Most women don’t report rape. You know why? Because of crap like this. They make it out like you did something wrong because you were drinking and can’t remember every single step you took the night of the attack. And the fact that she had two sets of DNA inside of her makes her story less believable, even though one set of DNA reportedly belongs to her boyfriend. Is it that hard to believe that she had sex with her boyfriend, then went out, had a few couple drinks, and was taken advantage of? Had this gone to trial, Winston's accuser would have faced brutal cross-examination regarding her memory gaps, her drinking, and the presence of another person’s DNA from the night of the incident. According to ESPN, rape shield laws in all 50 states protect sexual assault victims from inquiry into their sexual histories, but because there were two sets of DNA on the same night, it would have allowed cross examination on the details of her sexual history.

This makes me ill. Having sex with someone willingly earlier in the night does not make her a slut, and it doesn't mean she wasn't raped later that night. Drinking too much doesn't mean she gave up her right to say no, or that she was asking for it. Bad decisions don't justify an attack.

You know what she remembers? Who attacked her – I can guarantee that. I’m sure she has tried to forget it – but, unfortunately for her, she never will. She didn’t come forward with the name right away because she knew this would happen. As soon as Winston started playing like a Heisman Trophy candidate, unless there was video of him in the act, there was no way he was getting charged.

There are people out there implying that, because it was Jameis Winston, that “she probably wanted it.” F*&# you. Just because a girl dresses a certain way, drinks or even flirts, doesn't make it OK for anyone – anyone – to continue something after she says “no.” We are a country that victimizes a woman after rape. They are put through a trial – judicial or public – that questions their very moral fortitude, implying that their sexual history means rape isn't possible. Just look at the Steubenville High School rape case[iv], where a high school girl was drunk and assaulted by two football players – and the creeps took pictures and shared them with friends and on social media. And instead of supporting the poor girl, people – including those in her own town and the media –downplayed the rape, sympathized with the perpetrators and called her a whore.

I don’t care if a girl has 100 drinks, or has slept with 100 men – that doesn't make it OK for someone else to force her to do something – ever. And just because someone is a star athlete doesn't mean he should be excused for bad behavior or predatory actions.

All of this said, I am not saying Jameis Winston is a rapist – I fully believe one is innocent until proven guilty. However, the given reasons for not charging him in this case are asinine. As a woman, I am insulted and I am mad - women are victimized all of the time. This case just made me feel so sorry for the victim, who was victimized again by the public and by the judicial system that is supposed to protect her.

1 comment:

Boone said...

Hey Sports Chick, your twitter seems to be down. Tried to follow you. Love the article on Winston by the way, first time I've gotten to read a women's view on the story. Would you guys be interested in contributing sports articles from your blog to our site at We are currently getting over 100,000 hits per month, so it'd be a good way to gain more exposure for your blog. If you are interested drop me an email at