I haven’t written much lately about the abuse in my past. I consider it a personal success that my life isn’t defined by what I went through as a child.
However, there are times when national events and debates in the media bring feelings to the surface, and today is one of those times.
One of the topics coming out of the Steubenville rape trial is whether or not the young men convicted of the crime deserve the penalty of lifetime registration as a sex offender. I think that they do.
For this young woman, the trauma of what happened to her on that horrific night will never go away. In one way or another, it will be something that stays with her for the rest of her life. Hopefully, she will receive the counseling and support that she needs to move on and have a productive, happy life. The men that are convicted of the crime should have to deal with the consequences of their actions for just as long.
I was abused by a family member — my step-father. That abuse stretched over 3 years and if defined by individual acts would reach into the 100s — if not over 1000. For all of that abuse, my step-father received a ridiculously light prison sentence thanks to a good lawyer and a clever plea bargain. At times, in my early 20s, when I was in the depths of a depression caused by PTSD the only solace I had was that my step-father’s name is on a list and will be on that list for the rest of his life. The young victim in this case deserves the same.