Leap Forward on February 29th
How I spent my extra 24 hours 2012:
I continued with a second day of testimony against the man who sexually assaulted me. After the defense lawyers were finished, I wearily went back to the prosecutors office to wait for the verdict. We were called back into the court room around 8pm. The man who chose to rape me was looking at a potential 60 years to life in prison and yet the military jury chose to acquit him of the six charges. He did a fist pump after hearing the news and his lawyers patted him on the back. I sat there thinking "that's it?" and how much I had struggled to do my part in keeping him from hurting other woman.
We finished trial on February 29, leap day. This is the first leap year since then. Check out my blog post in response to the military judicial system and the Associate Press article covering the trial.
How I spent my extra time this year in 2016:
Discussed equality and social justice in a social work grad school class. I thought about how I now work on a sexual assault risk-reduction and response program for international volunteers. I checked on the status of the copy-edit of my book One of Us. I checked facebook and saw a friend who I had been in student government with during undergrad. A few weeks ago, I saw him in DC and he said how he uses my blog post from four years ago to teach about social justice in his college class.
I chose to leap forward in life and use the horrific experience to bring about positive social change. It's on us to support victims and survivors because we are so much more than what has happened to us and we can work together for a safer today.