The Michigan 2L Speaks Out

The woman who was charged for reporting her assault has spoken out, sending an email to law school networks and posting a comment on Above the Law. A lot of people have been talking about her and she certainly deserves space to respond and to tell her story, so I’m posting her comment in full below.

My word of (unsolicited) advice for her, should she read this: You have people behind you. Really. You have me. You have a whole community of women and men who read this blog, some of whom are commenting on this post to show their support for you. You are incredibly brave and strong for reporting your assault. You are incredibly selfless and kind in thinking about the other women who might be protected by your report. You do not deserve the treatment you’ve gotten.

Don’t bother with the comments on ATL, or worry about what the loudest law students will say on a private listserve. I haven’t read them, but I know from some experience that a lot of people who sit around commenting anonymously on law school and legal practice websites are among the nastiest on the internet. They do not represent most lawyers or most law students or most people. You have people, all over the country, who are supporting you, and we’re all sending our best wishes your way. If there’s anything the Feministe community can do to show our support, feel free to email me.

For this thread, I will be deleting any nasty comments, or comments that treat the Michigan 2L like a hypothetical and not like a real person. That said, I do ask that Feministe readers — even lurkers! — leave messages of support for the Michigan 2L, in case she reads this.

2L, I am so sorry that this happened to you. Keep fighting. You have an army of supporters right behind you.

______________________________________________
Dear Law School,

I’m the girl who got into the mess with the professor. I posted a version of this in the comments on ATL, because using my uniquename email on lawopen means outing myself, which gives the press permission to publish my name. Fortunately, one of my classmates has offered to transmit this message to you on my behalf. Those of you who don’t know who I am yet will find out soon enough.

Most of you probably don’t know what it’s like to push a boxcutter into your own wrist and neck. Or what it’s like to walk home from the psych ward, and set to the task of cleaning a room covered in your own blood. Or how humiliating and degrading it is to be penetrated against your will. You probably read the newspaper story, but you should know that it contained factual errors, and that it omitted significant details from the police report. I had no idea what I was walking into, and I’m lucky that I’ve made it through alive.

A month after I was assaulted, I attempted suicide over the whole mess. I’ve been unable to sleep or study, for fear of this story being published. I’ve had PTSD rape dreams. Everything I’ve worked for my entire life, personally, academically, professionally, has been harmed, and I’ve spent $20,000 trying to put it all right again. And I have, in fact, been prosecuted and will be required to pay a debt to society. All I can hope is that the bar will see that this was an aberrant moment in the life of a severely depressed, suicidal, isolated person.

Reading some of your comments makes me want to go crawl under a rock and never come out. But some of your comments have made me think that maybe I can show my face again. It’s difficult reading all of these things written about me without being able to offer an explanation/defense/vignette:

I worked my way through undergrad on my own, doing crazy hours on top of a full course-load. In fact, I’ve worked every kind of menial, low-paid job since I was 15; I’ve never thought I was above any kind of work, or better than anyone else I worked with, because we were all there together. But last semester I’d been so depressed that I could barely even get myself to class, let alone keep up with my finances. In April I realized I couldn’t pay the rent for May, and my parents weren’t an option. Nor was anyone else, because there weren’t really very many people in my life at that time. The housing crisis made it so that I couldn’t get an additional loan without a co-signer. I should have found some other way, but at the time none of my thoughts were very healthy.

I love the law just as much as you do, and I like to think about the ways that it shapes the world we live in. I watch a lot of movies, and go to the gym when I can. I have dear friends at other law schools who I try to keep in touch with. I’m a quiet, introverted, sensitive person; I think I’ve read every post on lawopen and ATL, and taken them all very personally. I used to be a proud atheist, but now I know that God saved my life the night I tried to take it. I also know that God kept the man in that hotel room from killing me, because he was completely out-of-control.

I went to the police the following morning because my vision was blurred from having been hit in the face. The bruises from his belt didn’t go away for a week. I later found out that this man had targeted other sex workers, making him a serial sexual sadist. Violent men target sex workers because they know sex workers are isolated, fearful, and ashamed, and won’t go to the police.

Going to the police seems like a stupid move, as many of you have pointed out. But I was afraid for the next woman he “contracted with.” And I felt so worthless and used that I didn’t care about throwing everything I’d ever worked for. I felt so terrible, and I thought that the police would make it right… that’s what the justice system is about, right?

It’s clear to me now that the AAPD thinks this is funny. That’s why they’re not going through with the assault charge.

What I did was wrong, and I’m a criminal for having done it. But if this had been any other misdemeanor like drug use/possession, DUI, public intoxication, open container, gambling, vandalism, petty theft, or simple assault, there wouldn’t have been a two-page article in the paper. And if you got rid of all of the lawyers who had done one of the above at some point, there’d be a severe shortage.

I also feel compelled to say that despite what many of you have expressed, I am not disease-ridden; my lifetime number is still under 20. I consider myself to be well-informed in the area of reproductive rights and health, and I think everyone has a responsibility to inform their partners of their sexual history, not just sex workers. I’m recently tested, and I don’t have AIDS, herpes, Hep B, syphilis, the clap, or chancroid. And I don’t judge those people who have contracted an STD at some point, because if you’re not a virgin, you take a calculated risk every time you have sex. If you have had sex with more than one person and you don’t have a viral STD, it’s because you’re lucky.

I’m not writing because I want pity. I’m writing because the future lawyers who read this need to understand that the answer is seldom ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but often ‘it depends.’ Good people do bad things sometimes, for a variety of reasons. The reason we have ‘bright line’ rules is because there is so much gray out there. And it’s only through compassion and understanding that anyone is able to make sense of it all. My crime was a cry for help.

Finally, I wish to apologize for having brought negative attention to this prestigious law school. But I expect that every amazing thing you do will outshine my mistake- it really is an honor to be a member of such an accomplished community of people. I hope that you won’t shun me, or completely expel me from social/academic/service life at the University. Many seem to think about this as if it were some complicated hypothetical on a Torts exam. But, I’m still the same girl you knew before. And right now I’m struggling with the reality of public humiliation. I haven’t directly talked to any of you about this because I imagine some of you will want to distance yourselves from me, and I don’t wish to impose myself upon you; I don’t really know who I can still call a friend, but I’ll find out soon enough.

– That 2L Girl (‘A’ & ‘384’ on ATL)


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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113 Responses to The Michigan 2L Speaks Out

  1. JenniferP says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    Your letter broke my heart. I hope you get all the help you need to survive this, finish law school, and become a powerful advocate for other people who are behind on their rent or the wrong gender or color or in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope you get treatment for your depression. I hope you can keep seeing yourself as a whole person, worthy of protection of the law, worthy of friendship, worthy of respect. My best goes out to you.

  2. Kristen says:

    If I could just say one things to this woman…I would say:

    THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

    It isn’t. You shouldn’t have to “apologize.” You shouldn’t feel like YOU did something wrong. You shouldn’t feel like you have to justify your choices, which didn’t cause anyone direct harm, to “society.”

    It breaks my heart that you take so much of the responsibility of what happened onto yourself. You didn’t do anything to cause this. Selling sexual services does not make you responsible for this, nor does it make you a “bad” person or a “diseased” person.

    Your RAPIST is a bad person. He’s responsible for harming you.

    Yes there are assholes in the world who will say very evil things to you about your “responsibility” for the situation…but that is just sexist bullshit. It happens to every rape victim, even the 60 year old virgins sitting fully clothed in their living rooms with 14 deadbolts and a security alarm. Their assholerry is not reflective of the truth.

    The truth is…you were hurt through no FAULT of your own.

    Some evil people in the world may never grasp that idea…but I hope that you can try to understand.

    It. Is. Not. Your. Fault.

  3. evil_fizz says:

    It kills me to read that there are significant omissions from the police report, that she feels lucky to be alive, and that the AAPD still thinks its funny, especially if the guy has a pattern of behavior.

    Bah, humanity.

  4. UM undergrad says:

    My heart goes out to you. This is not your fault. There are many, many people who support you on the UM campus (and around the country). What that man and the police did to you was wrong. You can always go to the sexual assault prevention and awareness center (SAPAC) for help or just to talk. There are some awesome advocates there.
    Please, please don’t listen to the people who want to minimize your assault or blame you for it. It’s not your fault. You are very brave and we’re standing with you.

  5. AlexM says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    You are an amazing woman who did absolutely nothing wrong and you should not have to apologize for anything. You, like most survivors, are experiencing some of the worst effects of trying to seek justice in this society. You deserve understanding, respect and help from your community, not this public skinning from strangers and colleagues. These people are quick to jump all over you but would never want their own story to be on display like this. You were wronged and continue to be victimized each time this takes a tour around the internet and news cycle. I hope that you will remember your infinite strength and courage. I also hope that you will remember that there are other survivors out there that support you and look to your courage as a way to get through the day. There is not one once of weakness in trying to protect yourself and move towards a happier self. You deserve justice and safety. You are more than worthy of love and support. I think that in spaces like this, you will find it.

  6. Hugo says:

    I’m caught between immense compassion and even more immense fury. 2L, you did what you needed to do — and yur concern for this idiot’s next potential victim was greater than your concern for your own legal status. That’s moving and deeply impressive.

    And I’m furious at the response of the AAPD, the U of M, and this wretch who attacked you. As a professor who thinks tenure is pretty swell, I would hope it would not protect me if I ever did anything remotely like this cretin did.

    And gosh, I love this bit in your piece: The reason we have ‘bright line’ rules is because there is so much gray out there.

    There’s a great and challenging truth in that paradox.

  7. Betsy says:

    Wow. I really have no words that are adequate. But I am so sorry this happened to you, you absolutely do not deserve it, and I wish you healing, peace, and every success in life.

  8. Thomas says:

    You don’t owe any of us an apology. What has been done to you is the real crime. What the rapist did to you is a crime against humanity. What the police did to you is a crime against the rule of law. What the ATL crowd did to you is a crime against human dignity. What you did shouldn’t even be a crime.

    You deserve to be safe; you deserve to be protected from assault. That is true. That is true no matter what you do to earn rent money. That is true whether you’ve had four sex partners or fourteen hundred. That is true whether you’re class privileged or dirt poor, highly educated or illiterate. If we ever had the guts in this society to live up to the promise we set forth at its founding there would be none of us would be beneath the law; and none above it. What you’ve been through is a continuing rebuke to us. We fail so badly at being just. We continue to fail.

  9. Ouyang Dan says:

    Dear 2L

    Your story and letter break my heart.

    You did nothing wrong. You were up b/t a rock and a hard place, and made a choice in order to survive, and were taken advantage of.

    And then the people who are supposed to take care of you took advantage of you again, and let you down further.

    I hope in all sincerity that you find the support you need. The A2 Police are wrong, the people who failed to protect you are wrong. The man who raped you is wrong.

    Keep fighting.

  10. Rachel S. says:

    Dear 2L Girl,
    I’m almost at a loss for words. Other commenters on this thread have already said what I would say, but I feel compelled to voice my support for you.

    Times are tough. College is expensive, and people who laugh at you or criticize your choices need to thank their stars and remember the saying “there but for the grace of god go I”. Those who criticize you and think that you somehow deserved what you got because you were engaging in sex… they infuriate me. I have faced those people myself, and it was truly horrible. I had to relive my own rape experience while trying to convince people that I wasn’t a liar and that it wasn’t my fault. What a horrible thing, and no victim of any crime should have to defend themselves against people who think they’re really smart to be posting so-called facts about how many people who make claims of having been raped are liars.

    I hope that you are recovering and surrounding yourself with people who love and support you. If ever you need support there are a number of people, even just here on Feministe (but also on Feministing, and undoubtedly numerous other feminist blogs), who will give you the time and opportunity to make yourself heard, even anonymously. Stay strong and don’t punish yourself for what happened.

  11. C says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    You are a very brave woman, and not just for speaking up about your sexual assault, but for everything you put in your letter– your hard work, your self-sufficiency, the fact that you went to the police to report your abuser with full knowledge that you might be prosecuted as well, and for coming through to the other side of a suicide attempt.

    I hope you know that, despite all the bad press, you ARE an inspiration, and many women who hear or read your story are going to gain courage to report their abusers.

    Also, on a personal note, I appreciated your open account of your ensuing depression and suicide attempt, because I went through the same thing some years ago, although I might classify the event that precipitated my demise as date rape. The following years found me dabbling in BDSM, and for me it was because I still needed, wanted, to be punished, not just for the awful boyfriend, but for my entire personal history. But I emerged on the other side of depression, and on the other side of self-hating, self-harming sexual practices.

    You are brave, and I hope you read this and know you’re not alone, and that you did the right thing. In a just world, your attacker would be put away in prison for a good long time, and certainly not be working with students any longer.

    Thank you.
    C

  12. Superlagirl says:

    Dear 2L,

    I just want to add my voice to the chorus of folks offering support and good wishes.

  13. Emily says:

    The first thing I thought when I read about this incident was – OK, charge her with the misdemeanor but then you DAMN WELL BETTER PROSECUTE THE ASSAULT!!

    You finally have someone willing to take the heat for her own illegal actions in order to see some justice done for the crime she suffered and you DON’T FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE ASSAULT AND BATTERY CHARGE?

    I mean, that is just unbelieveable.

    And for the 2L – you are extremely brave to come forward, and should have been treated better.

  14. Emily says:

    I meant to add – the AAPD and prosecutor’s office have clearly stated by their actions that crimes against sex workers don’t count. And that is despicable. Is there someone we should write to?

  15. Caro says:

    Wow, this is totally heartbreaking and I wish her the best of luck.

    Not being a lawyer or law student, I have a question — does this mean she is never going to be able to be admitted to the bar because she will have been convicted of a crime?

  16. Emily says:

    Re: bar – no, you can be admitted to the bar if you’ve been convicted of a crime, but you have to acknowledge it, explain it, and convince a panel of people that it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be a lawyer. There are lots of people with relatively minor stuff on their record (marijuana, underage alcohol, etc) that get admitted, and there are some people with very serious crimes on their record who have made a convincing case for their rehabilitation and capability to practice law responsibly.

  17. Cara says:

    2L,

    This is not your fault. This is not your fault.

    I’m so sorry that man did this to you. You didn’t deserve it. No one does. And I thank you for sharing your story and experience with us. There are many people out there who will say cruel, inexcusable things to you regarding this, but you do in fact have support. A lot of it. Please remember that.

  18. Rachel says:

    2L,
    I’m sorry for all of this. You have done an amazing and wonderful thing by reporting this, at risk to yourself, to the police. Thank you for that.

    And can I just say: lurkers, if you’re reading this and thinking you don’t need to post a comment of support because other people have – post your support anyway. It would be nice to show 2L that there are a large number of people who support her, and not just people willing to give her a hard time on the internet.

  19. PG says:

    2L,

    I’m not commenting on this website in the future, but I wanted to post a comment to let you know that I am rooting for you. My spouse and I have done a fair amount of networking among law students and lawyers, so if I can offer any assistance on helping you with money, support from UMich alumni, a legal job or anything else, please email me at the email address that’s on the website linked to my name.

  20. Chiming in with my support. 2L, you did a brave thing going to the police to stop this man, even at the expense of your own career. You should be commended, and the bar should consider this evidence that you’re committed to upholding the law, even if the victims of crime are sex workers.

  21. aigrl says:

    2L girl,

    I wanted to add my voice to the chorus of support you deserve. You do not need to apologize – this is NOT your fault. You did not deserve for the assailant to attack you and you certainly do not deserve the public ridicule and humiliation that has been unfairly sent your way. I am so sorry for what has happened to you.

    Just to survive this far into this ordeal, you have shown a HUGE amount of strength. I hope that if I ever end up in an awful situation, I will be able to be as strong and courageous as you. Please know that you are not alone, that you are a valuable and intelligent human being, and that things will improve. You deserve the best and I wish you the best.

  22. Ashley says:

    Thank you for your letter, 2L. You are an inspiration, and a beautiful, strong woman. We here in the Feministe regular posting community are behind you, and we will continue to support you. Please don’t blame yourself, because if you do, the bastards win. You deserve so much better. May God bless and keep you.

  23. CassieC says:

    Just adding my voice of support. Your compassion, sensitivity, bravery and understanding make you an astounding human and will make you an outstanding lawyer.

  24. Vail says:

    Thank you for making a stand 2L and I hope that you know how wonderful and brave you are for doing it.

  25. Maria says:

    2L,

    I’m adding my voice of support (as a recent law school alum of a nice little school in the Windy City). You are incredibly brave to even send this out; incredibly brave to have gone to the police to begin with and incredibly IN THE RIGHT. I support you and I hope you don’t spend another minute blaming yourself.

  26. Rhianna says:

    Lurker here, just want to add my support. You are a brave woman, and I admire you. For your strength and will to speak out about what has been ignored for so long. Blaming you for your own victimization is a horrifying, tragic, but all too common practice for victims of male privilege. Taking a stand against such blatantly discriminatory practices shows your strength and belief in our legal system.

  27. victoria says:

    Dear 2L,

    i support you.
    you did not deserve this.
    you are not to blame.
    i will keep you in my prayers.
    may you continue to heal in body, mind, and spirit.

  28. J. says:

    Wow. 2L, you have all my support. All. I did my undergrad at another Midwest flagship (U of Wisconsin) and I am absolutely appalled and disgusted by the way you’ve been treated, and it pisses me off to imagine that if this happened at Michigan, it could happen at Wisconsin. You could have been my neighbor. I imagine that you are.

    I’ve suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts myself, but we are the ones this world needs. You have so much to offer the world. I hope you’re able to seek real help – not asshole police help – for this horrific event and to begin to recover from it. I support you.

  29. Katie says:

    Dear 2L,

    We all support you here. You are obviously a very strong person, and you will heal from this, and ultimately be even stronger for it. Thank you for telling your story. I wish you all the best.

  30. Alix says:

    Dear 2L,

    I am sick that this happened to you. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts.

  31. K-L says:

    I was raped last year and became suicidal afterwards. The memories of the sexual violence and the suicidal ideation interfered with my school work, and I ended up failing some classes. I was raped in a situation that I could maybe have avoided, but I am coming to terms with the idea that it was not my fault, that I did not consent, that even though I was in the place I was late at night, what happened to me was still very wrong.

    Because I was failing my graduate-level law class I ended up getting an extension with a note from a therapist, who I saw after calling a feminist rape crisis line one night when things were particularly dark. Since I got that extension and confided in my law Prof I have been able to talk with her about my depression and suicidal ideation. She thinks I need help and she made me an appt to see a doctor on my campus, and I’m going tomorrow morning for the first time, even though I’m scared. If it wasn’t for my law professor I don’t know how I would have dealt with school since being raped.

    I hope you have people around you supporting you, or that you can find some. I hope you have woman-positive, sex-positive resources. I hope you have feminists that can help you deal with this. I hope your friends are able to help you. I hope you are doing what you want at school, taking on only what you can handle, and succeeding in the things you choose to do. I know that it is hard. I don’t know exactly how you feel, but I have some idea about a few of the struggles, and you are in my thoughts.

  32. anonymous for this post says:

    Dear 2L,

    You did nothing to deserve what was done to you. I worked in the sex industry to put myself through grad school, and several of the women I worked with were law students. The only difference between us and you is that when you were abused, you bravely took action, whereas we experienced nonconsensual violence, and kept silent out of fear. I hope you get help and justice.

  33. octogalore says:

    2L — adding my support to the above. I am a grad of your law school and may have some words of advice on navigting this. My email is octogalore@gmail.com — don’t hesitate.

  34. Sarah says:

    Dear 2L,

    I am a UM undergrad student, I just want to say there are so many people here in Ann Arbor who support you. Your courage for speaking up has given voice to many other women. Please, don’t give up fighting, you are such a strong woman.

  35. Banisteriopsis says:

    Thank You so much for your sacrifice going to the cops. Please don’t give up!

  36. abby jean says:

    Dear 2L-

    as a currently practicing lawyer, I can say that I think people like you are exactly the kind of people – strength of will, incredible courage, and a knowledge that abuse and assault are NEVER ok, even if the woman is a sex worker, an undocumented immigrant, a person with disabilities, whatever – that I’d like to see more of in the bar. This was not your fault. You went through appropriate legal channels to address the wrong that had been done you. That should be rewarded, exalted, praised to the rooftops, rather than mocked, punished, ignored.

    I wish I could do more than offer my empathy and support, but you have both of those without reserve.

  37. abyss2hope says:

    2L,

    I wasn’t at all surprised that there are allegations of a pattern of violent behavior. Many people choose to perpetrate against those least likely to report and least likley to have their reports taken seriously. Their protections need to be mandated out of existance.

    I said it elsewhere that the officer who made a dismissive statement about you has proven himself to be pro-crime not anti-crime.

    This case tells me that the laws need to change about the admissibility of evidence given by the alleged victim during or after the reporting of a violent crime, immaterial of whether the police believe that report.

    Testimony given in the reporting of a violent crime or in cooperation with law enforcement needs to be inadmissable if the person who reported being a crime victim is prosecuted for a non-violent crime. Same goes for any evidence to support that admission found after the police report was filed.

    We cannot depend on the good will of police or prosecutors. Some put public safety first, others prioritize who should be protected from violent crime.

    Confessions or evidence from those who weren’t victims of violent crimes are routinely ruled as inadmissible if the person who confessed wasn’t read their rights so this change matches the spirite of existing due process rights.

    Thank you for filing a police report.

  38. Lauren O says:

    My God. I can’t even imagine the toll this must have taken on you, or the strength and courage you must have to do what you’ve done. I’m so sorry this happened to you. So, so sorry.

    Is there some place we can donate a few dollars to help you cover that $20,000?

  39. 2L, I’m proud of you for reporting your assault. You did a selfless thing and you deserve to be praised, not punished. I hope you’re getting the help you need for your depression. You will be a terrific lawyer some day. I wrote an email to the Director of Professional Standards at the State Bar of Michigan urging the association to overlook your misdemeanor conviction when you apply to join the bar.

    Email address and other contact info here. I hope other people will do the same.

  40. Bushfire says:

    Dear 2L,

    I hope you get lots of help and support and that this situation will improve. I could repeat what everyone else has said- you are not the criminal here and should not be treated like one.

  41. Nic says:

    Ms. 2L-
    I, too, am proud of you. I have been in your shoes, but I wasn’t brave enough to go to the police.

  42. Pingback: Being Amber Rhea » Blog Archive » What we’re fighting

  43. La Lubu says:

    2L, I’m so sorry this happened to you. You have a lot of courage. Please know there are many people on your side. This is not your fault. You are in my thoughts.

  44. And you can add my voice of solidarity and support for you as well, 2L….it takes absolute intestinal fortitude for someone who has been through the hell you have to come out and confront your abuser so openly.

    As everyone has said, you are NOT the criminal here…the person who assaulted you is, and he should pay the ultimate price for his actions.

    And I’d say that you’d make a fine lawyer indeed.

    Ignore the fools who speak negatively of you; they don’t know jacks**t about what you are going through, and never will.

    Anthony

  45. Chris says:

    My prayers are with you tonight.

  46. SarahMC says:

    Dear 2L,
    You are a strong, brave woman. I commend you for what you’ve done and wish you nothing but peace and happiness in the future. You are not to blame. Please remember that and know that we support you all the way.
    Best, SarahMC

  47. Michelle says:

    Dear 2L,

    I’m sorry this happened to you. You in no way deserved this or are at fault for it. What the professor did was horrible and I hope he gets the punishment he deserves.

    You showed deep wells of strength by going to the police. I am appalled at the way they treated you and hope they, too, get the punishment they deserve.

    I hope some good can come of this either by stopping the professor from doing this again or that changes are made within the police department so that they treat the people coming to them for help with the respect that all humans deserve.

    I hope you can find some solace and comfort. Know that you are in the thoughts of many.

  48. Katherine says:

    Dear 2L,

    I wish you the best in getting past this. You didn’t deserve this, it should never have happened. Your bravery is inspiring.

  49. schauspiele says:

    Dear 2L,

    Best wishes to you for the future. You’ve got nothing to apologise for. I’m so sorry for what happened to you. Thank you for being brave enough to report your assault. I hope things get better for you soon.

  50. Bene says:

    2L–your courage in standing up and reporting your assault, and in writing this kind of well-reasoned but touching letter, just amazes me. As Jill says, there are lots of us behind you.

  51. M Ali says:

    2L – I am awed by your courage to speak up in hope that you could prevent another woman from being assaulted. I’m sorry that you were so mistreated by the system we trust to protect us. I hope you get the support you deserve, and that you come through this ordeal with your strength and spirit intact. You’ll be in my thoughts for a long time to come.

    Thank you for your voice.

  52. cheriot says:

    2L,

    You are a strong, brave, amazing woman. I could never do what you are doing. You have a whole community behind you, keep fighting the good fight.

  53. Placebogirl says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    I am so very sorry that this happened to you, and that we live in a world where priorities are so strange that it is more important how you were using your own body, than what was done to it against your will by someone else. You have nothing to apolgise for. Your assailant, AAPD, and U of M on the other hand…I’m livid. You have my support–all the way from Australia. I wish there was more I could d.

  54. Peter says:

    Wow, that was a real gut check reading that.

    That lady has nothing to be ashamed of. None of us always make the perfect choices in life. And no one is really in a position to sit in judgment of this lady. She didn’t hurt anyone, she wasn’t a burden to society, and she didn’t act maliciously.

    The one who should be humiliated is the asswipe who slapped her around.

  55. Mergle says:

    2L-You are an extremely brave woman, and I sincerely hope that you are able to see justice done in the case of your assault. I hope you heal and can someday live well.

  56. Phrone says:

    Dear 2L,

    Thank you very much for having the courage to not only try and report your rapist, but for publishing such an intimate piece. As an undergraduate student at U of M, I am furious about the college’s action. I hope they will take the appropriate action. I also hope the AAPD gets enough sh*t because of the appalling way in which they handled your case that they can change how they handle cases in the future. But most of all, I hope everything works out for you in the end. You’re a very brave woman.

  57. an anonymous kate says:

    You did a brave thing in coming forward. You should be proud.

  58. BD says:

    Be well, and carry on. You are demonstating incredible strength of character. I am sorry you felt so trapped that you had to turn to criminal activity; I am glad that you acknowledge it as such – because while you may disagree with the law that classifies it that way, none of us are above the law; I am terrified that evil is so prevalent that one out of “less than 20″ people would attack given the chance; I am embarrassed for us all that you have felt the need to share and justify that number; I am angry at the enforcers of justice who have declined to see it through. Above all, I hope that you find the peace necessary to be well, and carry on. This is a horrible situation, and I imagine it requires more strength than most people – certainly I – could muster.

  59. Meredith says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    You are an inspiration. Keep fighting.

  60. EKSwitaj says:

    Dear 2L,

    As one survivor to another, you have nothing to be ashamed of in this. Going to the police was immensely brave, and you should not have been treated this way by them. You’re the sort of person I would want to represent me in court.

  61. mustelid says:

    Dear 2L,

    This was not your fault. Thank you for your courage in sharing this.

  62. kendra says:

    2L,
    You have so many people in the city of ann arbor and at this university that support and believe in what you are fighting for! You can do it, keep fighting!

  63. Jaclyn says:

    I posted my response over at Yes Means Yes, and I’ll repost it here:

    Dear Michigan 2L,

    You don’t know me. Though I’ve spent a little time in Ann Arbor, I don’t know any current law students there.

    But I read your letter today, and I can’t stop thinking about you. About the violence that was done to you – that is, the profound and numerous ways you were violated by that professor and by the police. About how hard it must be to speak out in the midst of all of this pain, risking your anonymity and knowing that every asshole on the internet is right there waiting to violate you some more. About how grateful I am for your survival, and for your bravery and selflessness in going to the police in the hopes of preventing Eliav from attacking another woman, even though you knew full well what you risked in going to the police.

    I wish I knew you, so I could make you some tea, and wrap you in a warm blanket, and sit with you as you tried to make sense of what you now know firsthand about the worst humans are capable of.

    I also wish I knew you so I could tell you this, a hundred times a day: It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault. It wasn’t your fault.

    No part of it was your fault. It’s not your fault that sex work is illegal. It’s not your fault that law school is prohibitively expensive, and that good jobs are harder and harder to find, and that women make 70 cents to every man’s dollar. It’s not your fault that capitalist greed pushed housing and credit beyond your reach. It’s not your fault that you decided to sell your sexual services to survive, even though it sounds like you really didn’t want to.

    This violence wouldn’t be your fault even if you had sold your sexual services willingly or enthusiastically. It wouldn’t be your fault if you did have STDs. It wouldn’t be your fault if your “lifetime number” was over 20, or over 200, or over 2000. It wouldn’t be your fault if you were still an aetheist, or if you hated the gym, or if you were an antisocial loner, or if you loved to party and were known as a wild child.

    NONE of this is your fault. There is NOTHING you could have done to deserve this.

    Please believe that. Really. And I’ll be in Ann Arbor around New Years’ if you want to get that tea.

  64. Christine says:

    Dear 2L,
    Thank you for exposing an evil man’s crimes. Whether or not he is prosecuted properly, the truth is out for anyone to find. Anyone who says you were stupid to tell the police so must place no value on truth and justice. You likely saved lives by telling, and many people reading about you see heroism. I’m a 22 year old college student. I have struggled with depression for several years and tried various things including medication to get control over it. If you are open to suggestions, I recommend experimenting with mediation, yoga, exercise, and martial arts. Please value yourself and your life and throw yourself into things you love and enjoy.

  65. Jill says:

    Just wanted to jump in and say thanks to everyone for commenting. It’s been really heartening to read everyone’s responses. And the best thing is that I haven’t had to delete a single comment. Not one — every single commenter has been respectful, supportive and kind.

  66. Kathy says:

    2L,

    Please, please don’t blame yourself. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for being as brave and as strong as you are. And please remember that there are people who will stand behind you.

    Thank you, and best wishes in everything. You’ll make it through this.

  67. Unree says:

    I’m addressing this comment to Michigan law students. Can you help 2L? It’s good for her to see support online, but blog commenters can’t give enough direct, up-close reinforcement. If you can think of something positive to do in A2….

  68. BlueSky says:

    I’ve never posted on here before (I never post anywhere), but I’ve been reading about your situation, and I read your letter. I have to tell you that you have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to explain, and nothing to apologise for. You did the right thing by coming forward, your reason of wanting to protect other women is admirable, and the response of the police reflects badly on them, not on you. You have a right to have sexual contact with whomever you want, for whatever reason, regardless of your chosen field of study! And NO ONE has the right to harm you!

    You really are not alone! I’ve been suicidal off and on ever since I was assaulted (and reported it to the police, who were very blaming of me, too); it is so hard to be in that sort of despair, but it is also a reasonable reaction to a horrible situation. I’m trying to see it as part of the process of surviving,then eventually thriving and growing. The thing is, you’ve made it through to this point, and that shows incredible strength. You have TONS of people (kind caring people) routing for you, and the people who would judge you can truly piss off. They don’t know what you’ve been through and you don’t need their judgement right now. When you’ve gotten through this incredibly hard, challenging experience (not if, but when you get through this) you will be better at what you do, I have no doubt of that. And I want to say thank you, because your incredible bravery in dealing with this, reporting it and coping with all this, truly gives me hope that I can get through my crap experience too. So I’ll be thinking of you, hoping you get the support that you need, and wishing you a solid recovery.

  69. Alison says:

    Just wanting to send all my love and support to you 2L.

  70. Dee says:

    Dear 2L — I just want to express my profound admiration for your courage and grace. You are an amazing person. The strength of character and of voice you’ve shown throughout this tells me that you will be an amazing lawyer. Don’t let anybody — no matter who the person, no matter how nasty or malicious the comments — make you believe otherwise. I know you must be walking a very lonely road at the moment, but if you ever feel isolated or in need, remember that you’re not alone, and there is a community of people here to support you. Get in touch, and we’ll do our very best to help. God bless.

  71. Carol says:

    Dear 2L girl,
    What you did means a lot – for every woman who suffered violence, for everyone who believes in real JUSTICE as you do. And the law students who can’t understand the meaning of this little word – justice – should be ashamed. Not you. You don’t need to be ashamed of anything.
    It’s difficult to say how much I’m proud of your attitude. I’m not even in your country (I’m Brazilian – sorry for the lousy English!), but you can count on me for support every time it’s needed to say that a man cannot hurt a woman and get away with it.
    Hope this guy end up in jail. And, more than that, I wish that you keep on fighting. Needless to say I wish you get better soon – I just know you will, because you’re a very strong woman.

  72. Leslie says:

    Another local writing to support you and to express my utter disgust with the AAPD and the UM Law School. We like to think of A2 as a progressive place where women are treated respectfully – obviously that only applies within certain parameters and if one crosses those lines there’s an ugly reality. I think it took real courage to go to the police and I’m horrified at the way they responded. I echo people who earlier said it would be nice if there was a way we could help you financially with this situation. You’re shown real strength of character in going to the police. I’m sorry you’re going through so much pain as a result of your assault and the despicable response to your courage in reporting it.

  73. Ginjoint says:

    Thinking of future victims before yourself puts you in that group of human beings that show a picture of what we CAN be. You have integrity like few others. You are awesome and strong and I’m so glad you’re here. To borrow from a Christmas carol, I hope that your soul soon feels its worth. I am thinking of you and praying for your healing. We are here if you need us.

  74. Ceka says:

    Dear 2L Girl,

    I am so sorry this happened to you. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

  75. Pingback: Michigan Law Student Speaks Out « studentactivism.net

  76. Simon says:

    2L —

    I do not post here or really anywhere, but I want to add my support to the outpouring above. You are an incredibly strong woman for going to the police, even if you feel anything but strong just now. The assault was not in any way your fault or responsibility, and it breaks my heart that your campus community is such that you have had to defend yourself against certain character attacks before they are made. It wouldn’t have been your fault if you had slept with thousands of people, had STDs, hadn’t found God, had sold sexual services willingly, or absolutely anything else.

    I hope you have a strong support network to help you get through this. I hope (and expect) that your having reported your assault will give other survivors the courage to do the same. And above all I hope that you will come out of this healthy and strong, and that you will have a happy life and achieve what you want to. You’ve already done so much; if you decide to continue in law school, you will make an outstanding lawyer, as so many people above have said.

    In terms of some more concrete action, I’d like to echo the question of whether there’s somewhere we might donate what we can to help cover legal and medical costs, or even just a cup of tea when you need it.

  77. Elizabeth says:

    Dear 2L
    I’m a survivor of depression and rape, and I would like to thank you for your strength and courage in the face of such a terrible act. Thank you for reporting the man who assaulted you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope you stay strong, and you find peace and healing.

  78. yesbut says:

    Just one more offer of support – please let us know what, if anything, we can do to help. I would gladly donate to help cover legal costs. If you could use a hand dealing with media issues, or if you think having people writing letters or phoning the AAPD, the city, congresspeople, anything – just say so. I think we’re all ready to take our cues from you.

    In the meantime, know that there are people out there who will always stick up for you, in any conversation, to anyone.

  79. Siv Bente says:

    Dear L2

    Thank you for telling about the injustice made aginst you from the police and the profesor. And please remember: the rape was not your fault. You don’t need to give anybody an apology. It is we as a society that owns you one. I’m sorry that we failed to give you justice. I’m sorry that to many people will say or think that you brought this upon yourself. You did not. This was not your fault.

    I hope your wounds will heal. I hope you’ll get justice. I hope you will live a long and happy life surronded by people who love you. You deserve nothing less.

  80. heather says:

    I’m so sorry for what you have had to go thruogh. Your letter touched me with its dignity in responding to everyone who has condemned you. Please know that you have many supporters.

  81. Liz says:

    Dear 2L,

    It’s not your fault. You deserve better justice than you have received thus far. Your courage is amazing. Don’t give up.

  82. UChicago 1L says:

    I want to echo the people above and say thanks for writing your letter and telling your story. Since the original news article I have thought a lot about you and have hoped you are ok.

    Being at Chicago, I often bemoan the misogyny I see as being related to the more Conservative atmosphere, and usually end my complaint with “I should have gone to Michigan.”

    I should have known better. Of course, misogyny is a pervasive problem everywere, including (and particularly at?) law schools. But it breaks my heart to see it here.

    I don’t think you need to apologize or explain yourself. The shame here lies with the justice system and this makes me a little sick to think one day I will be fighting to uphold it. Please know you have the support of your peers around the country.

    – a fellow female law student.

  83. Lizzie (greeneyed fem) says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, 2L. Your dignity and courage are an inspiration. You are a strong person, even if you may not always feel it. I hope things get better for you soon.

  84. 2L, you’re not alone. We support you and countless others who don’t even know it yet support you, too.

    I especially liked this part of your story:
    “I’m writing because the future lawyers who read this need to understand that the answer is seldom ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ but often ‘it depends.’ Good people do bad things sometimes, for a variety of reasons. The reason we have ‘bright line’ rules is because there is so much gray out there. And it’s only through compassion and understanding that anyone is able to make sense of it all.”

    Thank you for that.

    – an law school dropout

  85. Gina says:

    Dear 2L,

    My heart goes out to you. Please know that you did nothing to deserve this and that many, many people are on your side.

  86. Tapetum says:

    (((2L))) I hope you find the support you need to make it through this incredibly difficult time. You are braver than you know, and stronger than anyone should have to be.

  87. Ismone says:

    Dear U of M 2L,

    You are in my thoughts–Tuesday, when I read Jill’s post I called the AA police to complain about the Sergeant’s comment, and a poison pen letter to him, cc’d to the Ann Arbor news will be forthcoming. Yesterday, after reading your response on ATL, I couldn’t focus for more than an hour because I was so enraged by the way you have been treated. You are so tremendously strong and brave. Please know how many supporters you have. I do not check this pseudonymous email address often (usually only once a week) but I will check it–ismonie@gmail.com. If you need anything, and I mean anything, please let me know. I am a practicing lawyer, and will do what I can in my own little way to help.

    You did the right thing, and at no small personal risk to yourself. You did the right thing for utterly selfless reasons, because you wanted to help others who might be harmed in the future. And it absolutely kills me that the police reacted in this point and snicker way, and that the prosecutors did not present charges. They will be hearing from me too.

    To others on this thread. Write. Call. Ann Arbor police department has a complaint dept., but I chose simply to call the front desk, because I want this to be bigger than the complaint department. I want people talking to a bunch of officers on the force, because maybe some of us can get through to some of them, even if we cannot convince the ones who were involved in this case.

    Ismone

  88. Toonces says:

    Strength to you, dear brave woman.

  89. jon says:

    2L, thanks for telling your story. As Jill says many people (including me) are behind you admire your bravery, and sympathized — and are outraged by! — what you’re having to go through …

  90. Rhiannon says:

    I support you. You are so brave to come forward with your story and I admire your strength. I hope that you are able to heal, that you can move on and continue in your chosen career.

  91. Maritzia says:

    The main thing I want to say to 2L is this:

    You do not need to be ashamed of making a living however you needed to do it. It’s your body, and you are the only one who should be allowed to make choices for what you do with your body.

    While being a sex worker may be illegal in some places, I don’t believe that it is inherently wrong. Many people, men and women alike, have found themselves in your shoes over the years, and many have made the same choice you have made. Hold your head up and be proud that you are a survivor and you were willing to do what you needed to in order to survive and finish your education.

    The fact that you went to the police was not a dumb or stupid thing to do. It was courageous and filled with integrity. I am still appalled that there was no assault charge laid on this guy for his actions. No means no whether you are paid for the use of your body or not.

    I know it’s hard not to internalize the things people call you and say to you. Fighting against internalizing those voices is a lifetime work for me. I have a feeling it is for you as well. It’s important to get up every day, look at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself that you are worthwhile, courageous, beautiful, and deserving of every accolade. Even when you don’t believe it, say it anyway. As they say in AA, Fake It Til You Make It.

    You will be in my thoughts, and I will remember you in my Solstice ritual.

  92. Rae says:

    2L,

    This is not your fault. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
    Thank you so much for your bravery and honesty.

  93. exholt says:

    Dear 2L,

    Hang in there and please take solace in these supportive comments.

  94. Jane says:

    Dear 2L,

    I’m another Michigan undergrad & I just wanted to say that you are so, so strong & courageous. This campus can be so terrifyingly sexist sometimes & I honestly don’t know if I (myself a victim of sexual violence) could do what you’re doing right now. Please stay as strong and beautiful as you are & know that there are people in Ann Arbor who completely support you.

  95. Kristin says:

    Oh my god… I finally just read this. I am so, so sorry about what is happening to you. You have nothing to at all to be ashamed of, and you did nothing wrong. Those of us who were not born into wealth and privilege have to make really difficult choices sometimes to get through, and law school is not exactly an expense that is easily accessible to everyone. What you did was illegal, sure, but it wasn’t wrong. That *you* are the one who is being blamed–and not the professor who assaulted you–is one of the most unjust things I’ve ever heard. I’d offer money if I could, but I really, really hope that some of the people offering resources here will come through for you.

  96. Nia says:

    I don’t have anything to add – just good wishes and my prayers. I’ve lit a candle for you.

  97. Yolanda C. says:

    2L,

    Thank you for your courage and strength. Taking the steps you did to seek justice is a tough job for anybody, especially with all the misogynist, anti-sex worker ignorance out there. Those of us who fight bigotry every day support you in your struggle for peace and healing.

    And just in case you haven’t heard it enough times already, none of this injustice is your fault, at all. You have nothing to apologize to anyone for. Know that.

  98. K. says:

    2L,
    I just wanted to add my voice to the others offering support. I hope you don’t give up on law school – the legal profession needs more strong women like you.

    Jill,
    Thank you so much for posting her letter here and giving us the opportunity to offer our support. I have followed the story on ATL but the comments are such a cesspool of misogyny and vitriol, I can hardly stand to read them anymore.

  99. m. leblanc says:

    Michigan 2L–

    I have been spreading the story of what happened to you among all the lawyers that I know here in Illinois. Not because I find it to be a good story or one that I want to share, but one that I think needs to be shared because it is a perfect demonstration of how the legal system, time and time again, fucks over those that it is supposed to help.

    I have found this story incredibly troubling because I could have easily been in your shoes. Like you, I worked my way through college and law school. I had no help from anyone, but my loans. Time and time again, I racked my brain for a way to make some quick money when I was totally broke. Having used craigslist for dating and furniture-buying, my mind would always return to how easy it would be to sleep with someone and earn some decent cash. I even went so far a couple of times as to actually post an ad. I never went through with it, though–I was too scared.

    Even though sleeping with someone for money isn’t wrong, I still sympathize with the fact that you didn’t want to do it.

    You are wrong about one thing, though. You have not brought negative attention to the University of Michigan. Your attacker has brought negative attention to the University of Michigan. The Ann Arbor police have brought negative attention to the city of Ann Arbor and to the University of Michigan. Had your attacker not assaulted you, none of this would be happening. Had the Ann Arbor police acted with respect and carried out their official duties, none of this would be happening. It is their fault, and the actions they took that has caused this to be a huge media story and has caused public humiliation to be heaped upon you.

    I think you are right that people are treating you as a tort exam hypothetical. It does not surprise me, but it does disgust me. It is a further extension of the way people want to deprive women of our humanity for, ironically, daring to be human and having human experiences and human needs. And so what I want to say is this: even though I do not know you, you are not a hypothetical or imaginary person to me. You remind me of me, and that stirs up a huge well of compassion. Like you said (albeit in a different context) we are all in this together, and your struggle, though harder, contains a piece of all of ours.

    Your defense of yourself is powerful here. You will make a great lawyer in about two years. Stay strong.

    with respect from a fellow attorney.

  100. Michigan 2L, I don’t know if you will come back to this thread, as I am late reading it, but I, too, am amazed by your courage at doing the right thing and going to the police. The way they treated you is horrifying, as is their depravity in assuming the legal equivalence of offering sexual services for pay and brutal violent assault.

  101. A friend says:

    I would suggest that everybody write to Yaron Eliav asking him to:

    1) request that the AAPD drop all charges against the victim;

    2) request that the AAPD *press* assault charges, through a confession of his guilt;

    3) offer a formal public apology to all of his victims, both present and past, as well as to our entire community.

    Eliav’s email address is yzeliav@umich.edu, which is publicly available through the person directory at http://www.umich.edu.

    I would also suggest that everybody call the Ann Arbor Police Department in order to register complaints against the insensitive and ignorant statement made by the Sgt. Richard Kinsey, asking that he be reprimanded and make a formal public apology to the whole community. I’ve already called myself asking that much. The Sgt. Kinsey’s comments can be found here in the original Ann Arbor News article:

    http://www.mlive.com/annarbornews/news/index.ssf/2008/12/university_of_michigan_profess_2.html

    The AAPD’s number is (734) 994-2911.

  102. Another friend says:

    Dear All,
    2L: I’m so sorry about what you’ve been through. Thank you for coming forward (and sorry for the disgusting way the police, DA and some of your fellow students have behaved). I very much wonder about Eliav’s previous assaults of other sex workers and whether there is a way to organize around this (in some protected fashion given the AAPD’s egregious treatment of sex workers).
    It should be known that in Israel this latest news of Eliav’s sexual misbehavior comes as no surprise. In certain circles in Jerusalem he has been known for the past 15 or so years, as a serial sexual offender, his actions ranging from harassement to assault. In some ways it is too bad that this story, if it had to come out, only came out now (perhaps others would have come forward and the prosecutor would not have gotten away with the current charges turning out as they did).
    If someone has been affected by Eliav perhaps they will feel emboldened to come forward now, as you have 2L, for the sake of others.
    It would be great if those who are local to AA show up in symbolic solidarity at sentencing for 2L and in concern for the public and those women to whom Eliav will still have access.

  103. Pingback: Sex worker who was charged for reporting her assault has spoken out « SWOP-LV NEWS

  104. Pingback: Holy Shit « Bound, Not Gagged

  105. swoplv says:

    This is insanely outrageous. I can’t tell you how incensed I am that this happened. This is exactly why we hold the International Day to End Violence against Sex Workers on December 17th every year since 2003. It is unacceptable that you should have been subjected to violence from a client in the first place, let alone to the violence you experienced at the hands of the police.

    I also can’t tell you how in awe of you I am that you went to the police. You amaze me, and you humble me. Being a law student you must have been privy to all of the awful, hateful decisions that have been made against sex workers in the face of violence against them (violence more often than not committed by the police themselves- I read a global statistic somewhere that said something like 73% of violence committed against sex workers worldwide is committed by authorities).

    Please know that you have an entire network of people here and available to support you. Please let us know if there is anything you need. Perhaps we can take up a colection- start a fund- for you to be able to pay your legal fees. I also hope your lawyer is a fighter and understands that the laws against prostitution are- as your case illustrates vividly- not just counterproductive to preventing violence against citizens while protecting NOBODY from anything, but actually terribly dangerous.

    Most of all, know that you are a goddess. You did absolutely nothing wrong. Society has done something wrong when they hold women to a sexual double standard; when they have demeaning words for women like “slut” and “whore” that do not apply to men; when women’s lives can be destroyed (or they can be killed) for suspicion of sexual “transgressions”, and that such sexual autonomy can prevent her from achieving her goals throughout her life; when the heinous behavior of the police makes ALL women fearful of reporting sexual violence against them. Yes, society has gone terribly wrong. But you have taken a first step in making it right. Please call our 24/7 hotline if you need anything at all: 877-776-2004, option 1.

  106. swoplv says:

    Oh- and Feministe, THANK YOU so much for giving her this space, so that we can all post encouragement to her. You ROCK!

  107. aghempstead says:

    Adding my support. Also the number of another 24 hour hotline that provides crisis peer counseling and support for persons involved in, or affected by, the sex industry. Counseling and information is provided in a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere. 1-800-676-4477. just so you know that you always have lots of people to call.

  108. Trinity says:

    2L Girl,

    Chiming in with the chorus: You did nothing wrong, and I’m appalled to hear how the police treated you after you had the spine to report this horrible thing that happened to you.

  109. Roy Kay says:

    >What I did was wrong, and I’m a criminal for having done it.

    You have done nothing wrong. That what you did has been criminalized is a grievous error of law, not an error on your part.

    >Finally, I wish to apologize for having brought negative attention to this prestigious law school.

    You owe no apology for any negative attention brought to your school, prestigious or otherwise. You have been self supporting and industrious. You have not harmed anyone in anyway. If there is harm it is inflicted by opportunistic others.

    Instead, you proceeded as anyone should have the right to proceed, expecting people in society to refrain from assault. When you were assaulted, you reported it hoping to spare someone else that assault. That is a beneficial service. I hope you finish school and find work both remunerative and socially beneficial, but the first most of all. You deserve prosperity and peace and I (actually an atheist) hope you find it.

  110. 2L,

    I too am adding to the chorus of support. Your strength is amazing and has and will touch many. No matter what happens ultimately your survival is the most important thing. Whatever decisions you made or make that have and continue in the future which are part of your survival are good decisions to honor and respect.

    Solidarity and respect

    Jill B.

  111. Constance says:

    I do have an idea about how you feel. The shame and self-hatred can be
    overwhelming at times. But please, don’t act on it again. You are a valuable
    person. People can and do care about you. I have grown up with sexual abuse and
    have been raped more than once. No, you can never “get over it”. But
    with time you can, not only be a survivor, but you can thrive. You thought about
    the women who could be harmed if you kept silent. You did something many women,
    myself included,could never do. You reported it. To me, that shows an amazing
    amount of strength. And while there might days where you may wonder if you can
    go on, you can. You do become stronger. The best thing you can do is live. You
    have the right to smile,laugh and cry. You have the right to live,love and be
    loved. You are important. Someone hurt you. He had no right. No matter what. I
    know it’s easy for me to tell you not listen to the vicious,
    hateful,ignorant things people say. But please,try not to believe them. Ignore
    them
    if you can. Go to counseling, go on websites that are for survivors, talk to
    loved ones(if you can). Just remember, you are a survivor. Safe and gentle hugs
    to you. choel639

  112. Saira says:

    Dear 2L,

    I arrived here kind of late, but I wanted to voice my support. I am absolutely in awe of you – reporting the crime was really brave and showed incredible strength. What happened was not your fault. You never deserved to experience that. You did nothing wrong.

    You are awesome.

    No, really, you are!

  113. Emma says:

    The law should have protected you, sex worker or not. I know first-hand how hard law school can be – even without having to deal with the trauma of rape, PTSD, depression, and suicidal impulses. My prayers are with you.

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