Her Name was Sophia Marquez

angelswinging

Testimony by Patriarchy Survivor

Two summers ago I was summoned for my first jury duty. Since it was my first time I was a little nervous but my friends assured me that I would just sit around all day and  that my name would never get called. I was in the court house for all of five minutes before my name was called, and I was immediately one of twelve jurors on a murder trial.  I wanted to tell the judge about my anxiety disorder and about the fact that I was a rape survivor myself and didn’t know if I could handle the stress of the trial. But I was still struggling with overcoming the shame of the attack and wasn’t ready to share that story. So I made it on to the jury.

The victim’s name was Sophia Marquez. I can still see her face in my nightmares. I can still see Sophia’s sister crying on the witness stand because Sophia had been raped, strangled to death and left naked on the side of the freeway. The accused had no alibi at all, there was convincing DNA evidence and absolutely no reasonable doubt. The other 11 jurors and myself convicted him of first degree murder during an attempted rape (there wasn’t enough evidence to prove completed rape).

Most victims of sexual assault do not get justice, and it’s horribly cruel that a rape victim (or attempted rape) usually has to be murdered for the criminal justice system to even consider prosecution. If Sophia had just been sexually assault and left naked but alive on the side of the road she wouldn’t have gotten justice. The statistics are no better now than they were in the 70’s, most rape kits just sit in evidence lockers collecting dust, because the police cannot be bothered to investigate them. I am glad that Sophia’s family got justice for her murder, but most rape/ attmepted rape victims will not – their cases won’t even be investigated. And I am angry. I am angry that the district attorneys will not prosecute rapists without media pressure. I am angry that society blames rape victims and forgives rapists (boys will be boys!). I am angry that most rape survivors will not even report getting raped because the police victim blame and slut-shame. I am over this, I want things to change. Women are human beings, and our lives have value. I shouldn’t have to explain this to people, but I do.

Her name was Sophia Marquez, she was murdered during an attempted rape  in Sacramento, CA, and her naked corpse was dumped on the side of a freeway. I will never forget her face, I will never forget her name.

Why I’m Boycotting Marriage

My boyfriend and I have decided that we won’t be getting married until Prop 8 is overturned, whether that be 6 months or 6 years, we don’t really care. We haven’t decided yet if we want our marriage boycott to continue after Prop 8 is overturned, and wait for nationwide marriage rights to be achieved, but we are definitely considering it.

Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” What kind of activists would my partner and I be if we were to actively enjoy our first-class status while many of our friends are legally treated as second-class citizens? Marriage is a civil right, not a heterosexual privilege. If enough straight couples like us refused to get married under current law, the older generation bigots who wish to see their children married would be forced to confront their own bigotry, and who knows…. maybe they might stop voting against civil rights for others?

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The Catholic Taliban – Part 2

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From the Page Administrator

 

Today I was walking down the street outside the clinic and an anti-choice protestor walked up to me, grabbed my volunteer sign, threw it on the ground, and then threatened to hit me with it. For a moment there I thought she might try to strangle me with her rosaries. You know… like Jesus would do.

I know what you’re thinking: why didn’t you call the police?

Well here’s the thing – in Sacramento, CA the police are anti-choice, and they are OK with the harassment of women and children at the clinic. After all, many of the clients are in poverty, so why would the police care about protecting them?

My sainted boyfriend came up with a great tool for me to combat harassment. He suggested that when a protestor is verbally abusing me, to videotape the whole thing. I tried this trick today, and it worked like a charm. Every time a protestor started to verbally harass me, I took out my phone and filmed them. Knowing that their abuse was being committed to film seemed to deter them from harassing me for more than 20 seconds.

I wish I could deal with these petulant protestors the way I deal with my cat when he misbehaves; by squirting them in the face with water from a squirt bottle. Then perhaps, they might learn how to behave like civilized human beings, or at the very least they might learn how to be as civilized as my cat is.

Men’s Testimony is Considered Valuable. Women’s Testimony is Considered Irrelevant.

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Testimony By Clair Louise Mcconchie

I was walking home one night , on my way home from work. I always went down a main street but even though I got a strong feeling and thought I heard a voice saying “don’t go that way tonight” I ignored it as I was shattered and it was quicker than the other route. I walked down the main street and then when I hit my street turned as I always did. I had my music player on ( and if I had a dollar for everyone I know who told me that I brought it on because I was walking at a : around 7pm at night and b: i was listening to music as I walked, I would have quite a bit of money) I saw this man ahead of me sitting on a power box and I knew he was up to no good, so I pulled my headphones out. I looked across the road but the blocks of flats were not that safe and the guy had started talking to someone across the road. I thought just keep calm and you will be ok. I kept walking and as I passed him he said something . I stupidly turned to ask him what he said and found him right behind me. He then pushed me and moved to the road side and started shoving me into fences and trying to get me into drives. Meanwhile he was telling me the sick things he was going to do to me and he had something in his hand. I just had this awful feeling he was going to kill me (something I have never shared with my family and friends ) and I for a second prayed it would be over quickly and then I got angry and started trying to get my ph out. These days I always try to keep it easily accessible no matter how messy my handbag is. I started telling him I was going to ring the police but this only amused him. Then a woman biked past me and I begged her for help. She (who biked past me every night)kept going and I later learned had not even rung the police. Then just as I saw a community garden up ahead he started telling me faster and faster what he was going to do to me and I knew I was in serious trouble two cars going the other way approached. The first flashed his hi beam at him which made him pause. I froze and then I just started walking and praying. He then came at me again and a second car shone it’s lights. He then turned and slowly walked back in the direction I came from. I have never run so fast as I did that night . Then when I got home my flatmate at the time gave me an alcoholic drink for the shock and urged me to ring the police. I did and they sent a car out and asked if I would mind coming to look for him with them. We soon found him and he had the cheek to approach the car and tell us that the guy we were looking for “went that way” I told the police officers I was sure that was him and though they thought it too they left him with a dog handler and drove in that direction. He bolted and was caught by road workers. That night I told the story more than once and thought each time I was going to be sick.. however the twist to the story is the fact that he declared cockily he had done it but he was underage and they could not charge him. I was then told I shouldn’t walk down that street anymore even in daylight as he lived with his mother just across from it. Going back to work the next day my manager made me leave my role to delete my fb status of the night before which simply stated I had had a crap night and been attacked on the way home. I was probably in shock when I wrote it and then to make matters worse was told it must be deleted so none of my then coworkers got upset over it..then that same day was told that some of the girls had found a way to make it fun…we could do self defence lessons..not very sympathetic I have to say. The police asked me to change my shift for a few weeks but this wasn’t possible so I stayed on the late shift. I was rung days later to be told by a community constable at work that he had struck again. At the time a woman was seriously raped in a park in the same area. Then I think it was the next day a cyfs worker ( his social worker ) rang to tell me that the victims assistance meetings they hold when their charges attack others was to be at his house and therefore I could not attend..when it was meant to be for me. Apparently a small woman is threatening to this giant of a boy? Soon I began to feel like I was being watched and then twice I actually saw him the first time across the street, the second hurrying behind me as I ran for my front door. I felt at the time that noone would help me but after sharing his stalking with my friend and her husband they made me report it. The police however could do nothing as they had accidentally made a mistake with the restraining order and put the same date as the expiry as it occurred..unless I rang while he was there. Soon the police decided to charge him and asked me to testify. I took my mother and a friend to support me and had to tell the whole story including the disgusting things he said to me in front of the people in the court. I was then cross examined by his lawyer who told me apparently he liked the look of me and was “serenading me ” from an eminem song. The song she quoted had no such rubbish in it and I told her that. Throughout this he laughed at me and noone even asked him to stop. His drugged up mother was actually sitting beside my friend which appalled me for some reason. Then during his testimony he laughed and said something about a small dog in my handbag and to me seemed to infer I was up for it. I cried and cried during that testimony which seemed to inspire him. The other victim by the way had dropped her charges for some reason. The judge found him guilty and I expected he would get a punishment but no..months later I got asked to attend a victim support meeting. I took my mother and my friend’s husband but “somehow” the social worker had given me the wrong time and the meeting was already going on. He also hid in another room when he saw us come in and would not come out. Some of his other victims were there including a teacher who had left her handbag with him and come back to find her ph gone..apparently according to the meeting she was the real victim here. His grandparents who had never been to the court spoke about me like I was not there and inferred I was a liar and their grandson would not do that..Noone at that meeting told them off..til later when they read out his latest crimes . I never got even a written apology and when victim support had been given my details by the two police officers who I met the first night told me I was eligible for free counselling..I went ( and had to take time off work) to find out I had to pay actually..at over $100 a session. She also made me repeat the things he had said to me and asked me if I knew what parts of his body he might have been referring to. Then I also since the attack have had comments made about what colour was he? Why didn’t you fight back if he was just a teenager? Well it really was your fault you were walking at night and my personal favourite that I should be flattered a young man would find me attractive. For a long time I would triple check locks and when I bought my first home in 2011 I actually would put heavy things in front of the door as it was the only way I could get some sleep. I would scrub myself over and over in the shower to make myself clean until a medium last year whilst reading my cards told me I was safe and to ask the angels to protect me from harm. Though apparently I should feel lucky as he never penetrated my body one well meaning friend said. What was my problem?

My personal boycott list – women can change the world with our purchasing power.

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(Compiled by me, the blog editor.)

1. Walmart – because they are sexist, racist and all around evil (a couple of examples being holding work meetings at stip clubs in order to make female employees feel as uncomfortable as possible and the recent class action law suits filed by female employees who were sick of gender discrimination while working at Walmart, and let’s not forget extreme exploitation of foreign workers).

2. Secret Deoderant – for producing a subtle and yet powerfully sexist commercial.

3. Belvedere Vodka – for producing an advertisement that supported raping women.

4. Fox News – i dont think i need to explain this one.

5. Victoria’s secret – for marketing t shirts that say “study less, party more”. A product marketed specifically to women consumers.

6. Any newspaper that refused to print the Doonesbury cartoon that satirized the new rape abortion laws.

7. Any pharmacy that refuses to sell plan B.

8. Sleep Train – for reinstating support for Rush Limbaugh after he “apologized” for calling women who use birth control sluts.

9. Jameson Whisky – for using an advertisement that explicitly (and “humorously”) explained how their whisky is more valuable than a woman’s life.

10. BMW – for consistently using advertisements that promote violence and objectification of women.

11. Dr Pepper – for having an advertisement that explicitly says the product is “not for women.”

12. Carl’s Jr. – do i really need to explain this one?

13. Any church or church funded organizaiton that advocates women as second-class citizens or who advocates domestic violence as a “family issue.”

14. Axe products, because they have consistently been anti-woman in pretty much all their advertising campaigns.

15. Newcastle beer – sexist commercial.

16. Proctor and Gamble – for defending their support for ALEC (American Legislation Exchange Counsel). They dared the American public to boycott them – join me and accept their challenge. ALEC is a really powerful and evil group that makes sure anti-gay and anti-women laws get put on the Republican agenda. Proctor and Gamble make products like:

Ariel laundry detergent
Bounty paper towels, sold in the United States and Canada
Braun, a small-appliances manufacturer specializing in electric razors, coffeemakers, toasters, and blenders
Charmin bathroom tissue and moist towelettes
Crest toothpaste
Dawn dishwashing detergent
Downy fabric softener and dryer sheets
Lenor fabric softener
Duracell batteries and flashlights
Fusion five blade cartridge and razors.
Gain fresh smelling liquid and powder laundry detergents, liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets
Gillette, variety of razors for men and women, shaving cream for men, body wash for men, shampoo for men, deodorant and anti-perspirant for men
Head & Shoulders shampoo
Iams dog and cat foods
Olay Personal and beauty products
Oral-B inter-dental products, such as Oral-B Glide
Pampers & Pampers Kandoo disposable diapers and moist towelettes
Pantene haircare products
Tide variety of liquid and powder laundry detergents, stain remover for laundry and stain remover pen
Wella hair care products
Febreze Odor control/Freshener

17. Ruffles potato chips – they are launching a horribly sexist new advertising campaign. ick!

19. Revlon – for supporting the GOP war on women by hosting a Romney fundraiser.

20. Chick-Fil-A = for openly hating gay people.

21. Hobby Lobby – a craft store chain that is suing the government – because they don’t want to provide healthcare to their female employees – they are proud misogynists.

22. Red Lobster, for publicly announcing they don’t care about their employees

23. Olive Garden, for publicly announcing they don’t care about their employees

24. Macy’s, for financially supporting Rush Limbaugh through ad campaigns.