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Jessica Chiappini Victimology CRJ 708 Lucky Writing Assignment In reading Alice Sebolds story Lucky we were able

to relive her story as a rape victim and hear first hand the victimization she not only experienced during the rape, but also the re-victimization she experienced after the rape by the criminal justice system, her parents and her friends. This paper will discuss the victimization and how the rape not only affected Alice, but how it also impacted her family and friends. We will also touch upon how Alice as a rape victim was treated after the fact. This paper will also address the consequences of Alices victimization. Alice was in her freshman year at the University of Syracuse when, she was raped by a stranger. Her raped occurred while she was walking back to her dorm from a friends house, her attacker grabbed her from behind and lead her into a secluded area where he proceeded to beat, rape, and take Alices virginity. Alice at this point had become one of the 28 out of 1000 college women Fisher, Cullen, & Turner (2000) reported would be raped over a six-month period. Unlike the 90% of female college rape victims The National College Women Sexual Victimization Survey reported will know their offender, Alice did not know her offender. Alices offender was a complete stranger, lurking in the dark to prey on a female victim and Alice unfortunately was the one to feel his wrath. After Alices brutal rape and beating she now had to deal with the impact and consequences of being a victim. She would now have to experience the re-victimization that many rape victims experience after a rape. After receiving help at the hospital for her rape, Alice had to now deal with her

parents and their reactions to her rape. Alice didnt seem to have a really strong relationship with her parents. Although they were good parents, they had high expectations and werent really openly affectionate towards each other. The one relationship that seems really strange was the one Alice and her dad shared. When he was at home and not working or traveling for work, it didnt seem that he was there emotionally. In getting ready after her attack Alice is concerned about looking nice, and mentions how her dad is the king of backhanded compliments. She referenced the time he once told her she looked like a Russian ballerina, but only fatter. This left her to only feel ugly. This was a memory and example of what she gave us to describe their relationship. She described her mother as a recovering alcoholic who now suffered from anxiety attacks and wasnt able to deal with high-pressured situations. Unfortunately Alices family wasnt a family that openly discussed issues. They liked to pretend things didnt exist or that they had them under control when really they didnt and things that should have been discussed never really were. This was exactly how Alices family dealt with her rape. When Alices mom couldnt handle conversations with Alice about the rape, it caused her to have her flaps (anxiety / panic attacks). Alices dad made her feel as though in some way she could have fought harder or done something to stop the rape from continuing when he made a comment about Alices offender not having the knife in his hand through the whole attack. Alices sister upon arriving home after learning about Alices attack hid in the bathroom, again the father with his back handed compliments suggest it was better that the rape happened to Alice and not Mary cause Mary wouldnt have been strong enough to go through it. Comments like this continued to come from Alices dad and it was these types of comments that would impact Alice and not allow

her to heal / recover properly. Alice needed to have someone to talk about the rape to, she needed her family, she needed a strong support system and her family was not able to be this for her. This would hinder Alices recovery and make the process longer leaving her open to further psychological consequences. Alices attack affected her relationships differently. Alice many times with her family was the one who was trying to protect them from what happened to her, she had to be very careful as to what she told them happened to her during the attack. Doing this Alice wasnt really able to open up fully to the ones she loved. Alice while wanting to recover from the rape dealt with relationships in a way in which she was trying to protect everyone one else from the consequences of what happened to her. Again, we seen this in the way she only told her family certain things about the attack. With friends, Alice was having to justify why she returned to Syracuse after the rape, as if she had done something wrong in trying to reclaim here life. Most of her friends were uncomfortable and didnt know how to act or what to say. Alice in her dating also now felt as though she had something to prove, that she wasnt damaged goods. She was always wondering if someone would really want to be with her and if it mattered now that she had lost her virginity during her attack. In all these examples of Alices relationships she was the person who was trying to protect everyone else, she was more concerned with the impact that it had on them that she didnt really focus on the impact that the rape had on her self. Alice was doing what she had been taught during her whole life, not to talk about the bad that had occurred, but to quietly move through life as though it didnt happened and it would go away. During Alices interaction with the police and the criminal justice process there

were many incidents of re-victimization. We first had seen it while giving her affidavit of what happened to Sgt. Lorenz he was very abrupt with Alice and very stern about only wanting the details of what happened, he also made a very insensitive comment about not being used to virgins in his line of work. Alice again was re-victimized by prosecutors when they slyly included a friend of the offender who looked similar to the offender in the line-up and told him to stare at Alice. Alice once again was left with revictimization when helping a roommate report her rape, officers pointed out how Alices case changed things, how she was very well known to police officers due to her victimization. Alice was also re-victimized when she was not allowed to use her victim advocate during her opportunity to point out her offender. Not allowing Alice to have her advocate present during the line-up stripped her of her support system. In the criminal justice system we see many Police Officers, District Attorneys, Defense Attorneys and Prosecutors who are very insensitive. Because they see these types of acts all the time and they know the offenders are very rarely found guilty, they move through the process making statements that are unknowingly harmful to the victims as we seen in Alices case. Post-traumatic stress symptoms result in many violent acts including rapes. These symptoms can appear in both direct and indirect victims. These symptoms include distressing dreams, memories, flashbacks, avoidance of things associated with the event, inability to be close other others, startle responses, constantly being on guard, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, feeling of lack of safety and feeling a heightened level of crime. Many of these symptoms were portrayed in Alice, her family and her friends due to her

attack. Immediately after the rape, a friend of Alices wanted to console her by giving her a hug but he was black and Alice couldnt do it. Her offender was black and this triggered something in Alice not being able to let this friend embrace her. Memories of the smell of cherries on he moms pillows which she later identified as alcohol, she compared to how her offender smelled. Alice demonstrated avoidance of the question how are you doing, with sarcasm, such as when Alices sister asked this she replied I guess I found a way to wreck your straight As or when her dad asked after the rape if she was hungry Alice responded, I guess so seeing that I havent had anything in my mouth in the last 24hours except a cracker and cock. We seen examples of fear of crime and safety concerns with both Alices family not wanting her to return to Syracuse and Alice when Lila was raped, she no longer felt safe. She had that sense of fear and not able to protect Lila. Mary Alice had developed a heightened level of protection over Alice after her attack as Alice had developed for Lila after Lilas rape. During the grand jury and defense questioning Alice was put on the stand and questioned with questions exhibiting victim blaming and doubt. During the grand jury questioning she was asked numerous of times didnt she know better than to walk through the park at night. They asked what was she wearing, why was she walking alone through the park. All of these questions were examples of suggested victim precipitation. Suggesting Alice in some way caused the rape to happen. Blaming Alice for her victimization is another way of re-victimization, causing the victim to feel as though some how she was responsible for what happened to her. We also seen during the trial that the Defense Attorneys questioning was some how suggesting Alice was lying or wasnt accurate in her account of her rape. He focused on her inability to point out the

offender, but not telling jurors that Alice was purposely tricked into being confused during the line up. Causing Alice to second guess what she said initially or in some way cause her to be confused would appear to jurors that Alice wasnt positive on what happened to her and that the offender wasnt the offender. This type of questioning not only causes confusion and creates reasonable doubt, but it also leaves witnesses to second guess themselves and again causes re-victimization by suggesting Alice was lying or was confused. During the beginning stages of prosecuting a case, a prosecutor brings charges against an offender, he/she will evaluate the offense, the charges, and most importantly the victim involved in the case. Many times the victims charateristics will play an important factor on whether the prosecutor will bring charges against the victim or not. Prosecutors look for the ideal victim to ensure they will obtain a conviction and if they dont feel they have the ideal victim may desire to plea the case or not bring charges at all. In Alices rape she was an ideal victim she had all the characteristics a prosecutor looks for in a victim. She was a college student, so she was educated. She was a white female, she came from a two-parent home, and she wasnt in an area or at an event that may have been questionable. Alice wasnt dressed provocatively and she was most importantly a virgin. Alice being a virgin and a victim of a rape was very important to the prosecution/conviction of her offender. Alice was a college student in her twenties and a virgin, most girls her age were not, this showed she wasnt into behavior that some may have looked down on. Her virginity showed she was of good moral character and that her offender stole this from her. He violently took something that could have been looked upon as sacred. This would make the offender appear more violent and show

Alice to be the vulnerable victim she actually was during the rape. After a guilty verdict in a trial and prior to sentencing, victims are given the opportunity to make victim impact statements where they are able to tell the Court how they were impacted by the offense and make any recommendations to the Court on the sentencing/punishment of the offender. The victim usually does this orally to the Court or in writing to the Court. In Alices case she wrote a letter to the Court suggesting her offender be given the maximum sentence allowed for the crime against her. Alice focused on telling the Court why her offender should be given this sentence. She suggested they would not just be sentencing the offender for her, but for the other citizens too. She felt if she made the Judge, who is an elected office, feel as though he/she were accountable not only to Alice but by the others who elected him/her into their job as Judge. Alice felt that addressing the Judge this way would make the punishment feel more deserving. Alice didnt discuss the impact of what the crime had done to both her and her family. She didnt discuss the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of the crime she was left to suffer. She appeared to feel that this wasnt as important or wasnt going to get the sentence she felt her offender deserved to receive. Possibly this was another way in which Alice still wasnt ready to really start her recovery process. She had been use to living a life where she suppressed feeling and certain situations. It appeared this too would be an incident that Alice would suppress and try to move forward like it didnt happen and she was strong enough to get through it her own way. Many times victims as a consequence suffer from substance abuse, they have avoidance issues, develop high levels of fear and change their lifestyle habits. We witnessed some of this with Alice and the way the crime impacted her life after college.

She aimlessly moved from one state to another, never really settling down or feeling that she belonged. Although she was able to acquire relationships with men they all seemed to be relationships that werent positive. These relationships always included drugs and always include her being in an unsafe environment. Alice for many years put herself in many situations that she could have become a victim again. Drugs for a while seem to be a major focus in her being causing her to be involved in risky behavior. At one point Alice says I stopped caring about how I lookedI wanted to be better, but didnt know how. This was at a point where she knew something was wrong, but she still wasnt relating it to victimization. When she finally started to realize she needed help she was quoted in a friends book about Post-traumatic Stress. She got a therapist, left the bad relationship and dangerous New York neighborhood she was in and headed to the California colonist, to seek refuge. Alice was able to recognize herself in case studies of those who were sick from post-traumatic stress in her friends book. It was then Alice was becoming aware of her behavior and her ability to change and seek help for her victimization. After Alices rape she put on a faade that she was fine, this was behavior she learned very young from her family. They didnt discuss issues they were taught not to talk about what had happened to her and the consequences of the rape, left her to harbor all these feelings. Holding all these feelings caused her to deal with alcohol, drugs and risky behavior. It wasnt until she learned about post-traumatic stress and was able to identify herself with other victims that she was able to move forward with her life. Victims have a voice, but if their voice isnt allowed to be heard they will deal with the victimization in ways that will only be harmful to themselves.

SOURCES
Fisher, Cullen & Turner (2000), Davis, Lurigio & Herman (2013), Victims of Crime, 4th ed., p.5 Fisher et al., (2000), Davis, Lurigio & Herman (2013), Victims of Crime, 4th ed., p.5

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