One of the greatest gifts of this work is meeting others who are changing the landscape and conversation surrounding sexual violence. Please meet Julia Dixon, a dear friend you can follow at @PAVEJuliaDixon. Her words are painfully honest and relevant. We appreciate her willingness to write them and share them with the world. They like her are a gift. We ask that you please read her words and think about their impact. Then take action, together we are stronger. #iamonestudent
Forever Team Julia (you will be too)-
Becca & Kelly
At 20 years old I too testified in front of a grand jury. It was the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college– this month, 6 years ago. At 20 years old I told them what he did to me 2 years prior, how many times I said no, how he hurt me, how I begged him to leave. How much I wanted to forget these things and how much I knew I had to remember, so I could testify, so he wouldn’t do it again to somebody else. Keeping that shit within you for so long is poison. Welcome to my college years.
The jurors passed around pictures of my body, my bruises, taken at the hospital. And ultimately, at 20 years old, he also got 6 months in jail thanks to a plea deal. That’s why this Stanford case is hitting me so hard. Ultimately, the prosecutors office told me he only spent 3 days there.
“Do you think he learned his lesson?
“Do you think his punishment matches the destruction he caused when he decided to rape me and upend my life? Do you think his life has been as altered, as negatively impacted, as mine, due to his actions? Unlike him, I didn’t do anything to deserve the sentence that I live. But I can’t help but feel that the greater burden and punishment is still on me. And yet, I am one of the “lucky” ones. I have a guilty plea.
#BrockTurner lost a college scholarship. So did I. Brock Turner lost his will to eat. So did I (spend a year sharing a dining hall with someone who raped you and you will too). Brock Turner did these things to himself by his own actions. I did not.
“The truth is that the punishment will never match the crime. I will never recover those years. I look back and I think of all the opportunities missed, clubs not joined, friends not made. That is my reality and I have to live with it. I don’t doubt there is a reason why all my closest friends I made in high school, while I have nearly none from college. I was on so much medication and experiencing so much trauma that I couldn’t manage much of anything. What is it like to feel safe and secure in college? How much more can you succeed when you feel self-actualized and supported? I will never be able to let my guard down; I will always have to fight this anxiety.
I’m writing this because while you may not know the Stanford victim, I can assure you that you know others like her, and they need as much support and to see you rally the same way. Supporting sexual assault survivors isn’t a thing that happens “out there”, in hypothetical scenarios. Survivors reach for support if they feel safe enough to open up. Be there for them.
I don’t enjoy telling this story, ever, at all. But I will do it 1000 times over if it helps the next victim find more support in their community. If it educates somebody on the realities of trauma. If it saves the next person. #NotAlone#WeBelieveYou“
This photo was taken of Julia at the 2016 Oscars when she joined Lady Gaga on stage.