Broken Trust – Alyssa’s Story
May 11, 2011, I was at my best friend’s house drinking with her and her husband. We had drank at their house countless times in the past. I was best friends with her for 8 years. They were like family. That night we were celebrating me completing a semester in college. I never thought twice about her husband having me drink more and more. Suddenly, it hit me that I had drunk way too much. Everything went black and when I came to I was being raped and assaulted by my friend’s husband. I started to fight and scream for my life in hopes she would hear me. Then he held a knife to my throat and threatened to kill me. Finally, my friend came in to find us, and he took off and out of the house.
I called my sister and she took me to the emergency room. I had it reported, and I put what trust I had left in the justice system. By the end of the process, I had no trust or faith in our justice system for crime victims.
I sat in the courthouse several times being questioned and interrogated. They weren’t nice about it either. They were very rude and disrespectful. They made me feel ashamed and guilty. Every time I left that courthouse I was in tears and feeling more hopeless. If I could not trust my life with the justice system in a time like this then who could I trust?
I also soon realized how little rights I had as a victim when I got a phone call that the judge set bail, and he was able to make bail. I suddenly felt nauseous and was scared for my life. I became so angry. Why didn’t I have the right to have a voice in this matter? It was my life threatened not the judges. I was scared to leave my place meanwhile the criminal got to walk around like nothing happened. So who was the one being punished?
The process never got any better for me. Often times I wished I would have never gone to the justice system. I felt as though there was no point. I had no rights, and the way they talked to me I felt so ashamed.
In the end, I got to finally say how this crime affected me, but it didn’t make a difference. The judge had already decided his sentence. He was only sentenced 18 months in prison and 5 years of probation.
If I had known how little rights crime victims had, and the way they are treated in rape cases I don’t think I would have gone to our justice system. Pretty horrible isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be like that anymore.
I wish North Dakota had Marsy’s Law when I needed the justice system. I would have had more rights and more support. So many crimes don’t get reported by victims because they have no trust in our justice system. I don’t blame them. I lost my trust in them 5 years ago.
It doesn’t have to be like that anymore. Not with Marsy’s Law. Crime victims can have the rights that they deserve, and the support that they need when they have lost all hope in humanity.