Sexual Assault and Justice

I do not believe it’s best to recall the judge in the recent Stanford Assault .  It is important for the health of our society that judges can opt for community service and restorative justice along with lighter sentences whenever possible.

Our entire justice system is way overdue for a major overhaul. The focus has far too long been on revenge and retribution – these are really not the most effective way to help victims become whole again, nor do they help perpetrators instill better options for  interacting with others.

Restorative justice – sentencing actions that focus on repairing any hurt or loss to the victim,  making personal amends to society,  and helping to educate others so they can choose more appropriate ways of meeting their needs and desires.

I believe the primary focus should be on actions which help the victim become whole again, and on how best to improve this for everyone going forward.

I  do not object to people suggesting various options, including suggesting a recall.   But engaging in overwhelming tactics and mudslinging perpetuates the cycles of violence and is taking it too far.

 

Sexual Assault and Justice

As a survivor of sexual assault, I would like to add to the ongoing conversation about appropriate justice for victims and perpetrators of sexual assault.

The key to healthy relationships is consent.  Mutual, informed, educated, aware, mutually empowered, freely given, consent.

The key to appropriate consent is communication.  Exchanging information. Honoring needs and expectations.  Respecting each other and the social and other relationships we have.

Absent actual communication and full consent,  unhealthy power dynamics and inappropriate expectations can deeply damage the relationship and traumatize its participants.

 

Facts and the Stories we tell about them

One of the biggest sources of unnecessary and often extreme friction in human interactions is the assumed context applied to observed facts.

People make up stories to explain an event, based on an assumed context for the event.

Better patterns could be found by asking what actually happened and listening to the participants’ observation of events.  Instead, the facts are mentally re-arranged within some new assigned context which “perfectly” aligns with and supports some new story that is assembled.

First of all, all facts are contextual for their meaning.  Much much much more so than most people realize.   This applies to facts of all shapes and sizes, whatever materials or medium they are composed of.

And humans, drifting around humanoidally as they are wont to do, have a deep tendency to view the world lenticularly – similarly to viewing through a lens,  they see most magnifiedly what is central to them ideologically or closest to them physically. And like Galileo’s accusers, feel they are quite entitled to assume that what they see and where they stand is somewhere close to, or at least within sight of, the center of the cosmos.

The assumed context for any fact, person, or occurrence which comes close enough to be viewed,  is typically some portion of that context which functions as the matrix for all other events which one is accustomed to.

An example of this is laid out in the following story:

An homage to Neville Chamberlain’s umbrella

Have you ever had a case made against you, or gotten a bad review at work, because of someone’s assumptions of a completely different context for a factual event?

If you’re at all intelligent, especially if you’re an outside the box kinda person, I’ll bet you have.

Not so much if you’re a follower and blender inner play it safe type.

I’d like to hear your stories.