I am deeply thankful for the guilty verdict in the slaying of Ahmaud Arbery, but in this gratefulness, it's so critical to remember a few things:
1. Remember how close we came to no trial at all due to corrupt systems and authority figures. Justice was terrifyingly slow and it took far too much suffering and effort from Ahmaud's family, press, and other law enforcement, to get this. That is a terrifying reality.
2. Getting some measure of justice is often the exception, not the rule. This result was good. This does NOT mean the systems are changing/will continue to change, without constant effort and vigilance. Don't stop paying attention - let this spur you to pay MORE attention.
3. Remember victims who didn't have public pressure, leaked videos, a family to advocate for them - who didn't have everything it took to get here. Remember them. Ask what you don't see.
4. Remember that while we are "celebrating" justice, Ahmaud's family wakes up tomorrow with the reality of the permanent loss.

The court process is all-encompassing, especially in a high profile case. Every day is waiting for news, is having wounds ripped open, and then...
It suddenly ends.

The perpetrators are rarely truly sorry. If anything, they and their advocates continue saying and doing horrible things that grind like salt in a wound.

The cameras fade, the constant business fades, the purpose you had in fighting for justice is done.
What you are left with when the emotional relief at the verdict fades, is the depth of the loss, and having to rediscover who you are and what your purpose is. The depth of grief in the silence that follows a high profile verdict is deafening.
The adrenaline that has kept you functioning because you absolutely could not stop, screeches to a halt because survival mode ended, and the physical and mental exhaustion that has been destroying you under the surface suddenly rages to the surface and you feel everything.
In my case I had 16 years to heal and know who I was outside of my "case" and the exhaustion on every level and physical cost was still so high. I cannot imagine having entered that type of process immediately after such a devastating loss, with no time to heal and grieve first.
And while I don't know what specific realities Ahmaud's family is facing, I also don't know any survivor that hasn't experienced these brutal realities in these types of cases.

Don't forget that while we are rejoicing with grief at some measure of justice...
It almost didn't come, and it took far too much of a fight to get here.

Remember so many who never see it at all.

Remember the families wake up tomorrow with the reality, and live with it every single day in the silence that follows when the cameras fade.

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More from @R_Denhollander

22 Nov
4 yrs ago today I was sitting in court hearing Larry plead guilty to possession of CSAM. The prosecutor read "how much is a little girl worth?" from my letter to the judge, asking for the maximum penalty. Judge Neff gave it. It was the best possible result, and yet...
The little girls in that material still live with it. None were in the courtroom that day to know that anyone even fought for them. I was allowed to write a letter speaking to the sentence because of my role in the assault cases, but I think about them nearly every day.
It was an incredible privilege to speak in any way on their behalf, but even in the best of results, the damage and grief is still there.

The last two weeks have been extra raw for me and I couldn't figure out why until FB reminded me of the date. The body keeps the score.
Read 9 tweets
6 Nov
I am disappointed and grieved to say that this is not what survivors and advocates actually called for and not what LU needs. I hope that this is the result of a lack of understanding on the part of LU and that it will be rectified quickly.


While a Title IX review is not a bad step, most of the allegations and concerns do not relate to technical Title IX policy violations (some do, but not most).

The actual concerns and allegations primarily center around allegations of:
1. A culture that silences survivors and minimizes abuse.

2. Poor responses by faculty and leadership.

3. Resistance to reform by leadership.

4. Lack of good communication on abuse related issues.

5.Lack of awareness and priorization of these issues by leadership.
Read 13 tweets
13 Oct
I can't even count the number of stories I know like this. Medical sexual assault is extremely common, and rarely exposed.

What we need to wrestle with is why, and what has to change legally:
This article inadvertently plays a part in one of the major reasons, when it notes that sexual contact between Dr and patient is an ethical violation. As if what is described here is consensual contact that just breaches some ethics rules.
Yes, the ethics rules are important and yes there is always a power dynamic, that's why the rule is there.

But when predatory abusive and criminal behavior is flagged as wrong because of an ethics violation, it severely mischaracterizes the abuse and downplays needed response.
Read 26 tweets
29 Sep
Dear EC member who answered the asked question "how much is a little girl worth?" By saying "worth having insurance proceeds to pay her", please hear my heart -

If you are going to speak those words, first ask those little girls and boys what they care about the most:
Ask them if they value money, or the truth, more.

Ask them which one they would rather have.

They will tell you they want the truth. They will tell you the incredible cost they have already paid fighting for it.
Ask the little girls and boys which they would rather accomplish: getting insurance money, or getting to the root problems and fixing them so another child doesn't live through their hell.

They will pick saving a child every single time. They've dedicated their lives to it.
Read 11 tweets
20 Sep
The importance of waiving privilege is a question I get all the time from institutions in crisis - it's an issue in every case I work on.

Here's the bottom-line with waiver - risks and benefits:
The benefit of waiving is huge - because attorneys are usually involved in crafting the policies both for prevention and response, you simply cannot accurately diagnose problems without waiving privilege. You won't have access to all the information.
Not being able to accurately diagnose the problem increases your liability over the long-run because you will keep making mistakes, causing damage, and having responsibility for it. If you want to be a good fiduciary, stop thinking myopically.
Read 13 tweets
20 Sep
This letter below is patently and blatantly false in it's legal statements, and any attorney who is making these claims, cannot be doing so unintentionally.

Also note the realities being disclosed here:
Attorneys were intentionally brought into every conversation about abuse and abuse reform. The same attorneys survivors have said for decades, were at the root of every coverup and mishandling.

This is widely known. That's not an accident.
If one truly desires the best counsel on abuse prevention and response, you bring in experts who specialize in the law and abuse policy. You do not bring in the very attorneys at the root of the issues, literally for decades - The very attorneys you were begged not to bring in.
Read 8 tweets

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