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My letter to Emily Doe from Kristyn Blue

Leo Briones

Dear Emily Doe,

My name is Kristyn Blue and I wanted to let you know that the word "victim" does not apply to you or anyone. You are a warrior and you stand strong for all of us.

Like many people, I read your impact statement and you are empowering many women and young girls to heal their pain by sharing their stories.

Emily, I'm a two-time survivor of sexual assault and rape. Back in 2010, I was sixteen years old and raped by a member of my father's family. The attacks happened in San Francisco and lasted a total of three days. That was a week before my Junior Prom. I had physical bruises but the psychological bruise of having my virginity taken from me was worse. I gave no man consent to have sex with me.

I remained quiet out of fear and shame. Fortunately, my English teacher at Mount Pleasant High School noticed something different about me. I broke down in front of her and told her that, "Yes you're right. I am not okay." She gave me the courage to report my rape to the San Jose Police Department. I spent four hours explaining my story to San Jose Police Detectives. Finally, they sent me to Valley Medical for a SART exam.

Ultimately, the incident was classified as "Statutory Rape." My abuser received a sixteen month sentenced–what joke!  When I heard that sentence I felt that the attorneys or judge must believe that my life and my dignity did not matter. So, Emily I relate perfectly to your outrage at the sentence Brock Turner received–it too is a joke!

Everyone gets to live their lives everyday while I have to live in a mindset of thinking, "will this ever happen to me?, Are all men this way?, Can I trust anyone?"

I struggled with valuing myself and having self-esteem issues about my body. I blamed myself for having large breasts and being too curvy.

That terrible sentence, in San Francisco, gave me the motivation to want to pursue a career in law enforcement, which is why I am studying Criminal Justice at San Jose State University. I've chosen to make a negative a positive.

My second case took place in San Jose two years ago. I was off work and my boyfriend at the time was late picking me. I figured I lived only ten minutes down the street, so I was safe. As I walked under the 680 overpass I was attacked. He threw me to the ground. He was much stronger than me, so there wasn't much I could do to stop him. But I kept trying and praying for God's help. Finally, I was able to pry myself free for a short second. I ran into the middle of the street as cars sped by. Then a complete stranger can to my rescue. He helped me call 911 and stayed with me until officers from the San Jose Police Department arrived. I was so relieved. Thank God for that brave young man. He's my hero.

A few days later, I got the chance to be assigned an advocate from the YWCA.  She was great and I feel she's more my friend than just someone assigned to me. She told me about another survivor who was also attacked in the area. I knew I was not alone.  We could both move forward and seek justice.

Still, the efforts to secure justice and punish the perpetrator were not easy.

My case took over two and a half years. The perpetrator actually thought he would be exonerated. Perhaps he believed he could intimidate me into dropping charges? I don't know. He took the case to trial and lost. He received a 35 years to life sentence. Unlike, my case in San Francisco this time justice was met.

I give a lot of kudos and respect to the prosecutor for the District Attorney's office.

She was awesome. She was determined to ensure the rapist would never would never hurt anyone again. Before the trial I was skeptical because of my experience in my earlier case. I thank the DA's Office for restoring my faith in the system.

My rapist's name was Milton G. Meza. In court, I read my impact statement with my graduate cap and dress on. I wanted him to know his action did not stop my life. I was graduating San Jose City College and he had no control over me.

Thanks to his conviction, I got closure. But something else happened. I gained the strength to become an advocate. I began to encourage survivors to come forward and confront the ones that hurt them.  I have used social media as a tool and it's worked. In the last year, so many brave women have opened up and come forward and tell me their past experiences of being molested, abused or raped.  

Also, the YWCA has opened so many doors for me and can open doors for you. Back in October, I got awarded the Empowerment Award from YWCA and got recognized for telling my story in front of 1,300 people along with making the front page of San Jose Mercury News.

Emily you are already an empowering women. I hope you someday see the need to come forward and tell your story openly. I understand the necessity for privacy and I extend only understanding and not an ounce of judgment. But you are a powerful voice for all of us and you could be so much more if you decided to join us survivors in telling our stories openly and boldly.

We are survivors and not victims. We need to stand before the Brock Allen Turner's and Milton G. Meza's of the world and let them know that they will never get away with their abuse and we are standing strong to stop them.

Thank you Emily. You are beautiful and strong.