Illustration of incarcerated men and women.(Image: Benjamin Haas, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: I am one of many survivors profiled as an “offender” instead of a victim. My prison sentence was preceded by years of trauma and violence. Today, I am a member of the Justice for Survivor Act coalition, AB 124, which would allow courts to consider an individuals’ age, history of trauma, human trafficking history, intimate partner or sexual violence victimization, potentially reducing their criminal penalties.
A traumatized woman alone in her room. (Photo: ChameleonsEye, via Shutterstock)
At 10 p.m., Jane Doe is sexually assaulted in Springville, a small town of 1,100 in Tulare County, forty-five miles west of Visalia, at the edge of Sequoia National Forest. After a night working through shock and trying to process what happened, Jane calls the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, who dispatch an officer from Porterville. It is 10 a.m. The officer arrives 30 minutes later.