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The Alabama case in which a man convicted of raping a teenager three times was given a sentence allowing him to avoid jail time continues to draw attention. Courtney Andrews, who was raped by her neighbor, Austin Clem, twice at 14 and once at 18, appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry show because:
”I just felt like if it happened with me, then it probably happens with other people,” she said. “If no one has really stood up and said anything about it, then maybe no one ever will if I don’t. So I felt like it would an injustice to other people if I didn’t … I knew I just had to do what I had to do.”
Though Clem has been convicted and Andrews has left home for college, it is not and cannot be in the past for her:
... the man convicted of raping her three times will once again be living near her parents in Athens. When asked by Harris-Perry what it would take for her to feel safe, Andrews responded tearfully,  “I need for him to be in prison. I’m not going to feel safe other than that.

“Every time I think about going home to see my parents, it’s going to be hard. Every time I think about my parents being home, you know. … It just really bothers me, and scares me, because they’re there and I’m only 20, but I want to protect them.”

Clem's sentence involves living at home while participating in a community corrections program for nonviolent offenders. It's hard enough for survivors to report rape, to be believed by enough police and lawyers to get a case to trial, to win a conviction ... to then have judges saying that rape is a nonviolent crime that doesn't merit prison time—in our incarceration-happy criminal justice system—shows how badly the deck is stacked against women.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 06:30 PM PST.

Also republished by This Week in the War on Women.

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