Dimelo: Why the Cherice Morales Case Makes Me Angry, And Why You Should Be Too

Cherice Morales

I'm angry.

Cherice Morales was just 14-year-old girl when she bravely reported being raped by her teacher and 16 when she committed suicide—while the case was still pending. Her mother, Auliea Hanlon, has said that the abuse was a "major factor" in her daughter's suicide. The highly publicized Montana case has resulted in a national public outcry after the presiding judge sentenced 49-year-old teacher, Stacey Rambold, to just 30 days in jail for statutory rape—a rape that he admitted to.

I'm really, really angry. I'm angry because victims of sexual abuse don't always speak out. According the Rape Response Services, only 13 percent of sexual assault cases disclosed in the National Survey of Adolescents were reported to police and of those, only 5 percent was reported to school authorities. I'm angry because on average, only 50 percent of rapes/sexual assaults are reported. I'm angry because victims need support, not blame, from the law enforcers handling their cases.