I just learned that a woman killed at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, Jennifer Markovsky, was there supporting her friend. This makes me so indescribably angry I don’t know what to do. Because this is a core part of what it means to be a woman. When our friends have a breast lump, or need a rape kit, or are getting an abortion, we drop absolutely everything to be there for them – no questions, no judgment. That’s what our friendships are about. And the idea that some man could burst into that space, could murder a woman for supporting a friend in need – no. No, I don’t accept that. 

So I’m making a donation to Planned Parenthood today in honor of Jennifer Markovsky, in honor of every friend who has been there during the impossible times, in honor of all my friends who’ve been there for me. I hope you’ll make a donation, too – click here to give now. 

In Their Words: The Swedish "Heroes" Who Caught The Stanford Attacker
The two men tackled Brock Turner and held him down until the police came. Turner's victim called them heroes.
By Ema O'Connor

Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson, the two Swedish Ph.D. students who found Brock Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford, said they immediately knew something was wrong.

Nearly a year and a half ago Arndt and Jonsson were biking to a party on Stanford’s campus when they saw Turner, 20, on top of his victim behind a dumpster. They managed to tackle Turner as he ran away and they called the police.

The two men were key witnesses in the case against Turner. The woman was taken to police to be cared for, bandaged, and given a rape kit. Turner was eventually found guilty of three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced by Judge Aaron Persky to three months of a six month sentence in county jail with probation. He said a longer sentence in prison would have a “severe impact” on the Stanford athlete.

Since the victim’s letter was published – followed by other letters from Turner’s father and friend defending him – people all over the world, including public figures and celebrities, have come out in support of the victim and in outrage over Turner’s short sentence.

In a letter written by the victim to her assailant published by BuzzFeed News Friday, she described the two students – who she has still never met – as “heroes.”

Arndt described the night of the assault to the Swedish news outlet Expressen on Tuesday, saying that they read the letter and were very moved. (Arndt and Jonsson did not immediately return BuzzFeed News’ request for additional comment.)

As Arndt and Jonsson approached the dumpsters where Turner was attacking his victim, they said they immediately knew something was wrong.

“We saw that she was not moving, while he was moving a lot,” Arndt said in Swedish.“So we stopped and thought, ‘This is very strange.”

The two graduate students quickly decided to approach Turner to see what was going on. Jonsson approached him first, Arndt said, while he followed.

“When he got up we saw that she still wasn’t moving at all, so we walked up and asked something like, ‘What are you doing?’”

In the victim’s letter, she describes pictures she saw of herself behind that dumpster:

“Unconscious, with my hair disheveled, long necklace wrapped around my neck, bra pulled out of my dress, dress pulled off over my shoulders and pulled up above my waist, … butt naked all the way down to my boots, legs spread apart,” she wrote. She had dirt pine needles in her hair and inside her vagina.

The friends exchanged a few short words with Turner before he suddenly turned to run away from them. Jonsson chased after Turner and managed to catch up with him and tackle him a few feet away.

Arndt leaned over to make sure the unconscious victim was still alive, “She lay perfectly still,” he said.

The two men then restrained Turner and called the police. They held down the then-19-year-old swimmer until the police arrived.

In her letter, the victim said she was told one of the two men was crying, he was so upset by the state she was in. She also said she was forever grateful to Arndt and Jonsson for what they did.

“Thank you to the two men who saved me, who I have yet to meet,” the victim wrote. “I sleep with two bicycles that I drew taped above my bed to remind myself there are heroes in this story. That we are looking out for one another. To have known all of these people, to have felt their protection and love, is something I will never forget.”

Arndt was a teaching assistant at Stanford in math and engineering while getting his degree. He spent time at J.P. Morgan as research associate. Jonsson received his Master of Science degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford in May. Previously he attended Uppsala University in Sweden for economics.

Jonsson posted the victim’s letter on his Facebook page Tuesday, thanking friends and strangers for all the “encouragement and support” over the past few months. He said he would not publicly comment on the process or outcome of the trial, but asked everyone to read her letter.

“To me it is unique in its form” he wrote, “and comes as close as you can possibly get to putting words on an experience that words cannot describe.”

TNT Picks Up New Drama Series Inspired by Michigan Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Produced by Viola Davis and Debra Martin Chase.

Known as “the toughest woman in Detroit,” Worthy has been the prosecutor in Wayne County, Michigan for 10 years.  She rose to national prominence when she spearheaded an initiative to end a backlog of over 11,000 untested rape kits.  She made headlines in 2014 with her decision to charge Theodore Wafer with the murder of Renisha McBride. Over 90% of the cases that Worthy has brought to trial have resulted in a conviction. 

Here’s what we know:

Kane was accused of sexual assault on August 2, 2015 in Buffalo.

The accuser allegedly had bite and scratch marks. She changed her shirt before going to hospital.

A rape kit was preformed and Kanes DNA was not found anywhere except her arms and shoulders, but the DNA of two unknown males was found on the accusers vaginal area.

A claim of evidence tampering was made shortly after the DNA results came to light, which was immediately followed by the accusers attorney withdrawing from the case for “ethical reasons”.

The DA held a press conference in which they revealed the mother of the accuser lied, and declared the entire thing regarding the rape kit a “hoax”. He also said he has still not decided IF the case will even go before a Grand Jury.

A witness is allegedly set to testify FOR Patrick Kane and this woman is friends with the accuser.

Patrick Kane was accused of sexual assault and has not been charged.

This is what we know. None of the above information is enough to either exonerate or condemn him. Neither you, nor I nor anyone else on this website is qualified to comment on Patrick Kane’s guilt or his innocence.

I keep seeing comments like:
“Patrick Kane is scum and no one can tell me otherwise.”
“Patrick Kane is disgusting. That poor girl.”

And to those people, I have one question: What makes you so sure?

Do you know something the rest of us aren’t privilege to? Have you ever met Patrick Kane? Have you ever met the woman accusing him? Do you even know her name? What do you know of their characters that gives you the ability to decide what happened and who is telling the truth?

You keep calling her the “victim” when the reality is we have NO idea what’s going on in this situation.
She has accused someone of a crime and nothing more.
Patrick Kane is the man accused of said crime and nothing more.

Your polarized, blanket way of thinking is very dangerous and I ask you to think if what you are doing and saying is reflective of the kind of society that you want to live in…

Are we a society that condemns based upon an accusation? Have you ever been accused of something, big or small, that you didn’t do?

Is it helpful to lose ourselves to the emotions words induce and stop applying reason? Or harmful?

Do you want to live in a world where you yourself can be accused of something and never ever given the chance to prove your innocence, because a bunch of strangers have decided you are guilty?

The way this website has reacted to this situation has been disturbing and extremely telling of just how deeply rooted the “Angry Villagers with Torches and Pitchforks” cliché is within even the most “modern” of generations.
It is 2015 but the Patrick Kane tag reads like Salem during the witch burnings; who are any of us to judge this man or this woman when we have never met them and they have made no personal statements? You don’t know her, you just assume she’s a good person because she accused a man of “rape”.
Are you going to tell me you’ve never met women who weren’t good people?

You don’t know anything about the accuser. You don’t know anything about Kane, but you would personally light the fire underneath him and watch him burn if you had the chance right now.

What does that say about you?

You think PKane supporters are “disgusting mouth-breathers” but you are ready to literally crucify a man you have never met, a man you can’t even be sure is guilty. You are willing to blindly trust a woman you have never met before let alone gotten to know. Is an accusation all we need to prove guilt now? Really?

Rape is disgusting. No one can argue that, and the emotions it causes are very strong. But…

Take a deep breath, review the facts, and ask yourself: what do I REALLY know about this case? And who am I to so callously judge another human being? To judge TWO strangers? Am I 100% confident he is guilty because of valid proof? Or because the word rape has got me worked into a rage? Who am I to judge?

Would I want to be treated the same way?

—  QRTW, “Is This The Society We Want? A Few Thoughts on Tumblrs Reaction to the Patrick Kane Sexual Assault Allegations”