Around 9:20 pm Ariel Castro, the man convicted of kidnapping and raping Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus and holding them captive in his Cleveland home for more than a decade, was found dead in his prison cell.
While this doesn’t strike the chord of “politics” for a site like Forward Progressives, I feel this situation does address a few serious issues we face in this nation.
Once upon a time a few Republicans tried to downplay rape. Someone even said that a woman’s body “shuts down,” preventing pregnancy. Well, if you listen to the horror stories coming from these women, that’s not the case. Pregnancies did occur, and often the events following their revelation were completely disgusting. The bottom line is, rape is rape—and those who rape anyone are absolute monsters. Something Ariel Castro was.
Castro’s actions were some of the most horrific events this country has ever seen as it relates to kidnapping, rape, physical and mental abuse.
Yet, there are still some in this country who see law enforcement officers as overpaid public employees and women’s rights as something that’s still up for debate.
Upon agreeing to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty, Castro was sentenced to 1,000 years in prison—but even that isn’t enough of a punishment for the lifelong impact his crimes will have on the women he abused.
I hate the fact that this man took a coward’s way out. He deserved to face his crimes, face his punishment and rot away for the rest of his life in a prison where even some of the worst criminals would have seen him as a horrific monster they wished to make an example out of.
This man will be remembered as one of the most despicable creatures that’s ever walked this earth.
While the actions taken by Castro were some of the most extreme this country has ever been witness to, there are still many more women who face all levels of abuse and sexual assault. And while many might not experience these horrific levels, it’s still important this country provides the necessary means and resources to help those who need assistance following a rape or to get out of an abusive relationship.
So the next time some politician talks about cutting funding to Planned Parenthood, voting against the Violence Against Women Act, downplaying rape or showing any kind of ignorance against women’s rights and protection for women—just remind them of animals like Ariel Castro.
Because while he might be dead, and his actions were extreme, there are still thousands more out there who seek to abuse, rape and sexually assault women.
And in this country we should do everything we can to prevent that from happening. However, at least now, one less monster walks this planet.
I can only hope his absence from the living brings the slightest bit of peace to the women he brutally abused.