Enough is enough.

Today I want to touch on a topic that I have not yet written about on Between the Lens.

And unfortunately, a sad series of events has tugged on my heart enough to compel me to write this to all of you.

In May of 2021, a young woman attended a graduation party, where she drank alcohol and swam in a pool in her underwear before passing out. She woke to a pillow being pushed in her face while being sexually assaulted. You can read more of the details here.

This case is from my hometown, so this hits very close to home.

On January 3rd, Judge Robert Adrian reversed his previous guilty verdict and gave the following statements in open court:

“Mr. Clinton has served almost five months in the county jail, 148 days. For what happened in this case, that is plenty of punishment.”

Let us note that the defendant in this case openly admitted to intercourse, claiming that he had consent. At the time of the incident, he was 18 and his victim was 16. By Illinois law, the legal age of consent is 17. So what I don’t understand is how this is statutory rape at minimum!

Judge Adrian went on,

“By law, the court is supposed to sentence this young man to the Department of Corrections. This Court will not do that. That is not just. There is no way for what happened in this case that this teenager should go to the Department of Corrections. I will not do that.”

“The court is going to reconsider its verdict, is going to find the Defendant not guilty on Count 3. And, therefore, the case — the Defendant will be released from custody.”

I also wanted to add that this young woman immediately went to her friends and told them what had happened, and the next morning they all went and reported it to her father who then called the police. This just backs up the fact that she was telling the truth. What young teenager would want to go through that just for attention?

But all of this is beside the fact.

People will bring up the fact that she was underage drinking.

They will bring up that she was swimming in a pool in her underwear.

Your outfit does not determine your consent.

Period.

So this case is infuriating, disgusting, and an abuse of power. It’s gaining national coverage for good reason. People are outraged.

As they should be.

Verdicts like this silence survivors of sexual assault. This is detrimental in giving victims their voice and power over their abusers.

I want to encourage all people, men and women, to have the courage to speak your truth. And even if you never gain that courage, you still matter and you need no validation. Do what is best for you and your healing. My heart goes out to all that have ever been in this situation. May you get the closure you need. We are loud in instances like this because ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

The judge may not have held him accountable, but the public is. And I love to see it.

I’m curious as to what you all think. Drop a comment & let’s discuss.

………………………………………………………………………………..

Read more about this story here:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-robert-adrian-drew-clinton-sexual-assualt-conviction-reverse/

https://nypost.com/2022/01/13/illinois-judge-robert-adrian-slammed-for-reversing-teen-drew-clintons-rape-conviction/

Read more about Judge Robert Adrian:

https://www.newsweek.com/judge-kicks-prosecutor-out-court-liking-facebook-comment-critical-him-1668868

Sign the petition to file charges against Judge Adrian for abuse of judicial discretion here:

https://www.change.org/p/illinois-courts-commission-file-charges-against-judge-adrian-for-abuse-of-judicial-discretion-and-power

#JusticeforCammy

Welcome, 2022

What do you have in store for us? For some reason, I’m very anxious to know.

2022. The year of our long-awaited wedding. 272 days until we say “I do.”

Our daughter turns 3 on Wednesday.

Who knows what the next 363 days will bring. I’m anxious and excited but also feeling cautious. Life seems so fragile and fast these days. I worry for our country and I worry about my family getting by. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared.

But I remain optimistic because life is 90% about your attitude after life happens.

I have a few resolutions I’ve started for this year:

Drink more water. I have cut out most extra calories in drinks so far, but I still need to improve the amount of water I drink everyday.

Get healthier. Day two – haven’t missed a workout yet! Planning on getting a nighttime yoga session in before bed. I find great joy in exercise and it does wonders for my mental health. I feel most confident after a good workout. I understand rest is important, so this goal doesn’t relate to “working out every day.” I will work my body as hard as I can, within toleration. A healthier lifestyle also includes eating healthier, controlling my portions, and limiting unhealthy snacking. A lot of this will require mental toughness and discipline, because I sometimes have an unhealthy relationship with food. I want to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits.

Let’s all hold one another accountable on these goals. Plus, I’ve got a wedding dress to fit into! 😉

I hope we all have the best year yet!

Another semester in the books

This summer I got the urge to continue pursuing my Bachelors. I’m so very close (2 semesters away) to accomplishing this goal; although much of my relationship with college has been where I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve taken plenty of time away from my schooling simply because I haven’t been certain on what I wanted to do. I wrapped up my prerequisite courses no problem, but since then I hadn’t been sure what I wanted to pursue until this semester.

I got online and looked at all of the online programs that were offered, because I’d done a semester of the Business Management program and found that it most definitely wasn’t exactly what I wanted. That was the Fall of 2019.

I decided to switch over to Public Administration, and now that the semester is over I can say that this certainly is more aligned with who I imagine myself to be in my career. Now exactly what I want to do in Public Administration is still undetermined, but I feel aligned – so that’s something at least. The program is so broad that I’m confident something will come to me once I finish my schooling.

But what makes me most proud about this semester is that I took on this goal knowing the obstacles I’d face. I knew I’d be giving birth to my second child, and yet I did not let that stop me.

I’m also proud of how self aware I was. The last semester I took at UIS was a complete failure. Mind you, I’ve always been a really good student and enjoyed school. So when I had to take a failing grade in a class during my last semester at UIS, I was a bit intimidated on if I could do it. If I couldn’t handle the workload back then, what made me think I could do it while also welcoming a new child? BUT the last semester I took I had a full course load with four classes on top of working full time and being a mother. This time, I knew I’d be setting myself up for failure if I took a full time college schedule on top of working full time, being pregnant, and a toddler at home. There were many days once we returned home from the hospital that I didn’t think I could do it. I was late on a few assignments, but I put the work in. I studied and read tons of material, wrote two term papers and achieved A’s in BOTH courses. I was aware that two classes was achievable, and I accomplished my goal – many times with a newborn baby sleeping on the couch next to me.

A testament to the dedication I have and how much I value being committed to your goals and dreams. It wasn’t much, but I’m super proud and excited for the progress!

Quick update

First things first, we are all well. I’m so very thankful for that.

I started back to work this week, so life is a bit more hectic on work days. My company has a “gradual return” policy, so I’m actually only working 2 days this week, 3 days next week, and then 3 days the week of Christmas. After that, it’s back to normal- as far as work goes… Very lucky to have this available to me because returning to work six weeks after having a child is low-key MOM ABUSE.

Squishy 💋

I’d say we are all adapting well to being a family of four. Della is obsessed with baby brother and Dylan is such a good dad.

All 4 of us at a winter festival – Peep lil Leon in the front 🥰

But with all that is good, it’s also so very stressful. As much as I love this life I’m so blessed with, I also struggle with an immense yearning for a life outside of motherhood. I wish I had more family that offered to help or just take the kids for a day. I will admit I’m very jealous of other moms that have support from their family. Not to say we don’t at times, but not nearly what I’d always expected or hoped for before I had kids…

Christmas is around the corner, so that’s always something to look forward to. This time of the year truly is the best and being a mom and bringing the light and joy of Christmas to my family is so very special to me. I’m planning to have a family Christmas photo shoot here soon- I will post when I get around to doing that 🤪

Until next time, stay safe & happy holidays!!

Everything is broken.

Not everything. But sometimes it feels like it.

Phone is broken. Laptop is broken.

I’m 9 months pregnant, so every part of my body feels broken.

Heh heh.

But really.

So for now I’m limited on what I can really post – I can’t type on my phone it’s so broken, let alone take any pictures. Things have been very simple around here and my onscreen time has gone down significantly.

But I’ve also really noticed how much of a tool I use my phone as.

I’m not talking about Facebook scrollin’, but I do keep my calendar in my phone updated. Other tools I use on my phone that I’m now really struggling without is the calculator and text messages. I keep a lot of lists and notes in my phone, too, so I’ve been walking around aimlessly it feels like.

How does anyone that works a regular full-time job have time to run any errands without using up personal time or vacation? I don’t have the time during the day to run to the cell store and get a new phone.

Looks like society is a bit broken, too.

Autumn Welcome

I love the fall. It’s the time of year that has the best weather and most fun activities. I’m a total autumn junkie – count me in for all of the fall activities. Pumpkin patches, bonfires, football games, hayrack rides, all of it.

So today the weather here in central Illinois is a bit cooler than it has been. Last week the heat index all week long was over 100 degrees. It’s currently 66. So I’m LOVING IT.

I know that there are some people out there that DO NOT want to welcome autumn the first week of September, but I wouldn’t mind if we welcomed it the first week of August! I’ve been trying to keep my excitement and desire for the new season at bay, because my fiancé likes to relish summer for as long as possible, but I’ve had my fall decor up for over a week now and I’ve already been to the store for some new candles. This morning I put my pumpkin scented wax melts in the burner and that combined with the cool air has me feeling SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! I’ve also been cleaning the house today, so the level of comfort I’m in has me feeling so relaxed and energized at the same time, if that makes any sense. There’s just something about a clean house that cures my anxiousness and calms my nerves.

What kind of season lover are you? Do you hold onto summer for as long as possible, or do you jump into fall at the first opportunity?