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Deshaun Watson Accuser’s open letter says Cleveland Browns deal a ‘crushing blow to survivors everywhere’

USAHis name is Lauren Baxley. On March 11, I sat in a secure room with five other women who testified that my abuser, Deshaun Watson, also assaulted them. Several women have had civil lawsuits against him; some do not. For the women without civil representation, any hope of justice or authenticity had gone up in smoke in the hours that passed. While our experience may vary slightly in detail and severity, we share the hope that he will be stopped — that he will somehow not be triggered. or encouraged to hurt more women the way he hurt us.

That day, after spending eight hours with my own anxious and pounding heart, and the collective trauma detailed in the police report, I was expecting the indictments. . Prosecutors lead me to believe that they need jury consent to indict Watson for indecent assault, which is a misdemeanor. That was not the case, and they let us down.

What’s more, choosing not to charge Watson with our testimony — which has been deemed “very credible” by prosecutors and detectives who have handled our criminal cases — has opened the door. unleashed a wave of abuse, slander and libel about us on the internet. The worst of all the women haters came out, claiming no bills to prove that we were “prostitutes” ever.

The day before the grand jury convened to hear our corroborating evidence, someone named Coby DuBose tweeted his speculation that our plaintiffs would be charged with “mild prostitution,” which This would be “funny” for our attorneys. His purported proof that we were sex workers was based on the fact that many of Watson’s victims worked and resided in Houston. DuBose has gone so far as to declare that his vile lies are “popular sentiment”. Drew Davenport, defense attorney and employee of “Footballguys,” responded to these tweets by saying “Great stuff.” When prosecutors and juries failed us, tweets and comments of that nature multiplied exponentially.

As someone who has faithfully strived to maintain the highest level of professionalism and who has – in all my career – has never experienced the type of behavior exhibited by Watson, such remarks not only Infuriating and untrue, they are completely shifting the blame from a serial predator onto unwitting and unwilling women.

As someone who has faithfully strived to maintain the highest level of professionalism and who has – in all my career – has never experienced the type of behavior exhibited by Watson, such remarks not only Infuriating and untrue, they are completely shifting the blame from a serial predator onto unwitting and unwilling women.

I’ve worked with dozens of professional athletes over my decade-plus career as a massage therapist, and there hasn’t been a single session before Watson turned sexual in nature. I have worked with dozens of television and film actors through comic book conventions, and no man has yet come into contact with me or physically assaulted me in any way before Watson.

The hatred towards women was evident, it was nauseating and dehumanizing. Yes, Watson is the perpetrator of these crimes. However, a thriving system allowed him.

On the contrary, I have also read comments and outrage in support of me and other women. Watson’s record-breaking $230 million contract, in which he was actually recruited after being abused, was another blow to survivors everywhere. Testimony is proofand two dozen women testified under some form of oath to his conduct and attacks.

In addition, the absence of charges or convictions does not mean innocence. Watson, his fans, and the Cleveland Browns pretend to be not only ignorant but evil. I’m going to include a certain NBA player along with other disappointing excuses from men who in one breath can bring awareness to the struggles of black women who are marginalized. marginalized society, and in the uplifting ode to a man who has abused dozens of surnames.

I would never expect a public figure to take the side of Watson’s victims. However, I ask anyone with a responsibility to maintain basic ethics to simply shut up and log out of Twitter when they want to show his support.

I struggle with using the words “victim” or “survivor.” I hate being called the victim. Like all women, Watson has hurt, there’s so much more to me than he’s done. I had a life before him. “Survivor” implies that we will make it alive. It is hard to believe that my life has meaning when the Texas legal system, and many NFL franchises, speak otherwise through their actions.

I struggled with the feeling that non-existence would be easier. Many survivors share these feelings, and some of Watson’s fans have expressed that they want us to be raped, imprisoned or killed. Crimes against women are revered more than they are prosecuted for.

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Cleveland Browns winger Deshaun Watson #4 is introduced by general manager Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski during a press conference at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus on March 25, 2022, in Berea, Ohio.

Nick Cammett / Getty

I speak out today in an effort to create more dialogue around sex crimes. I speak out to further highlight the flaws of the legal system that does not provide adequate protection or support to victims. I voice my gratitude to individuals who have expressed frustration with organizations that support men who actively and intentionally destroy women’s lives for their amnesiac pleasures. .

The Browns’ owners insist they were “very comfortable” with Deshaun Watson before handing him a record deal. I’ll admit, Deshaun Watson also made sure I was comfortable before he set a trap and attacked me during a massage he promised in advance to be “professional” and “non-sexual.” . That’s what ambush predators do. They disguise themselves as something that they are not.

If no one insists on asking Deshaun Watson to seek professional help to deal with his addiction now, I fear he will continue this destructive path for the rest of his life. The accounts of abuse and assault given under oath only scratched the surface of his downfall. For the sake of women everywhere, I really hope he finds a way to stop.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/a-deshaun-watson-accusers-open-letter-cleveland-browns-contract-a-crushing-blow-to-survivors-everywhere?source=articles&via=rss Deshaun Watson Accuser’s open letter says Cleveland Browns deal a ‘crushing blow to survivors everywhere’

Russell Falcon

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