Tracie Aldridge was 19 and at a party in her home town of Stirling in Scotland.
Like so many of us at parties when we were 19, she was drinking. Maybe she’d been dancing. She had people around her, friends. They might have been drinking out of red plastic cups and listening to music too loudly.
She fell asleep on the couch. We all know: drinking will do that to you.
While Aldridge was sleeping, 22-year-old Jordan Binnie approached her with a sweeping brush he’d found in the apartment.
He pulled her shorts to one side and assaulted her.
Aldridge didn’t wake up. She had no idea what had happened. She only found out she’d been raped with a broomstick when she saw the video on Snapchat the following morning.
Binnie’s friend, Fraser Anderson, 22, had filmed the whole thing and shared it with his friends.
We didn’t know Aldridge’s name until today. What we knew was bad enough: she was the 19-year-old who woke up to discover her whole world had watched as she’d been sexually assaulted.
But, today, she’s waived her anonymity.
Because Anderson and Binnie have received their sentences and Aldridge feels she’s been “betrayed by the system”.
On Thursday, Binnie stood in front of the Falkirk Sheriff Court and admitted to sexual assault. He has a record of violence and psychological assessments suggest he’s likely to commit future acts of violence.
For penetrating Aldridge with a foreign object while she was sleeping, Binnie received 12 months in prison and he’s been placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
The other man involved? The one who could have stopped the act, but instead chose to film it?
Anderson received an order of 225 hours of community service. He will not serve jail time and his name won’t be listed on the sex offenders’ register.
“Shoplifters get heavier sentences than they got,” Aldridge told The Central Scotland News Agency. “I’ve been through two years of hell.”
“I’m waiving my anonymity because I’m so angry with the light sentences they got, but Fraser took my anonymity the minute he uploaded it to social media — and he got community service. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I just think it’s a joke.”
Taylor Swift’s response to sexual harassment gives us hope. Post continues below.
“Fraser Anderson could have stopped it, but instead he live-streamed it to Snapchat,” Aldridge continued. “Everybody who knows me in this area saw it.”
“They ruined my life, I’ve had two years of torment, and my life’s never been the same since it happened.”
It’s like the Stanford Rapist all over again.
A young woman, in a state of extreme vulnerability.
A young man, who thinks it appropriate to take advantage of the situation. A sexual predator who causes irreversible, unimaginable damage.
Later – two years later in this case – a court sentencing is delivered, too light to fit the damage. A result that adds to the trauma, and does little to deter.
“It’s absolutely atrocious. How can they get off so lightly?,” Aldridge’s mum also told the news station. “And why was Fraser Anderson not put on the sex offenders’ register when he filmed somebody, for fun, being sexually assaulted, and put it everywhere for everybody to see?”
“The police did a good job, but the Crown let Tracie down.”
If you’re experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence, call the 1800 RESPECT 24-hour national helpline on 1800 737 732.