I am angry. I am upset. My heart is with the victim of the Stanford rape, as well as all other survivors of sexual assault. I am in shock that there seems to be so little anger in the courtroom towards rapist Brock Turner. I am appalled that someone who committed so heinous a crime has only been sentenced to six months. My stomach is sick as I read the victim’s letter to her attacker, as she describes through her own eyes the pain and suffering she has gone through. Yet, none of this seems to phase Turner as he shows no regret for what he has done. Instead he places the blame on something else. Alcohol. Most know what it is to be drunk, to be a little more giggly or to throw your cares away, but being drunk does not turn someone into a rapist. The intent was already there. Alcohol does not cause rape. Rapists cause rape. Not short skirts, crop tops, or “sexual promiscuity” as Brock Turner places part of the blame. Not alcohol. There is only one person that needs to be held responsible in this case and that is Brock Turner. But he is not being held responsible. He is getting off due to his privilege as a white male attending a prestigious university. Six months for the rape of an unconscious, intoxicated woman? That is a joke of a sentence. There was no way a woman who could not even speak gave consent, so do not even try to say that she wanted to prior or did not put up a fight. She was unable to move, and if the two bikers had not stopped to chase Turner away, he could have done so much worse to her. Yet, he is getting off so easily because of his past as an award-winning swimmer at Stanford. Because if he was in jail for too long, it would have a severe impact on him. What about the severe impact caused by Turner on the rape victim? Turner’s father’s letter to the judge states that his son should not have to pay greatly for what he has done. His “20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life” should not define the rest of his life. Well guess what? Maybe Brock Turner should have thought of what would happen if he raped someone. He took away someone’s dignity. He took away her happiness and caused harm that will always follow her around. She will be emotionally scarred for the rest of her life because of him. God forbid he can’t eat a steak or some of his favorite chips. He was the rapist, she was the victim. There is no need to feel sorry for Brock Turner.
The judge ruling in Brock Turner’s case stated that he would not be a danger to others. Did we forget all too soon the harm he caused to the victim of the case? As of today, Turner is scheduled to be released three months short of his full sentence because in county jail, inmates can get credit for “good conduct” which can shorten their sentence. It is shocking that this rapist can go to jail for three months and then roam free acting like the rape never happened, continuing to blame alcohol. The average rape sentence is anywhere from seven to nine years. Turner did not even get close to that. His sentence is a slap in the face to survivors of sexual assault around the world. It makes it seem like rape is a joke of a crime, and that if you rape someone, you will only get a couple months in jail. No big deal. But it is a big deal and it needs to be taken seriously.
The Stanford case has brought a lot of attention to the danger of sexual assault, and is giving other survivors the strength to speak out. Brock Turner, on the other hand, is focusing on the dangers of alcohol and sexual promiscuity. He refuses to come to terms to what he has done, and is continuing the victim-blaming we know all too well. We need Brock Turner and all the other rapists of the world to know that we will not tolerate this anymore. To the Stanford survivor, I applaud you for your letter and bringing to light the issues that need to be talked about. Your bravery does not go unnoticed and you are a beacon of light for many other survivors around the world.