Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexual assault in June, is now a free man. That’s right. He only served three months of a six-month sentence.
This man raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and people who happened to be passing by stepped in to get him away from her, and keep him subdued while they called police. She was violated in a terrible way and wrote a heartbreaking letter about it, which was read to him in court, but Turner got off because the judge said a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on him. His father isn’t much better, saying his son shouldn’t be punished for “20 minutes of action.”
Here’s part of the letter written by the woman he raped:
I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.
Turner’s the poster boy for why women don’t report their rapes. They rarely go to trial and when they do, a guy could get a slap on the wrist. People caught him in the act of raping her while she was unconscious, she had to learn horrible details about what happened to her through the news reports, but she has to fight for a trial?
Rape culture only recognizes how a male offender’s life will be impacted, not the victim’s. Their rapists have futures, while survivors merely have pasts.
The team at Bustle put a video together, asking rape survivors how they feel about Turner’s short sentence. They also go into some detail about their sexual assaults and how it severely impacted their lives. Meanwhile, Brock Turner is serving a three-year probation sentence with his parents, at least one of whom doesn’t even seem to realize that his son committed a heinous crime.
I’m going to totally break journalistic objectivity for a minute and tell you that I hope he breaks his probation. I hope he will actually be sent to a prison (he served his time in jail). I hope that he spends years behind physical bars that are nothing like the prison her mind must seems, at times, after what he did to her.
I hope you’ll watch this video and understand that rapists are getting away with too much. I also hope you’ll keep fighting with us to make these cases visible, so the system will be forced the change.