The Brock Turner Case & a Call for Rape Culture’s End

The justice system, no matter how flawed it truly is or how good it may seem to be at times, is supposed to protect the innocent and victims through their various forms of abuse.   Justice is what we seek, and when we see a failure of justice portrayed in the world, it causes us to speak out.

Money, status, race, and the background of a person should not allow for easier ways out of one’s crimes.  The news about Brock Turner receiving 6 months of prison with probation for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman near a dumpster located outside of a frat party has heightened the blood pressure of many of those who learn about it.

In January 17, 2015, a fraternity party was held near Stanford.  A woman’s sister asked her to join in on the party.  dumpstersShe was not sure of her own alcohol tolerance and became drunk. Brock joined the party at 11 PM and also became drunk.  He kissed several women and even tried to get together with the woman’s sister.  Eventually he made his way to the intoxicated woman who’s next memory was of waking up in the hospital.

The victim didn’t have much information on what happened to her, but she saw articles of herself deemed as an “unconscious woman” and continually tried to piece the night together.  Her boyfriend received a call from her the night of the assault, but couldn’t make out any of her words, as they were so warbled.  He was concerned for her and didn’t hear from her until after she left the hospital with her sobbing sister.

Brock said that he didn’t even know the victim’s name.  He certainly entered the party looking for sexual action if he kissed a few girls that night.  Perhaps he tried to get with the other girls who all denied him the pleasure he sought.  He made his way to one who was unable to fight and push him away.  It is important to read the victim’s full story in a 12 paged court statement.  Her words are very powerful and hard to read.  She gives a full explanation of what her medical exam was like when she woke up at the hospital.

“I want to remind you, the night after it happened he said he never planned to take me back to his dorm. He said he didn’t know why we were behind a dumpster. He got up to leave because he wasn’t feeling well when he was suddenly chased and attacked. Then he learned I could not remember. So one year later, as predicted, a new dialogue emerged. Brock had a strange new story, almost sounded like a poorly written young adult novel with kissing and dancing and hand holding and lovingly tumbling onto the ground, and most importantly in this new story, there was suddenly consent. One year after the incident, he remembered, oh yeah, by the way she actually said yes, to everything, so.”

Brock Turner did penetrate the victim with his fingers and was not gentle which caused abrasions.  Perhaps the judge didn’t sentence him further because she wasn’t penetrated by his penis, but that should not make a difference as she was highly violated.  He was stopped before it went further as two Sweden graduate students named Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson rode their bikes past the scene and noticed a man moving around while the woman wasn’t, which was odd to them.  One said, “When he got up we saw that she still wasn’t moving at all, so we walked up and asked something like, ‘What are you doing?'” Brock then ran off as the two men pinned him down until the police came.  Brock was released on bail.

Definition of rape

  1. an act or instance of robbing or despoiling or carrying away a person by force

  2. unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent — compare sexual assault, statutory rape

  3. an outrageous violation

Turner, Brock
Brock Turner’s father has spoken up in defense of his son.  We may assume that any parent would be in shock to find out what their child has done that is unlike the person you thought you raised him or her to be.  He states that his own son is unable to eat his  favorite foods such as steak.

When a person is caught for their actions, it is thrown in their face, they are embarrassed by the people finding out the truth about their lives, and they are punished, even if only for six months; the time in prison can cause them to think about what they did.  Brock hasn’t really made it seem like what he did was wrong at all and he makes excuses.  His own father makes excuses for him which just encourages Brock to think lightly about what he did. He has not taken up action for his own crimes yet.  Perhaps the fact that he is having a hard time, is no longer a student at Stanford, will be a sex offender for life, and has lost his career goals will make him continue to blame the victim instead of himself.  We can only hope that in time he’ll realize he did wrong, apologize for it, and try to change how he treats women.  We can only hope he won’t repeat his mistakes and do worse when he gets out of prison.

“I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have
nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning.”

Only 20% of college campus assaults get reported
.  This particular assault receiving such heightened exposure will hopefully cause many men to rethink their actions and see the pain and emotions that are left behind due to the rape culture.  Women should not have to live in fear as this victim in the news does.

Action steps:
1. Teach your sons about rape culture and the raw truth about its horrors.  If a person is not alert, you definitely have no right to be intimate with them.
2. Teach your sons to respect women, value them, and to care for them as intellectual humans rather than an objectification of gratification to their sexual longings.
3.  Teach your sons about consequences and that if they are to do wrong against another person, they may lose so much of their life’s potential.  Teach them to think out their decisions before making them.
4. Teach your children that when they are of legal age they can drink, but to be responsible and to learn their limits (Brock Turner was underage and the victim was of legal age).  Teach them that drunkenness doesn’t make it okay for them to make poor judgement decisions or violate a person, and that there are also dangers and harm that can come out due to being drunk.
5. Teach your children to look out for others and to call out wrong when they see it, even if it is a friend or if they think it is none of their business.  They could save a life.
6.  Sign petitions (1 and 2) in reference to removing the judge who gave the light sentence to Brock Turner.

[photo credit: 1 | 2]


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