I have read countless blogs and news articles about the Brock Turner Trial. The “Standford Swimmer” whose father says that 6 months of jail time and three years probation are “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”
For once, I feel that a story, in a sense, relates to mine. For the past 11 years, I have had countless nights and days of tears and arguing with myself that my RAPIST just made a mistake. This was all a huge mistake. He didn’t mean it. I shouldn’t have drank so much. Even after numerous conversations with my husband where he reassures me that my rapist is the bad person here, especially because HE LEFT ME ON THE SIDE OF ROAD WITHOUT MY UNDERWEAR and SOCKS, I had a hard time finally accepting this piece of my assault. I was found covered in leaves and dirt and wasn’t conscious until I woke up in the hospital…and here I am still debating with myself because the of the stigma of rape culture.
Now because yet another RAPIST has taken advantage of yet another woman and is getting away with a sentence similar to that my own RAPIST received, I find that a hard chord has really been struck inside my soul. Looking at the incident from the outside, I wish that he would get a much worse sentence than six months in jail and three years of probation. No matter what, raping that girl was a decision that he alone made. He took a piece of someone’s life that they will never get back. It will always be something in the back of her mind, poking and prodding to find a way out into her subconscious and overtake her life. It will be something she will be depressed over, something that will cause anxiety, intimacy and relationship issues. It will keep her up at night. It will have her so scared to go to another party only to fear that something like this could happen again. It will not allow her to trust people. It will make her feel like she is worthless and unlovable. It may make her want to die.
All because of a choice which was not hers. She never said “yes” to any of this.
We all know what is right from wrong. There is no way that she would have been able to give consent, so why the hell does that give someone else the right to get “20 minutes of action”? Those exact words from Brock Turner’s father give me the chills. He doesn’t seem to even care about the victim, her struggles or her family…because in sexual assault cases, there is never just one victim. Family and friends of the victim often face their own struggles in the aftermath. I know that mine struggled tremendously. My rape was a hard thing for all of us to overcome.
Stories like these are the reason why sexual violence needs to come to an end. They are also a call to action for our legal system to reevaluate and enforce harsher punishments. Turner’s sentencing only helps the argument that other victims should stay silent.
Well you know what, Brock Turner, you may only be in prison for 6 months, but welcome to your own social media hell.
My final thought is about an important lesson which I learned throughout my own healing process. While it may seem simple, it’s incredibly important. No one’s story about sexual assault is inferior to any other survivor’s. I cannot stand that media only picks up on certain stories regarding this topic. I am not asking that every rape case be covered by the media, simply because there are far too many to do so. However, if someone isn’t raped at an Ivy League school by an Ivy League athlete, the media tends to turn a blind eye, making victims question what’s the point of coming forward to authorities. Also, what’s point of coming forward as highly publicized cases such as this one only results in the rapist getting 6 months in jail? My story has no connection to an Ivy League university or an Ivy League athlete, so to much of the mainstream media, my story is not “important.” But I disagree. My story is important. It’s important to know if you have sex offenders in your hometown. It is extremely important to realize and acknowledge that these things are happening in both small towns and large cities so that you can teach your kids the importance of consent. Sexual violence is not going to go away until we decide to make a change and teach the next generation of children about consent, sexual violence, and how to prevent it.