Reactions to the Brock Turner Case
June 7, 2016
This post is difficult to write. For those that don’t know, I am a survivor of sexual assault, so recent headlines have hit close to home:
As many of you have seen in the news, a California judge sentenced CONVICTED rapist, Brock Turner, to a mere six months in county jail for his crimes. Judge Aaron Persky’s decision knowingly disregards the state minimum for such offenses. He also commented that he thought imposing a lengthier sentence would have a “severe impact on him [Turner].” … as if this is somehow a bad thing?
The father of the felon issued an absolutely disgusting statement saying that his son had already paid a steep price for “20 minutes of action.”
It’s likely that you’ve also read a statement the victim in this case presented to the court. From what I understand, this young woman bravely addressed her attacker, and candidly & passionately shared how this crime has affected her… For the record, I have not read her statement myself, because I am pretty sure it would be more than I can handle. For this reason, I can’t speak to her testimony but can only surmise that it is brave and powerful.
I pray that her courageous words will help others understand the tremendous impact sexual assault has on a person.
WHAT TO SAY
It’s hard to know what to say about such a blatant miscarriage of justice. I have found myself struggling the last 24 hours, looking for the right words… but, mostly I am at a loss. I am grieving for this woman, and others like her. I am deeply sad and incredibly outraged.
It makes me sick, wondering if my attacker had been a privileged white boy if he would be sitting in jail right now… or if he would have just gotten a slap on the wrist, and be walking the streets today.
In imposing such a light sentence, this judge has effectively said “we need to protect the criminal, rather than the victim” and that “rape is not a heinous offense, which warrants a serious penalty.” This sentence absolutely minimizes the horrendous crime committed:
First & foremost, it minimizes this young woman’s pain, humiliation, and suffering.
And it also minimizes mine.
And. It minimizes the turmoil of 1 out of every 6 people who have been the victim of a sex crime.
Rapists deserve more than 6 months in the county jail. Period.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IMPACTS THE DAILY LIFE OF THE VICTIM
Rape is a terrible, terrible thing. Yes, the direct aftermath takes you through hell & back. But, even years later, it remains part of your life. It has been 3,341 days since I was assaulted- and my life has been impacted every single one of those 3,341 days. Not a SINGLE day goes by when I am not in some way reminded of what happened:
Yesterday, I got a call from a representative of our insurance agency. Last week we went in, and applied for life insurance, and they needed to do a medical screening… A few minutes into the questions, it came up: in the last 5 years have I been treated for anxiety, depression, or other mood disorder. What event precipitated this treatment?
Just like that, there it was. Telling a complete stranger that I have PTSD stemming from a sexual assault in 2007… Feeling treated like this terrible part of my life was nothing; like it was allergies or a bad back.
Things like that can leave you feeling worthless. And they happen all the time. This woman will be significantly impacted FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE.
So, for this judge to worry about how this criminal’s life will be impacted, over the victim’s? To enable him to get “back to normal” in just 6 months is outrageous; he will be home for the holidays this year-ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? There isn’t a strong enough word in the English language to describe my contempt for this appalling decision.
PLEASE STAND ALONGSIDE VICTIMS
There is a petition on change.org asking representatives in California to recall Judge Aaron Persky, and I encourage you to sign it. Stand with this woman, and all victims of sexual assault, and say that his actions are reprehensible.
Let’s send a message, loud & clear, that sex without consent is NEVER okay; that is is ALWAYS rape. Tell the world that it doesn’t matter your race, age, economic background or “who you know,” rape will not be tolerated.
Please feel free to share other ways we might take a stand for this victim & others like her.
IF YOU NEED HELP
If you, or someone you know, is the victim of a sex crime there is help available. Please visit RAINN for some great information; they will also do a live chat or talk with you on the phone.
MORE POSTS ON ASSAULT RECOVERY
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Meet Brian & Katie Dahl, a couple living in New England with their dog Molly. Most of the time you can find us working on our home renovation, or cooking up something new in the kitchen, but our favorite thing is having adventures & sailing... read more.