Brock Turner, the 20-year-old Stanford rapist, walked out a free man after serving 3 months of a 6-month prison sentence. He was convicted earlier this year of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster.
People around the world were outraged by the mild sentence Brock Turner received, and this outrage was heightened amidst the recent revelation that the rapist only served 3 months of his sentence.
Brock Turner had attended a fraternity party, made the decision to become intoxicated, and then later made the decision to prey on a female and rape her while she was unconscious. All the while, he thought nobody would notice by choosing a spot where he believed he would not get caught: behind a dumpster in an alleyway. Fortunately, for the survivor of the attack, two grad students had been riding their bikes and noticed Brock Turner raping an unconscious woman and they immediately attacked him, forcing him to stop.
The survivor of the attack pressed charges against her rapist, hoping for justice. However, the outcome was, in fact, the opposite. Brock Turner did not display an ounce of remorse or regret and instead, he made the decision to blame his actions on alcohol. Brock Turner decided to blame the drinking culture on college campuses. This is a quote from Turner’s statement to the judge “I want to show that people’s lives can be destroyed by drinking and making poor decisions while doing so. One needs to recognise the influence that peer pressure and the attitude of having to fit in can have on someone.” Additionally, Brock’s father released many statements claiming the sentence his son received was “a steep price for 20 minutes of action.” It is evidently clear that Brock Turner doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions, nor does he hold himself accountable as a rapist, instead he has chosen to distance himself from his actions.
The law is meant to serve justice, and by serving justice we set a precedent for the future. However, the justice system has failed the survivors of sexual assault, and it is through cases like Brock Turner, where it becomes evident that there is a problem, particularly, when a system sides with the rapist and not the survivor. There is a problem within our culture when rapists get a slap on the wrist by the justice system. Brock Turner is not only a rapist, but he is a thief as well. His conscious decision to rape a woman stole the survivor’s sense of security, her peace of mind, and her identity, which she is now forced to rebuild and relearn. His actions have stolen the sense of safety from women all over college campuses, his case set the precedent for the future, as rapists understand that, like Brock Turner, they will get a slap on the wrist for their actions if they are caught.
It is a dangerous reality that rapists, such as Brock Turner, are allowed back into society after serving a mere 3 months in jail. Hence, it is of great importance that we take action against rape culture by creating a dialogue around campus sexual assault. It is vital that survivors feel safe and secure when reporting sexual assault, and there are dialogues around safe sex, consent, and rape. The Brock Turner case was just one more example of how the justice system failed survivors of rape, however, with the outpour of resistance and protest across the nation, it is evident there is a future of change that will decimate rape culture.