Brock Turner: The Face of Injustice

Brock Turner: The Face of Injustice

Stanford rapist to be released Friday.
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The anticipation for Friday comes with the satisfaction of closing your laptop on a hard work week and piled up homework, kicking off your sneakers to slip on your nicer outfit, and dancing your tush off at Brick Street. We all love Fridays, hell there's restaurant professing the love for Fridays!

But this Friday is different. In just a few hours, Brock Turner will be released from prison....three months early.

Turner was arrested in 2014 after two male students who were biking saw him behind a dumpster sexually assaulted an unconscious female at Stanford University. The young woman remains unnamed, but she addressed Turner directly in her trial statement, confirming his crime. “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today," she said. Not only that, but Turner went an extra step further and snapchatted the breasts of the victim to friends after attacking her, because raping her lifeless body wasn't degrading and disgusting enough.

Turner was originally charged with five felony counts: rape of an unconscious person, rape of an intoxicated person, sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious woman, sexual penetration by foreign object of an intoxicated woman, and assault with the intent to commit rape.

From there a trial began, which you knew would happen based on the fact that beforehand he was released on $150,000 bail.

During the trial, Turner was convicted for three of the five charges, including: assault with the intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an unconscious person, and penetration of an intoxicated person.

Now, before we get to the actual punishment Turner received, I'm going to leave this with you. The average jail time in the United States for a convicted rapist is between 8 and 9 years.

Turner himself could have been sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. However, Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky only sentenced him to six months. Though Persky announced, following Turner's case, that he will no longer going to oversee criminal trials, it's a bit to late to right the wrong of Turner's b.s. sentence.

So after only serving three months in prison of his six month sentence, as well as being generously moved to solitary confinement to avoid possible harm, Turner is being released this Friday.

This Friday a rapist will return to the street and Turner's victim will have to live in fear again. In fact, this Friday, all women who have ever been or will be violated and sexually assaulted will have to live in fear again.

There are Brock Turners all around us. The kid sitting next to you in class, your friend's cousin, or your boss could be just like Turner. Only difference between him and Turner, is that there aren't always bicyclists nearby to save all sexual assault victims. Only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assault cases are reported to the police. Turner's early release is so much more than what meets the eye. He was one of the rare ones that was caught, proven, and convicted, yet he got off basically scot-free. Turner represents the lack of justice sexual assault victims receive throughout the entire United States.

So this Friday, Turner will return to his home early. He will eventually get a job and his case will become less and less known. Turner will then look forward to his Fridays like we do, where he closes his laptop and has parties he will attend. Who knows? Maybe he will rape someone else, but won't get caught next time. Turner lived in a short horror story while spending three months in prison, but his victim will live in one forever.

Cover Image Credit: https://tribktla.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/brock-turner.jpg?quality=85&strip=all&w=1200

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.
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They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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