While many people have recently been reading articles regarding the Stanford rape case, a lot of anger has been circulating the internet regarding Brock Turner. But this is going to read a bit differently from the rest.
He was found guilty. It doesn't matter which way you twist or turn someone's words, he is guilty. And what really adds the public's infuriation of this case is not only his revolting actions but how those actions were then handled. The bigger picture, though, has nothing to do with Brock Turner or his father, or the lack of a punishment he received. It's about the victim. The woman who was taken advantage of. Every article being shared on Facebook is about how disgusting he is or how his father continues to make ridiculous excuses for him. But what about her? What about what the future holds for her?
This woman will carry that night with her for the rest of her life. She will spend every day overcoming obstacles and anxieties. She will be fearful and hesitant of going out for a run at night or traveling anywhere alone. It's not about Brock and the amount of time that is taken out of his life while he spends time in prison. It's not about the time he will lose, the opportunities he’ll miss, or the setback he will have from reaching future goals. It's about the time she has lost. This is all about the time he took from her. The opportunities he took from her. And how he affected her future. I could care less about his future, whether it results in Brock Turner being in jail for 6 months or 14 years. Because that still won't make up for that night.
She will still second guess herself and everyone around her. She will still be building herself back up long after he gets out of prison. This woman has done nothing wrong, but is the one who is really being punished. Even if Brock Turner was sent away for 14 years, she would still be the one suffering.
It's not about the rapist. We can spend months writing about how nauseating his actions were, but it doesn't change what he did. He can apologize for the rest of his life, his father can apologize for him, and six months from now he will move on with whatever is left of his life. This case, though frustrating, is saying something big. Rape is not just about that one night. It's about that night and every minute after the event occurs. Maybe Brock Turner will think about this every day for as long as he lives, maybe he will feel sick to his stomach about it. Or maybe he won't. But she will think about this for as long as she lives, she will feel sick to her stomach about it, and she will never forget that someone had possession over her while she had no say, whatsoever. We can continue to read Brock’s words or his father’s absurd statements to the court, but at the end of the day, her words should rise above theirs. It is often easier to give attention to the things that anger us, but this time, let’s change that. Let’s move the negative attention and create positive attention for this woman. Let’s spread her words, because what she has to say is something worth writing about. A larger focus on her will create a powerful movement for her. That one night isn't just six months in jail, it's a lifetime. And while he spends the rest of his life trying to fix what he has broken, she will be trying to fix herself.
More people need to realize it's not about the rapist. It should never be about them. He doesn't deserve a second more of anyone's time. I'm sure most of us could sit and write endlessly about how despicable his actions were. But is that really doing anything? Many people are emphasizing on his sentence being completely unfair and unjust. I couldn’t agree more with that, but we should be fighting for something more. Something more than his sentence. Let’s fight to change the endless questions she was asked throughout this battle.
What was she wearing? How much was she drinking? Is she positive that she remembers not saying “yes” or giving consent?
This woman has said how long it took her to talk about her assault. So after taking a huge step to bravely tell her family and friends, the last thing she needed was to be second guessed. This case is so much more than Brock Turner’s next six months - it is about hers.
Let’s fight for her, not him.