Dear mom, sister, wife, brother, husband, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, classmate, neighbor, co-worker, coach, teacher, community leader, the list goes on....
It's disgusting. I agree. I couldn't express how ultimately disappointed I was with our legal system in this case. I could not put into words the feeling of disgust I have when I see forums on Reddit in support of Brock Turner, as if he is the true victim in this case. If there is anything he is the victim of, it's falling under the false impression that alcohol and the "college scene" are the true motivators behind sexual assault. There are a variety of theories that have been discussed and analyzed by news media outlets as to what went wrong in this case. The unknown woman who has bravely addressed her assaulter released her statement for the world to see, and hopefully, gain some perspective from. Brock Turner's own father released a statement in defense of him, hoping others would gain perspective from it as well.
What I have to say to those who feel either connected to this case through personal experience, or simply because they themselves could be a statistic, which is 1 out of every 5 women, or know someone dearly who could be harmed in such a way is...
For example, educate yourself with the facts.
- One in five women (20 percent) will be sexually assaulted while at college while only 4 percent of college men will be sexually assaulted. You can make a difference: take photos to share resources with sexual assault survivors. Sign up for Support for Survivors.
- Most college victims are assaulted by someone they know.
- 42 percent of college women who are raped tell no one about the assault.
- It is estimated that only 5 percent of sexual assaults on college campuses are reported, making sexual assault the most underreported crime.
- Rape results in about 32,000 pregnancies each year.
- 4 out of 5 rape victims subsequently suffer from chronic physical or psychological conditions.
- 40% of rape survivors develop sexually transmitted diseases as a result of sexual assault.
- Campus perpetrators are often serial offenders.
- Over a third of women who are raped as minors are also raped as adults.
- Rape survivors are 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than are people who have not been victims of a crime.
Statistics provided by dosomething.org
Spread Awareness. Not talking doesn't help. Shoving this reality to the side isn't going to bring the percentage of women, and men, assaulted down. By not instigating a conversation, we don't allow room for growth, but rather give perpetrators room to commit such heinous crimes.
Teach the men and women in your life to never fear feeling shame or embarrassment from being assaulted. Let them know they have trustworthy people to reach out to and count on. Teach them never to blame the victim and to understand consent once and for all.