An Open Letter To Brock Turner And His Family

Dear Brock, Carleen, and Dan Turner,

It has been over two weeks, and despite another tragedy happening in the world, your names still constantly appear in the news and on social media. The world, myself included, is outraged at you. Why? Because all of you made a terrible situation worse.

Brock, when faced with the ability to come clean, you instead tried to find a way to shift the blame and refused to take responsibility. You admit something did transpire Jan. 18, but never admit to sexually assaulting your victim. Maybe you can't admit it to yourself yet, or maybe you genuinely do feel that because you were drunk, your actions are excusable. But it does not matter that you were drunk. You still did it.

I ask you, did you ever really consider the consequences of your actions? Not for you, but for her. From where I'm sitting, it looks like you didn't. Because if you had, you would have put yourself in her shoes. You would have imagined what it was like to wake up in a hospital only to be told that you were possibly raped that night. You would have imagined what it would be like to not remember anything, but still feel violated and in pain. You would have imagined what it would be like to be inside a body that suddenly doesn't feel like your own. You would have thought about all the confusion, pain, and suffering that you caused someone else. You would have realized that she is the true victim of this situation, instead of trying to play victim yourself.

Your unfortunately lenient sentence has provided you with another opportunity; raising awareness. Right now, you say that you will advocate against drinking and party culture. I hate to say it, but drinking and party culture are not to blame here. Plenty of people can party while still keeping it in their pants; people can be drunk and realize that taking part in sexual activity with someone who is not in their right mind is wrong. Rape culture is to blame here, because deep down, you felt entitled to this girl's body.

If you really wanted to make a difference, you would speak out against sexual assault. So in your short time in jail, think about what you did. Apologize for your actions. Denounce sexual assault in all its forms. When you are out, start an organization that helps educate the public on sexual assault. Dedicate your life to making a change. Because of your forgiving sentence, you have been given an opportunity, use it.

Mr. and Mrs. Turner, I have no idea what it is like to be a parent, but I do happen to have two pretty great ones. I do not know what it would be like to hear that my child committed a horrendous crime, so I can't even imagine the pain you two must be feeling. However, as parents, it is your job to educate, to teach your children how to make up for their mistakes and accept responsibility for their actions, even if it causes you and your child pain. Instead of doing this, you did everything in your power to make sure your son would not have to take responsibility. You tried to shield him from all the pain and suffering he caused someone else.

Mr. Turner, you referred to Brock's sexual assault as "20 minutes of action," all but emphasizing the fact that your son felt entitled to a woman's body and that he grew up with this entitlement. You tried to make people feel pity for your son because he does not enjoy his usually foods, instead of realizing that Brock brought this on himself.

Mrs. Turner, throughout this whole process I was curious to know what your response was. As a woman, I was hoping that maybe you thought about the victim and tried to convince Brock to take responsibility. I was wrong. I'm sorry that you don't have the heart to decorate anymore, but your son sexually assaulted someone. It does not matter that he was a college athlete with no prior convictions; he committed a crime. Somebody's first murder is still considered murder, so his first crime is still a crime.

To the both of you, I hope you realize why Brock's punishment should have been harsher. I hope that when Brock is released from jail that you encourage him to take responsibility for his actions instead of continuing to paint him as a victim. I hope that you apologize to the victim and her family. I hope that you help him start an organization raising awareness about sexual assault.

In a few months, the three of you will again have the opportunity to do the right thing. I honestly hope that you do.


A female college student

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