Why I Have Sympathy For Brock Allen Turner
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Politics and Activism

Why I Have Sympathy For Brock Allen Turner

A steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.

Why I Have Sympathy For Brock Allen Turner
ABC News

Originally, parts of this article were blocked from being published due to the subject matter, but in such a time where this is making national news headlines and the relevancy to college students, I'm glad that I can finally get this out in my own words, raw and (hopefully) uncensored.

In January of 2015, a then undergraduate freshman at Stanford, Brock Turner, was caught raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a party. The case did not go to trial until this March, and the outcome of this entire case is extremely upsetting and unsettling. The jury panel, 12 people, unanimously found Turner guilty of 3 counts of sexual assault. The sentencing? Maximum for the crime is 14 years. What did this former "star athlete" receive? Six months. Six. The judge, also an alum of Stanford University, said that since Turner possessed "positive character references" and lack of a criminal record, he was afraid a harsher sentence would have “severe impact” on Turner, the champion swimmer who aspired to compete in the Olympics, who got an athletic scholarship, the docile, intelligent Stanford undergrad who brutally raped a woman and showed no remorse!

Turner's father gave his own personal statement in court, saying that the entire ordeal has been so incredibly trying on Brock. His deeply moving statement is quoted in full below:

"As it stands now, Brock's life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself. I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldn't be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015. Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.
Very Respectfully,
Dan A. Turner"

Did you read that? That heartfelt letter up there? Who knows more about a person than their own father. Poor Brock can no longer eat steaks, his favorite food! He is a great candidate to educate people on the "dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity," being that he was found penetrating an unconscious young woman under a pine tree behind a dumpster in the dark.

As you can see, Brock has an excellent sense of morality. He has not admitted to anything more than drinking too much that night, despite the fact that there are several witnesses who would say otherwise. In addition, he also fled the scene, leaving the girl he apparently cared for enough to leave her completely incapacitated and naked next to the trash, in the middle of winter no less, when two Swedish grad students (one of which was crying so hard after witnessing the act that he could barely give a police statement) on bikes spotted him and chased him down. He has shown so much remorse. Isn't the publicity punishment enough?

He has no appetite, no sense of remorse, a brandished "sex offender" label on him for life, a ruined reputation as a star athlete and upstanding college student, AND six months in prison! How absolutely ludicrous!

Never mind the victim was stripped of "my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice." Never mind that in newspapers, her name merely became “unconscious intoxicated woman”, ten syllables, and nothing more than that. Never mind that she is a human being who has been irreversibly damaged and deprived of her independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle. Never mind, in her own words, she "became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable…. I refrigerated spoons every night so when I woke up, and my eyes were puffy from crying, I would hold the spoons to my eyes to lessen the swelling so that I could see. I showed up an hour late to work every morning, excused myself to cry in the stairwells, I can tell you all the best places in that building to cry where no one can hear you. The pain became so bad that I had to explain the private details to my boss to let her know why I was leaving. I needed time because continuing day to day was not possible...My life was put on hold for over a year, my structure had collapsed. I can’t sleep alone at night without having a light on, like a five year old, because I have nightmares of being touched where I cannot wake up, I did this thing where I waited until the sun came up and I felt safe enough to sleep. For three months, I went to bed at six o’clock in the morning. I used to pride myself on my independence, now I am afraid to go on walks in the evening, to attend social events with drinking among friends where I should be comfortable being. I have become a little barnacle always needing to be at someone’s side, to have my boyfriend standing next to me, sleeping beside me, protecting me. It is embarrassing how feeble I feel, how timidly I move through life, always guarded, ready to defend myself, ready to be angry….it took me eight months to even talk about what happened. I could no longer connect with friends, with everyone around me. I would scream at my boyfriend, my own family whenever they brought this up….At the of end of the hearing, the trial, I was too tired to speak. I would leave drained, silent. I would go home, turn off my phone, and for days I would not speak. ….I am still learning to accept victim as part of my identity….You cannot give me back my sleepless nights....I have lost weight from stress...I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak."

Lastly, this small consequence for the victim: "...When I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over again she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first."

Wow, too bad Brock was stripped of all his fancy titles. The 23 year old victim, the woman who can no longer sleep in the dark, who no longer feels any self-worth, whose family is completely shattered over what happened to her, the woman who did not find out the details of her own assault until it was reported in newspapers, such a shame. She's just a side effect in comparison to this swimming champion.

Here is where I get to the intention of this article, the real meat on the bone.

I can absolutely sympathize with being unwillingly sought out sexually, victimized, and then dismissed as being a product of "promiscuity." Obviously I have never, and hopefully will never have to, endured the pain and damages this young woman has been forced to go through. But I can absolutely find a (very) small piece of common ground from my own life, that in all honesty, has become just the typical life of a girl.

I have been harassed by several alternative pornographic agencies to "model" for them, despite being aware of the fact that I was (and still am) a minor. Since I didn't want to be impolite or hurt the feelings of recruiters (who were always women who worked for the company), I would never directly say, "no"; I would politely decline, but apparently in such a way that since it wasn't a direct answer, it doesn't count. Apparently, I "led them on because I was polite." Local and federal "crimestopper" agencies dismissed me, told me, "we don't do that." All I wanted was at least a warning to these agencies because I'm 99% certain I'm not the only minor being harassed to join, which literally begs the question, are they knowingly making child pornography?

It feels awful to be discredited and dismissed for something very real and very concerning. But my personal experience with potential child pornography is not what I wanted to talk about in this article. I wanted to talk about the injustice of the outcome of the "Stanford sexual assault case," the pure inhumanity, the distortion of media, the epidemic of campus sexual assault and its dismissal, this justification for rape that the U.S. has created surrounding it.

What happened to this young woman (and how it has affected those around her, especially her little sister), with her whole life ahead of her, is absolutely beyond words for me to describe. The worst words I know could never even begin to describe how incredibly biased, unfair, and frankly, awful, this is. They simply are not in my vocabulary (and I have a very large vocabulary). Ivey, the embittered pessimist who almost never experiences joy in life can't even find fitting words to describe the insurmountable problems with this entire ordeal and how it turned out. That is almost worthy to be a certificate to go on my wall. "Ivey is unable to find words to describe the severity and heinousness of this young woman's case of sexual assault. June 6, 2016."

This is the largest case of injustice I have ever personally witnessed in my entire 17 years of life on this planet. 6 months in prison, for 3 counts of sexual assault? Not to mention the judge would obviously be lenient, based on the fact that he himself is an alum of Stanford University. And Brock Turner won't even admit to it. One of the bikers who chased him down was literally crying so hard he couldn't give a statement after witnessing what he witnessed that cold night in January. And what has happened to Turner? He can't eat steak anymore. Oh, woe is he. Poor Brock's “20 minutes of action” have altered his entire life. I wonder how long a sexual assault would have to last before his father would find it serious enough to be worthy of punishment?

This, really, is just too much to digest. And it goes to show that this is one in hundreds of similar cases, where the perpetrator got off easy because he's a college student who is academically upstanding. Not to mention that about half the time, this tends to go unreported.

A personal friend of mine was raped by their ex, but even before that, their ex had already raped a male, which obviously went unreported for the mere reason that the man probably felt too ashamed and emasculated to even admit that it happened. For months after my friend was raped, they bathed in only scalding hot water because they felt so dirty. They couldn't muster the courage to report it, since the police are kind of known for not taking rape victims seriously, especially if it's not immediately after the incident. Seeing as rape is seen as shameful in our society, and that we value "untainted" women more than the average woman, I can absolutely see why they didn't pursue any legal action. Who wants to admit to that and have to relive the nightmare again and again?

Only they weren't the only one to be raped by this individual. The next time, however, the victim was drugged first. Neither of the victims were able to report this to authorities.

Rapists don't change. It only escalates. The fact that Brock Turner got such an easy sentence is extremely alarming. With the amount of time he got, the victim won't even have enough time to file and process a restraining order against him or a civil suit for damages, and he could come back right out of jail to finish the job. Yes, I mean kill her. What did he expect to do after raping her outdoors in the dark? Actually take her back to his dorm and help her until she woke up? Of course not. At best, he would have left her there, exposed to the elements, gone back to his comfy dorm and gone to bed feeling satisfied having got off on an unconscious woman, or another unthinkable hypothetical, back inside to the party, because who cares? To him, she literally held the worth of garbage. Maybe even less than garbage, since he is such a "good kid," he probably doesn't litter. If anything, once he gets out of jail, he'll just get smarter and figure out how to rape girls and actually get away with it.

Writing this is actually painful for me. I feel guilt just for the words I am writing, yet, these are valid thoughts that have most likely gone through Turner's mind. Teardrops fall on my keyboard as I type this. I feel so guilty to put these notions out in the open where anyone can read this raw interpretation of events and forecast of possible outcomes.

However, things like this is how we have been raised, as women in American society. The guys get off easy, the police don't take you seriously, to even admit you were raped is too shameful to do. We are taught to be ashamed to report a violent crime. And even if we do, what do we get? Nothing. No closure. The perpetrator goes to jail for a little, gets a legal title on his record, and is free back into the world to go out and do this to more girls. Through these highly publicized cases, this is how we're silently taught to stay passive, to simply dismiss these extremely damaging traumatic events. We don't speak out. It's too horrible for words.

This victim's statement is the most eloquent, powerful, raw, and compelling piece of anti-rape culture advocacy I have ever read.

Which is why I am writing this, right now, through every teardrop, every awful hypothetical I can think of, every graphic detail. It has to be spoken about. One time is not enough. I must try my best to put this into words as best as I can. As women, we simply cannot stay silent anymore. This culture we have grown up around in America is inexcusable, and needs to stop. Every grisly detail need not be spared.

It is too important to ignore.

It is too important to censor, to label, to dismiss.

Below is a link to sign a petition to recall Judge Persky, who is running unopposed for judicial re-election in a week, from his judicial position. Even the Santa Clara County D.A. finds his sentencing to be unjust and not fitting the crime.

Sign here: Petition to Recall Judge Persky

Finally, below is a link to the full statement from the victim, which she herself gave to Buzzfeed to post untampered and unchanged.

Full 12-Page Statement To The Judge

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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