Early on January 18, 2015, two graduate students at Stanford University stumbled upon a naked young man on top of a half naked young woman behind dumpster at 1 a.m. Quickly realizing what was happening, the two students pulled the man off the woman, who lay unconscious, and held him until police arrived to arrest him. That man was Brock Turner. The media has labeled Brock Turner in the headlines as anything from "[former] Stanford student-athlete" to "[former] star swimmer" to "Olympic hopeful." But, never has he been labeled in a headline as "RAPIST Brock Turner." The woman who Brock Turner assaulted was unaware of what had happened until she came to consciousness in a hospital bed, and was told what had happened. On March 30, 2016, Turner was found guilty of rape, with a sentencing date set for June 2. On June 2, Turner was sentenced to ONLY 6 MONTHS in prison for his actions. After just three months, Turner was released from prison on account of "good behavior." Now, I'm no expert on rapes, the justice system, or anything like that, but as an outsider looking in, there are a few, without a doubt, messages that WE ALL need to realize from what had happened.
Rapes need to be taken more seriously in the U.S.
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), of every 1000 rapes:
-344 get reported to police
-63 of said reports lead to arrests
-13 of those cases are seen by prosecutors
-7 cases will lead to a felony conviction
-ONLY 6 rapists will be incarcerated
Now, whether or not you rejoice over the fact that Turner is a part of that 0.006%, you cannot argue that more needs to be done to help bring rapists to justice. Per these statistics, we can conclude that rapists walking our streets is a terrible thing. A study published in 2002 by David Lisak and Paul Miller concluded that rapists commit an average of 5.8 rapes. There is an alarming amount of serial rapists walking free if only 0.006% of incidents lead to a conviction.
Moreover, part of the reasoning behind Turner's release was that prison would have a significantly negative affect on the rest of his life. All rapes need to be treated the same. He doesn't deserve a lighter sentence, just because he had a promising future. He showed he didn't have any regard for his future through his actions. But, the former part of this paragraph leads me to my next point.
The affect rapes have on the victim is not recognized enough.
The fact that Turner was released from prison so that his future would be unharmed is...for lack of a better term (and to keep my rage PG), bonkers. In reading the victim's letter that she read to Turner in court, it's easy to determine that the negative affect this situation has had on her is unmeasurable, and she's not alone. Just how Brock was labeled by media, she was, too. And for some sick reason, Brock's labels showed merit, but all her labels showed were "rape victim." For the rest of her life, she will live with the identity of "rape victim." It is part of her identity, just how Turner has a lifetime membership to the sex offender registry. However, she didn't choose this. Granted, her decision of getting belligerently drunk that night wasn't the smartest, but don't you dare try to blame her for what happened.
.............WTF "Justice" System?
In the midst of what might be the most conflicted time in American history, in terms of social constructs, this enables the "white, male privilege" theories. We will never know what truly influenced the decisions to be light on Turner, but that does not mean we can't learn from this. There should be clear-cut consequences. "Years or months" should not be an argument when deciding the length of a rapists conviction. The prosecutor pleaded for 6 years. Turner instead got 6 months, which turned into 3.
Guys, this story is borderline a nightmare. No matter what you believe in terms of politics, religion, etc., we can all unite in trying to fix this ongoing issue. Rape needs to be a more sought after issue to be fixed. We can bring an end to this. Let's bring light to this epidemic, by comforting those afflicted by this issue and attacking those who commit these violent acts.