The Brock Turner case has really caused an uproar on social media and the internet in general, and to be honest, it would make no sense to not write about it at this point.
I have been struggling with my thoughts about this case for about a week.
As a survivor of sexual assault myself, this case has definitely roused a lot of feelings for me. I’ve been trying to figure out how I could possibly write a post about it without it being a huge mess of emotions.
But I realized it doesn’t have to be unemotional, simply because this case is full of emotion.
Don’t skim or skip through it — I know it’s long, but you need to read it.
If I learned anything from Brock Turner’s case, it’s that as a survivor, my voice matters.
Recently, people took to Twitter with the hashtag #IWasRapedToo, to share their stories and stand in solidarity with rape survivors in light of the Brock Turner case.
Most of the tweets are people bravely sharing their story for the first time ever, and supporters showing empathy and saying to survivors, #webelieveyou.
In my tweet, I said that being a rape survivor myself only adds to my fury about Brock Turner’s far too short sentence, because it silences the voices of rape survivors and says that they don’t matter.
What I can’t get past is the fact that it’s blatant rape — she was unconscious and obviously not consenting — and still, the judge gave him a minimal sentence because it would “have a severe impact on him.”
So his sentence was reduced because the judge felt the rapist shouldn’t have to suffer.
Never mind the fact that he has scarred his victim for the rest of her life.
Never mind that the thousands of survivors of rape out there are seeing this happen and being told that their rapist’s suffering matters so much more than theirs that they can get off with a fraction of the sentence they deserve.
It really does show how our society treats rape.
Let’s back up for a sec — there’s been some confusion about what exactly he was convicted of.
Brock Turner was convicted of the intent to commit rape of an intoxicated unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person. He was originally charged with rape, but after DNA tests those charges were dropped.
So he was not convicted of actual rape — he was convicted of the intent to rape, because under Californian law, “sexual assault” and “rape” are two different things. For someone to be convicted of rape, there needs to be penetration by the penis, which Turner did not do.
Now Turner has to register has a sex offender and is supposed to serve six months of jail time, with the possibility of three months based on good behaviour.
Somehow, he’s seen as less of a rapist because he didn’t penetrate with his penis.
And that’s screwed up.
In Canada, sexual assault is sexual assault. There’s no specific difference between rape and sexual assault in the law.
And to me, that makes way more sense.
I highly doubt that my experience of rape where a penis did penetrate is “worse” than that of Brock Turner’s victim’s. In fact, I really don’t understand why there needs to be a comparison at all.
It’s just freaking wrong to do anything sexual to someone without their consent!
And that’s why I hate how easy Brock Turner got off.
He got away with it, with barely even six months if he can pull off good behaviour, because he didn’t really commit rape.
The funny thing? When I was raped, there was penetration. A penis went inside me and I didn’t want it there.
And I still didn’t think it was rape.
This is evidence of rape culture.
With that short of a sentence, the experiences of hundreds of survivors is minimized.
It tells us that even when it’s blatantly obvious, the courts don’t have our back.
Even when it’s crystal clear, we still have to fight tooth and nail just to be heard — barely.
I am so proud of Turner’s victim for writing that letter.
Because of her, I know my voice matters. I know that writing about my sexual assault matters because there are so many of us who get shut down.
And if we don’t fight, well… who will?
I don’t know you, but I’m with you.
Knowing that we are on our own in this fight, whoever you are, whether you are Brock Turner’s victim or a different survivor completely, I want you to know: I am with you.
It doesn’t matter what happened to you, and it especially doesn’t matter who did it to you — black or white, rich or poor.
Between you and me, I’m never backing down.
What are you thoughts on the Brock Turner case?
This post is linked-up at: