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Brock Turner symbol of wider issue

California Department of Corrections

California Department of Corrections

“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside of me. And that’s why we are here today.” These were the unfortunate words of a very strong young woman, composed in a letter that was published on June 3.

On January 17, 2015 a young woman was sexually assaulted outside of a fraternity on Stanford University’s college campus. She planned to go to a party with her younger sister, who was visiting from out of town. After consuming a large amount of alcohol, the victim became unconscious. That being said, I am in no way insinuating that what happened to the victim was at all her fault. We as a society are supposed to feel obligated to help people, and not take advantage of them.

Two Stanford students on bicycles witnessed Brock Turner raping the unconscious woman and immediately intervened, but what was to lie ahead for the victim was a never-ending road to healing and the understanding that what happened to her, is anything but her fault.

In June 2016, the rapist, Brock Turner, was up for a fourteen year jail sentence to serve for the molestation count. When it came time for the court case to be settled, the victim stood and valiantly read a letter that she wrote to Turner about how the rape had changed her life, an event that now will forever be deeply embedded in her mind.

Soon, letters were sent to judge Aaron Persky from family, defending Turner’s’ actions. This is when the media responded with an uproar. In particular, a letter was sent from Brock Turner’s father sent into Judge Persky, arguing that being put in jail for a crime he most certainly committed would have a “severe impact” on Turner. Judge Aaron Persky agreed, and sentenced Turner to only six months in jail. He was recently released after three months in jail, due to “good behavior.”

Most of us know the story, most of us know what Brock Turner did. I cannot begin to explain to you how upsetting that this story is to me. It is the epitome of privilege in America. I cannot help but think about how this story would have played out differently had Turner been a poor minority, instead of a rich white boy who has clearly had almost everything handed to him in his lifetime.

In Turner’s father’s letter to Judge Persky he spoke of what Turner did as just “twenty minutes of action.” But I strongly disagree. You do not rape someone on a whim. You do not do it with little thought. It is planned. Sure, what his father refers to as “twenty minutes of action” do not hold true to all of what makes Turner who he is, but it is an extremely significant part of who he is. It is a direct representation of his morality, and his core values, which are obviously highly skewed. You don’t get props for only raping one person in your life. You may win gold medals for swimming, but you don’t win them for sexually assaulting someone, and you don’t win them for ruining the rest of a person’s life.

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