CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault. If you would like to talk to a counsellor about rape, sexual assault or domestic violence, give the people over at 1800 RESPECT a call on 1800 737 732.
The father of the former Stanford University student who received a paltry six month sentence for the sexual assault has attempted to argue that his son shouldn’t have to pay such “a steep price” for “20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life”.
Brock Allen Turner, 20, was last Thursday sentenced to six months for the sexual assault of a heavily intoxicated woman in 2015. His extremely lenient sentence (the maximum is 14 years, while prosecutors had pushed for six) has prompted widespread criticism, including from the District Attorney Jeff Rosen. In his official statement, he said:
“The punishment does not fit the crime. The sentence does not factor in the true seriousness of this sexual assault, or the victim’s ongoing trauma. Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape.”
Yet Brock’s father Dan Turner believes this sentence to be too steep a price.
And as you can see, she’s highlighted what is perhaps the most despicable part of it: his father describing the sexual assault of a woman as “20 minutes of action”.
— Michele Dauber (@mldauber) June 5, 2016
The “education” Dan Turner refers to is Brock Turner’s plan to establish a program for high school and college students to teach them about campus drinking culture and sexual promiscuity. Not consent. Not assault. Campus drinking culture and sexual promiscuity.
It appears that neither father nor son actually, truly gets it.
“Campus drinking culture,” said the woman in her victim impact letter, which went viral over the weekend. “That’s what we’re speaking out against? You think that’s what I’ve spent the past year fighting for? Not awareness about campus sexual assault, or rape, or learning to recognise consent. Campus drinking culture. Down with Jack Daniels. Down with Skyy Vodka. If you want talk to people about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realise, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.”
The woman, now 23, said that Brock Turner had done “irreversible damage to me and my family during the trial.”
“If you think I was spared, came out unscathed, that today I ride off into sunset, while you suffer the greatest blow, you are mistaken. Nobody wins. We have all been devastated, we have all been trying to find some meaning in all of this suffering. Your damage was concrete? stripped of titles, degrees, enrolment. My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”
If you haven’t read the woman’s incredibly powerful letter and would like to do so, you can access it here. Please be warned that it is heavy, sobering reading, and comes with a big content warning from us.
Source: Twitter / @mldauber.