In the world we live in, girls need to be taught how to hold their keys in between their knuckles, where to park, and how to enjoy a party without falling victim to a possible attack. However, these tactics were left in the dust when Stanford athlete, Brock Turner, raped a young woman beside a dumpster back in January of 2015. Disregarding overwhelming evidence, the judge gave Turner six months out of a possible 14 year sentence. However, the grossly insufficient punishment didn’t stick because on September 2, 2016 he was released from jail after serving half of it. Turner got a disgusting yet welcoming response from universities offering him the chance to speak on drinking and promiscuity. These offers are only further perpetuating the idea that the alcohol and the victim were to blame for the assault.
For those unaware, Turner was caught by two men raping his victim as she lay unconscious on the concrete. During the trial, he became the textbook definition of the unapologetic assailant, by pointing blame at everyone and everything else but him. He even went as far to say she gave consent, despite her having no recollection of the assault. Though the jury read through his cowardly lies, the judge startlingly seemed unable to grasp the extent of his actions. Now, three months after Turner’s indictment, this monster is allowed to walk free while the rest of our nation is left confused and angry.
It’s terrifying to me to see the same world telling us how to be safe, is in the same breath covering the problem. Throughout the course of the trial it was no mystery what he had done, but the voices in his defense constantly belittled the attack and instead blamed the alcohol, party atmosphere, and the victim for putting herself in a vulnerable situation. This case is an example as to why girls must take extra precautions to protect our safety. It seems that no matter how brutal the incident is, we constantly get told how the victim is at fault for the attack. Many people rallying in his defense cried the same excuses we hear every time a case like this surfaces. For example, “she put herself in the situation”, “he was drunk,” or my personal favorite, “she was basically asking for it.” How does anyone truly believe she wanted to be violated, bruised, and publicly humiliated?
With all this ignorance being thrown around, at some point we need to take a step back and realize how harmful victim blaming truly is. Not only are young girls being told they don’t matter, but boys are made to believe that to be violent, controlling, and abusive is normal and okay. The colleges should be ashamed for offering Turner a chance to be a hero when he never admitted to being a villain. The universities may think they’re getting behind the problem, but in reality they’re just fueling it.
Written by Liliana Reyes