I’m the type of person that hears the word ‘rape’ and feelings of disgust sit heavy at the pit of my stomach. I can’t even watch the fake rape scenes on television shows or movies without feeling emotional (and I fast-forward or skip those scenes). Now, by no means am I an expert on the subject of rape, but I am aware that the aftermath of this experience can be very detrimental for the victim. The Stanford Rape case is disturbing because Brock Allen Turner, who is the rapist had a lenient sentencing. Also, his father had the audacity to try and paint his son as the victim. Here are some of my thoughts on the case.
To the father of the rapist: Rape is one of the most horrific things ever when other people do it, and it is equally horrible when your son did it, even if it were for “20 minutes”. Those “20 minutes” drastically altered the life of a young woman, who is the real victim in this situation. Had it been your daughter, or family member you would also be upset if the rapist was sentenced for only 6 months in jail. Regardless if it’s your family or a friend, wrong is wrong. And if your family member is in the wrong, you don’t have to say anything publicly, but privately, you should set them straight.
Perhaps you think by speaking up for your son and victimizing him shows that you support him and you’re the best parent ever. Well it’s not helpful at all. It’s dangerous to dismiss the horrible and unacceptable behavior of your son by painting him as a victim. Maybe he acts this way because in the past he’s behaved badly and you let him get away with it. In your eyes, maybe you think your son can do no wrong – BUT HE CAN. And he did.
To the young woman, the real victim in this case: I can only imagine what you’re going through, and in my eyes you are brave. What courage it took for you to write such a detailed letter about your traumatic experience. Your words are felt by many and empowers other victims struggling with the reality of similar experiences. It’s impossible to read this open letter without tearing up, and I imagine you were reliving each moment with every word.
Also, to the two guys on the bikes: Thank you for noticing the obvious. You saw an unconscious woman lying by a dumpster with a guy on top of her, and you stopped it. You also went a step further and reported it.
Finally, to the rapist: You’re not even worth the words I have to say to you. And what I want to say should stay off the record anyway. But I will say, I hope you learn something from this. You may be able to get over in the system, but you have to live with what you’ve done to an innocent young woman. You can’t hide behind alcohol and your daddy forever. At some point, we all have to look ourselves in the mirror, face our wrongs, accept them, and forgive ourselves. But continuing to deny it, isn’t the way to go about this. Better believe that.