Rape and Release
by jam20 on October 3, 2016 - 11:51pm
Rape culture and sexual assault is a perennial issue which afflicts college campuses especially. This matter has been rapidly gaining attention due to the outbreak of rape victims who decided to go public with their personal experiences. A recent case which has received significant public scrutiny involves “Emily Doe,” a rape victim who courageously shared how sexual assault affected her. Brock Turner, a former Stanford attendant, raped an unconscious Emily Doe at a frat party. For his crime, he was only sentenced to 6 months of jail time. This verdict resulted with public outrage as many felt the punishment was disproportionate to the crime. The trial has been scrutinized over the unjust consideration of Brock’s position in society and how his privilege provided him with an advantage. It is also concerning that this assault has been illegitimized due to the fact that the victim was intoxicated. After powerful public criticism, an organization called change.org is petitioning a judicial recall of the trial. Other organizations such as the Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, have been urging Stanford to reevaluate and enhance sexual assault policies.
Since 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted during their time on college campus it is important to understand the injustices of sexual assault. The Brock Turner case illustrates that a person’s position in society along with their privilege influences their judgement in a trial. In Brock Turner’s trail, the removal of his swimming scholarship was considered in his trial. Victim Emilie Doe argues that “how fast he swims does not lessen the impact of what happened to me.” If Brock weren’t a white Harvard attendant with exceptional swimming skills would he have received the same punishment? To answer this question, I predicted what the outcome would have been if Brock was a minority who was not attending a prestigious university. County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, claimed that a lengthy prison term “would have a severe impact on [Mr. Turner].”However, I believe that if Turner’s position in society was different, the impact of prison time would definitely not be considered in sentencing. Rape is arguably the most important issue afflicting college campuses. Since it adversely affects so many, it is essential that our society recognizes and speaks out on the injustices of sexual assault and how it is handled. If justice is not served it is our duty as citizens to do something about it because one day it could easily be one of your friends, your family members or even yourself who is affected by sexual assault.
Korn, M., & Jordan, M. (2016). Stanford University Sexual-Assault Case Prompts Backlash. Wall Street Journal, doi: http://www.wsj.com/articles/stanford-university-sexual-assault-case-prompts-backlash-1465343570