• Subscribe to The Spark

    A curated newsletter full of dinner-table worthy topics, thought provoking stories, promo codes and the spiciest memes straight to your inbox.

Open Letter to the Women Defending Rapist Brock Turner From a Sexual Assault Survivor

3 min read

by Isha Das

To all the women defending Brock Turner,

The case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner has been widely publicized, covered by the news and media, sparked great debate and generated a lot of criticism.

The letters the victim and Brock’s family have written to the judge and to each other are now used as examples of rape culture and the effect sexual assault has on a victim. The crime in itself, is horrifying, as are the callous details of it – Brock taking pictures of the woman’s exposed body and texting it to his friends, his father referring to the RAPE of the victim as “20 minutes of action,” the lie that Brock had never had trouble with authority before, and the despicable, borderline pathetic sentence that Turner has to serve as a sex offender. However, as a woman, and as a survivor, nothing has jarred me more than your response towards this crime.

Heinous as it sounds, Turner’s denial of the crime and his father’s support of these actions are deeply rooted in patriarchal entitlement. It allows them a lot more freedom in the way they conduct themselves and the repercussions they face. It is an atrocity that they have the gall to defend such a disgusting act.

However, when women start to defend, or deny his actions, it is a rude, unwanted wake-up call for the rest of female society.  Perhaps solidarity and empathy are a right that even our own gender won’t grant us.

Mrs. Turner, your letter to Judge Persky paints a picture of a wonderful, obedient, calm child, unlikely to grow up to become a sex offender. What your letter fails to address is that he is indeed one. Now that same child must face the consequences of what he has done. I have no doubt that the Brock you speak of in your letter was a wonderful child, and your account of his interactions with his near ones are the truth. However, the same “nice guy” who “wouldn’t stop smiling” was nice enough to send inappropriate photos of his unconscious victim to his friend group. I’m sure he was smiling through this too.

[Read Related: An Open Letter to Stanford University Rapist, Brock Turner]

Your letter describes how the verdict would destroy Brock and “be a death sentence for him.” Mrs. Turner, were you aware that according to Rape Response Services, victims are four times as likely to contemplate suicide, and 13 times more likely to attempt it? Do you know that there have been times we try to scratch the skin off of our bodies because we can still feel our assaulters touching us?

Lydia, as Brock’s ex-girlfriend, you mentioned that his verdict astonished you. He helped you learn a lot about yourself and the person you could be.

“He never once pressured me into any situation or any decision that I didn’t feel true to myself in.”

Don’t be too astonished, though. Brock didn’t pressure the victim into anything either. That would imply he kept asking her or made her have sex with him while she had the ability to give consent, but alas, she was already unconscious. He didn’t have to convince anyone except himself.

You claim you never saw yourself writing this letter, and that “pain was inflicted on an undeserving soul.” Allow me to tell you that the pain of a sexual victim is scarring. It changes the core of who you are as a person, and that being drunk and not able to say no doesn’t mean that the pain of being assaulted is deserved.

What if either of you were in the same position the victim was put in? What if the family of your attacker didn’t even acknowledge your existence and instead defended your assault? How is it that being women, you cannot sympathize with the victim? Maybe it was this environment of rape culture which allows Brock to think his actions are reasonable. Maybe you are in denial.

Whatever it is, rape, assault, and other such incidents need to stop being justified and seen for what they are. I hope for your sake, and for the sake of women and survivors everywhere, that no woman ever has to face the same denial and justification for their assault that this victim had to.

Sincerely,

A woman and a survivor.


isha das

Isha Das is a sharp-tongued, big-eyed, Indian-American woman with dreams larger than life itself. She enjoys writing, learning about animal rescue stories, and aims to pursue a career in defense law to help the underprivileged and fight for those who can’t help themselves. Her dog Simba is her lifetime companion.

xpornplease pornjk porncuze porn800 porn600 tube300 tube100 watchfreepornsex