And We Still Don’t Care
She was the perfect victim, the woman brutally raped by Brock Turner.
Her story followed all of the cultural stereotypes for a “real” rape: it happened at a party, her rapist was a stranger, she was unconscious, it was at night, it happened behind a dumpster.
Her rape was thoroughly substantiated: there were several witnesses, she immediately got a rape kit taken to collect DNA evidence, her body was full of dirt and pine needles, she had visible bruises, the police were immediately involved (1).
And yet, disturbingly, her rapist Brock Turner is given a light, 6month prison sentence. Big names like blogger Matt Walsh and the drummer from the Good English band are fixating on her choice to drink at a party instead of the heinous crime she is a victim of.
If a women, who experienced a brutal rape that fits all of our cultural stereotypes for what a “real” rape looks like and also has layers of undisputable evidence but was still shorted by the justice system and blamed by society, how do we expect other victims to be treated when their abuse does not fit mainstream society's idea of “real” sexual abuse and they do not have the “luxury” of witnesses present, the option to have a rape kit immediately taken or the police quickly involved?
1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. 3 out of 4 rapes are committed by someone known to the victim like a family member, friend or partner. Out of 1,000 rapes 994 perpetrators will not spend a day in jail (2). Only 2%-10% of sexual assault accusations are unfounded (3).
“A rape with witnesses and the rapist gets a mere 6 months in jail. What does this say to victims who were raped with no witnesses?” -Boz Tchividjian
If we fail a woman with a perfect case against her rapist how can we even begin to support the millions without the “luxury” of visible evidence?
(1) This is the Sandford rape survivor's heartbreaking, written testimony.
(2) Statistics provided by: RAINN
(3) Statistics provided by: Uniform Crime Report, United States Department of Justice and Council on Domestic Violence and Victim Assistance