Tuesday 21 February 2017

The sad fact is that the overwhelming majority of rapists can get away with it

Lorraine Courtney

Published 09/06/2016 | 02:30

Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS
Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS

In January 2015, a Stanford University student called Brock Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a bin. They were both at a party on campus. Turner could have faced up to 14 years in prison but instead he will serve a six-month jail sentence.

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During Turner's sentencing, the woman read part of her victim impact statement. The statement, a powerful rebuttal of Turner's refusal to take any kind of responsibility for his actions and his decision to blame his violence on the university's drinking and hook-up culture, was initially released last Friday. It has gone viral.

Her statement is raw. It's heartbreaking. "For a while, I believed that that was all I was. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am," she wrote. "That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the All-American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty, with so much at stake. I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt, who waited a year to figure out if I was worth something."

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