Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them. The study of victimology seeks to mitigate the perception of victims as responsible.
It sounds awful. It sounds wrong. It shouldn’t happen. So why does it?
We need to stand together to make the world a safer place for women (and men, men can get raped, too, let’s not forget) to come forward and tell their story. We need people to come forward so that the authorities can arrest and punish the criminals.
We have all seen the Stanford University student, Brock Turner, who despicably was only given 6 months but will be out in three. I’m not even going to go into how appalling this is. I’m not going to mention how disgusting it was that American newspapers had the audacity to victim blame and praise Turner’s accomplishments. I’m going to name and shame instead:
Criminal: Brock Tuner – I have no time for you crying over how your life is over. Did you ever stop to think that your victim’s life is ruined too? How her mental health will be with her attitudes to relationships, to men? Her physical health for those days or weeks after your attack on her? You can’t even say sorry and it just demonstrates the level of male privilege you’ve been raised under.
Over-caring dad: *Hasn’t released his name in embarrassment* Turner – your comment is diminishing of the crime your son has committed. You can love your child and still want them to be punished for their crime. What if this had been the other way round? What if it had been your daughter on the ground, unconscious and being abused? Would you be satisfied with 6 months?
Judge: Aaron Persky – Wow. You have no backbone, do you? Hope your career gets as abused and as violated as the Victim’s body.
But I want to thank the anonymous victim.
Thank you for going to court. Thank you for writing a letter and I’m sorry Judge Persky ignored it. I hope you get better physically and in time can find the strength to move forward mentally. I hope this doesn’t take a toll on your future relationships as it does to so many other victims. Mostly, thank you for standing up for yourself and making a noise, accepting that you were drunk but that still doesn’t make this your fault. You have opened the door for so many girls and women to kick up a fuss for the sexual violence which is accepted and silenced in our two nations which pride themselves for being ‘Great’. Thank you for making sure that more than just Stanford heard about this.
This isn’t an American issues, this is a global issue. I hope that one day you will get justice but I know America has laws against double jeopardy. So I hope one day that Brock turner has the guts to actually understand the severity of his crime and apologise to you. You deserve to know that he knows he did wrong. No amount of time in prison will fill the part of you you lost that night but we all know 6 months is not enough.6 months and out in 3 is enough time for him to return to Uni as if nothing happened, that’s not going to ruin his life, it’s putting him at risk of a few prison fights, that’s nothing compared to what you have suffered. You deserve justice.
This case has made big news but it’s not the only one. I know from my circle of friends that sexual assault to women, in particular, is silenced and kept among close friends who hug you and try and help but it’s not enough. Victims don’t want to go to the police because of cases like this. By letting Turner get away with it, the courts have silenced more victims and prevented more criminals from being brought to justice.
It’s not just penetrative rape, all sexual assault needs to be brought to justice. From the disciplinary action against the boss slapping his female colleague’s bum to the boyfriend who rapes his girlfriend because ‘she wanted it last week’.
As Brock Turner didn’t understand that he was raping the Victim, he’s a video explaining what consent is, in case you were too stupid to work it out for yourself.
This is possibly the most British way the police could’ve have found to explain consent. Watch and listen. If someone said ‘No’ to tea, you wouldn’t make them drink it. Why would you make someone have sex when they said ‘No’?
One day, I hope we live in a world where victims feel they can come forward. One day I want to live in a world where 100% of confirmed rape cases are convicted rather than just 5.7% and prison time for rape/sexual assault is a given.
One day, I hope we’re not even discussing rape and instead teaching our children about love and respect.