It's been one week since Brock Turner was released from jail on Friday, Sept. 9 after serving just three months on sexual assault charges. Turner was originally sentenced to six months in Santa Clara County jail in California back in June, though he was released for "good behavior." Even though it's been seven days since his release, here's why we should still be talking about Turner.
For starters, Turner faced up to 14 years in prison after he was caught sexually assaulting a young woman behind a dumpster. But his slap on the wrist sentencing landed him just three months in jail. At the end of the day, no matter how many months or years he served, no matter how many days it's been since his release, Turner is still a sexual abuser. More importantly, no number of days, months, or years in a cell would have impacted an individual who doesn't believe he did anything wrong in the first place.
Turner didn't show any remorse over his actions, and his sentencing only prompted Stanford University — his former college — to change their alcohol policies. And now, Turner has offered to speak on college campuses about the dangers of "drinking and promiscuity." That he still believes he didn't violently violate another person's body is why we still need to talk about Turner.
According to RAINN, someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in America. If we think about that number in perspective, that would mean that roughly 5,000 people were sexually assaulted since Turner's release. In that case, it really doesn't matter how well-behaved Turner was while in jail. The fact that victims and survivors of sexual assault continue to watch our perpetrators walk free — without them ever realizing the impact they've had on our lives — is enough reason to keep talking about Turner seven days later, because we all know a Brock Turner.
We can't afford to stop talking about Turner if we ever want to see changes in the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in this world. We can't stop talking about Turner until he realizes the damage he has done to another person's life. We can't stop talking about Turner until people stop apologizing for him. We can't stop talking about Turner until the number of people who are sexually assaulted on a daily basis becomes zero. We can't stop talking about Turner until we all start viewing the people behind sexual assault statistics as human beings.
We can't stop talking about Turner until we are all able to feel safe in our own bodies.
Image: Santa Clara Police Department (1)