It was just earlier this month (Sept. 2 to be exact) that Brock Turner was released from jail after serving only three months for sexual assault. The news that Turner would serve a short sentence was a shock to many, and sparked outrage throughout the country. How could someone who was convicted of sexually assaulting someone walk free so quickly? Turner's light punishment has encouraged women across the country to come forward about their experiences, including Delaney Robinson, a sophomore at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who decided to release her name after accusing a fellow student of rape. The man she accused turned himself into authorities and was charged with sexual battery and assault on a female, according to CNN. He and his lawyers have refused to comment on the case.
Coming out into the open about sexual assault can't be an easy thing to do, but Robinson credits it in part to her reaction over Turner's consequences. She told ABC News, "It definitely added some outrage to my will to go forward. It motivated me." She also said she found inspiration in Turner's victim's letter. "That brave girl spoke out — she said something great about giving others hope," she said. "So it definitely influenced my choices," reported ABC News.
Another factor in her decision to come forward is how long it's taken to press charges on her alleged assailant. Robinson claims she was raped on Feb. 14, and filed a report on March 9. The man she accused of the alleged assault, Allen Artis, was not charged until Sept 13. He has turned himself into police and has not commented on the allegations.
Robinson's claims about how her report was handled is pretty disturbing. In the press conference where she came forward about the accusations, she said that when she reported the alleged rape, the investigators questioned her like a suspect, while treating Artis, a football player at the school, like a pal. She said they asked her:
"What was I wearing?" "Did I lead him on?" "Have I hooked up with him before?" "Did I often have one night stands?" "Did I even say no?" "What is my sexual history?" "How many men have I slept with?"
According to People, she also said she watched a video of investigators questioning Artis, which she alleges went a little differently.
My humiliation turned to anger when I listened to the recorded interviews of my rapist by [the Department of Public Safety]. Rather than accusing him of anything, the investigators spoke to him with a tone of camaraderie. They provided reassurances to him when he became upset. They even laughed with him when he told them how many girls' phone numbers he had managed to get on the same night he raped me. They told him, 'Don't sweat it — just keep on living your life and playing football.'
The school has said that they're taking Robinson's comments seriously, but also that it is unable to comment. "While the University is aware of allegations made today ... under federal privacy law we are prohibited from responding."
Since the case is ongoing, we'll have to wait to see how it pans out. But hopefully as women see others continuing to speak out against their alleged assailants, they'll be inspired to do so themselves.