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From the Affirmative Consent Project Editors: There has been so much news about the Stanford Rape Case, Brock Turner and the Survivor of the Assault, that we've started a running page of news and coverage as we find it:
Below are the first articles that came out. We added the feed above to keep up all the latest news.
‘Rape culture’ is mainstream
Stanford University student and Olympic hopeful swimmer Brock Turner was convicted on three felony counts for raping a 20-year-old woman on campus and was sentenced to only four months in a county jail because, as the judge put it, “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.” Maybe you saw the T-shirts that — parodying MasterCard’s marketing tag line — called taking drunk women home “priceless.” Or the recent attempt to ban skinny jeans to stop boys from teasing girls for wearing “tight” pants. Or the banners fraternity members hung on their houses to proclaim themselves “freshman daughter drop-off” zones. You’ve seen headlines that call rape “sex,” as if it were consensual. You’ve heard song lyrics that basically say “no means yes.” You’ve read about worries that a rape conviction will ruin an athlete’s future, as opposed to the survivor’s. And about celebrities who are given a pass, over and over again.
That’s rape culture. It’s not a new concept. It’s the toxic mix of myths, excuses and justifications that surround — and perpetuate — sexual violence. The fact that rape culture is now understood as a thing is a good thing. A game-changer, in fact.
Why Educating About Consent Is So Important
There have been some reprehensible reactions to the rape trial of Brock Turner, his father’s first and foremost among them. Turner himself never apologized for his violent actions; he apologized for drinking too much, an excuse many people are fixated on. Wonkblog highlighted a study that showed a major underlying problem for why attitudes like Turner’s (as well as his friend who wrote an infamous letter in his defense) are widespread:
Oklahoma State University professor John Foubert, who designed his school’s rape prevention program, asked a group of first-year fraternity brothers in a 2007 study whether they’d ever raped someone. They all said no. Foubert changed the phrasing, however, and 10 percent of first-year brothers reported they’d penetrated a woman against her permission.
All The Protesting May Have Paid Off Because The 'Stanford Judge' Has Been Removed From Another Rape Case
It didn't take long for Internet to explode in fury after Judge Aaron Perksy sentenced 'The Stanford Rapist' Brock turner to only six months in jail. The anger over an inappropriately mitigated sentence was then compounded by Turner's victim's powerful and heartbreaking letter in which she described, in excruciating detail, the trauma she'd experienced over the past year. Letters scolding Turner and his sympathizers flooded the Internet and outraged survivors called for Persky's removal. Now, it looks like all the protesting may finally pay off, and the California judge will be facing the consequences of his recent decisions.
7 Ways To Carry On The Conversation The Brock Turner Survivor Started
Whether it was because of the horrendously short prison sentence received by Brock Turner, the rapist in the Stanford rape case, or the intensely beautiful, brutal, brave letter read to Turner by his victim, the court case will now be one of the defining moments of 2016. It's attracted huge media attention, rage across all forms of social media, intense discussions in politics, and pledges to do better. But, like all media storms, it is gradually draining away, quickly overshadowed by new atrocities. The conversation started by Brock Turner's survivor has been an extremely positive, angry, powerful one: how can we keep it going?
It's not as simple as just talking about it long after the cameras have gone home. Turner will go to jail, the think pieces will dry up, the victim will wake up every day with her unbelievable burden, and we'll all wonder what else there is to say. To engage with rape culture on a constant and vigilant basis means being attentive. It means listening to the way people talk about rape, about sexual assault, about victims and perpetrators, about deserving it and safety, and what affirmative consent actually means.
Hillary Clinton Praises Courage Of The Victim Of Brock Turner Sexual Assault
“I was struck by its heartbreaking power,” Clinton said of the woman’s letter.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton praised the victim of a heinous sexual assault at Stanford University for penning a moving and widely read letter of her horrifying experience.
“I was struck by its heartbreaking power,” Clinton said Wednesday of the woman’s account, which detailed how one of the school’s top swimmers, Brock Turner, sexually assaulted her while she lay unconscious near a dumpster outside a fraternity. As harrowing as the letter was to read, Clinton said it was critically important for victims to speak out and help shed light on a problem that college campuses still need to address.
“It took great courage and I think she has done an important service for others,” Clinton said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “What I’ve heard about this case is deeply concerning. It is clear campus sexual assault continues to be a serious problem. And I’ve said before and I will continue to say it is not enough to condemn it. We must find ways to end it.”
Read the Angry Letter a Juror Who Convicted Brock Turner Sent to the Judge After He Learned of Turner’s Lenient Sentence
In March, a jury of 12 unanimously convicted 20-year-old Stanford swimmer Brock Turner of three counts of sexual assault after he was found assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. On June 2, Judge Aaron Persky handed down a lenient sentence of six months, of which Turner will only be serving three.
Since then, the case has gained unprecedented attention and Turner’s light sentencing has sparked outrage to the point that a movement has started to recall Judge Persky. And now, for the first time, a juror on the case has spoken publicly.
There’s Another Way the Stanford Survivor Could Find Justice
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Brock Turner, otherwise known as the Stanford swimmer, was convicted in March of sexually assaulting a woman while she was unconscious behind a dumpster. Although he faced fourteen years in prison, he was sentenced earlier this month to six months in a county jail and probation.
To this day, Turner has not taken responsibility for his actions. His father and friend have written letters that could serve as instruction manuals for rape culture. Judge Aaron Persky, who presided over Turner’s sentencing, incited public outrage when he indicated that he had reduced Turner’s sentence because incarceration would have a “severe impact” on him: “The question that I have to ask myself is,” he said, “is state prison for this defendant an antidote to that poison? Is incarceration in prison the right answer for the poisoning of [the woman’s] life?”
Biden on sexual assault: Without consent, 'it is rape'
Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday that alcohol is never an excuse for violence against women, a week after the nation was outraged after a Stanford University student was sentenced to just six months in jail after sexually assaulting a woman.
Biden said in a speech at the United State of Women Summit hosted by the White House that just because a woman doesn't verbally protest doesn't mean consent, "and if you cannot consent because you are unconscious, it is rape. It is rape. Period."