Today Brock Turner was released from jail, after serving 3 months of a six month sentence for rape. This man was arrested for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. A woman he didn’t know. A woman who was not able to say “no”. During his trial his family pled the court to excuse his actions. That a 20 minute mistake shouldn’t “ruin his life”. Brock Turner is now a free man, but his victim will never be free of the experience. It will color every day of the rest of her life.
Across the country today female bloggers are standing together to say “no more”. No more hiding the experiences that many, if not most women, have had to deal with in thier lives.
The fact is that rape or sexual assault isn’t sexual in nature. It is aggression, plain and simple. It should be treated no differently than physical or mental abuse. We need to teach our daughters (and our sons) that they deserve to be treated with care and respect.
Although I had some distasteful interactions with men when I was younger, I was never the victim of rape or sexual abuse. But I have had to deal with other uncomfortable situations that were sexually aggressive in nature. I’ve been the victim of obscene phone calls, and many years ago my children and I were visually assaulted by a flasher in our own yard. These incidents left me feel unsafe and vulnerable.
We need to teach our young men that no means no. That they do not have the right to wolf whistle or jeer at women on the street. That a drunk young woman isn’t able to give consent. That women deserve the same respect they wish for themselves.
We need to teach our young women how to keep themselves safe. Unfortunately we must warn them that the system will look for ways to blame them if something horrible does happen. Why were you drinking? Why were you dressed like that? Why did you lead him on? It sucks, and it needs to change.
My very, very favorite statement on sexual assault is this YouTube video, comparing rape to tea. So simple, so easy to understand. Please take the time to watch, and share with your kids. It’s important. Consent. It’s as Simple as Tea