Sexual Assault Victims Deserve Justice


Courtesy of Santa Clara County Sheriff

Kayla Restivo, Staff Writer

Currently convicted rapist Brock Turner is being released from jail after only serving half of his six month sentence. When he was first sentenced to the 6 months for raping an unconscious woman, it started a lot of protests that called for rapist and sexually abusers to get harsher punishment. Brock Turner was given this light slap on the hand because “he was a good kid and never got in trouble.” Stanford University has one of the highest amounts of on-campus rape cases in the country.

For ruining a young girl’s life, he got 3 months. That’s it. Many other sexual abusers get minimum sentences or none at all and it makes no sense. The victims have to live with this for the rest of their lives and they barley get the closure they need to move on with their lives. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network says that 97 out of 100 rapists do not serve a single day in prison. California has passed a bill that will give rapists mandatory prison sentences if the victim is unconscious or under the influence and can’t give consent.

Being a fellow sexual assault survivor, I know how the victim in the Brock Turners case feels. When I finally told someone after 2 years of repeated sexual abuse, my abuser got no jail time, no punishment, nothing. He was supposed to be a registered sex offender but he didn’t even get that. By not giving any punishment or jail time, it gives the abuser the idea he got away with it and he can get away with anything. Justice is not being served in my case and many other sexual abuse and assault cases and this needs to change. When I was trying to get over all the abuse, I had lived in fear that he would come after me. I’ve spoken at victim’s rights conferences and that was a great way to get my voice out there for change.

There needs to be a call for stricter sentences and punishments for sexual abusers and assaulters. Rape culture needs to end. Do not use rape and molestation and other forms of sexual assault as jokes, it’s not funny. It’s disgusting and rude to those around you who have been through the same thing. Many of us are still trying to cope with what happened to us and we don’t want to hear jokes about something that ruined parts of our lives.

If you or someone you know needs help dealing with or just wants to tell someone what happened or is currently happening, I’m here for you. I’ve been through it and I will listen. There’s also Palm Beach County Victim Services at the courthouse where you can talk to a therapist and/or a victims advocate for free. Their phone number is 561-355-2418. Remember, change only happens when people start saying things and protesting. We can fix this criminal justice system one case at a time.