The Lack of Severe Punishment in Contemporary Sexual Violence Crimes

It has come to my attention that within the past year or so there have been several cases of sexual violence involving a female who has been violated unwillingly by a male with such cases failing to receive appropriate judicial punishment in regards to the male perpetrator. It is arguable that the most recognized sexual violence case of 2016 is the Brock Turner case, in which a male student at Stamford university raped an unconscious female and was given a mere six month prison sentence, which he only served half of due to good behaviour.

The judge in the Turner case, Aaron Persky, is to blame for this ludicrous sentence. Persky, who happens to be a former Stanford athlete, felt sorry for Turner and justified his ridiculously inappropriate sentencing of Turner to his jury by explaining how Turner had been subjected to excessive media coverage and furthermore had the audacity to explain that Turner could not be held accountable for his actions because he was intoxicated at the time of the incident.

The outcome of sexual violence crimes such as Turner’s are incredibly alarming for victims of these very crimes. For a victim of sexual violence to witness how Turner’s case played out, with Turner being considered the victim rather than the unconscious woman he raped, victims of sexual violence will undoubtedly refrain from coming forward with their stories due to a fear of victim blaming, in which they themselves are held accountable for what happened to them rather than the individual who attacked them. These cases set an incredibly dangerous precedent for individuals wishing to come forward with their stories and they furthermore generate a societal recognition that sexual violence cases simply fail to be taken seriously by the judicial system.

What gives? What more can sexual violence advocates to do prevent cases such as Turner’s from being inappropriately categorized and unpunished? This trend is disturbing, and I fear what it may be indicating for the future.

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