Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer, was sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside of a party in January, 2015. The father of the rapist, Dan A. Turner, wrote a letter regarding the appropriate punishment for his son. The letter has been heavily criticized as the father appears to have no remorse for his son’s actions and instead blames the victim.
Dear Dan A. Turner,
Let’s get this straight: your son is a criminal, not a victim. He committed unspeakable acts to an unconscious girl without her consent, yet you are only concerned about the well-being of your criminal son. If you think that your son has it hard can you imagine the emotional and physical effects that your son’s victim has to deal with? She still lives with the traumatic memories of what your son did to her and will forever be affected by his actions. Yet, you think it is a tragedy that your rapist son doesn’t enjoy steak anymore? She is likely fearful to even enjoy a night out with her sister again or leave the house alone at night because of what your son did to her. The effects of the crime, which your son solely committed, are absolutely nothing compared to what his victim has to live with.
The “20 minutes of action” which you reference in your letter was rape, a serious crime punishable by law in the United States. It wasn’t positive, consensual sex but rather a violent assault on an unconscious victim. If your son didn’t want to deal with the legal implications of his crime he shouldn’t have committed it in the first place. It is appropriate that your son receives the severe punishment of registering as a sex offender and serving jail time because he committed a severe crime! Your son is an adult who needs to understand that actions have consequences, he can’t commit an unspeakable crime and expect no punishment. Not only that, but your son receiving an appropriate punishment under the law would be justice for his victim. The victim would at least get some peace of mind knowing that your son would have to serve time in prison for actions and that precautions would be taken to protect others from being similarly violated by him.
Before your son can be a teacher and a leader to other college students, he first needs to understand what consensual sex is. Within that mere “20 minutes of action” you referenced earlier, you could have had a whole talk with him on consensual sex and respecting others. Only understanding consent could have prevented the rape from ever occurring, as it was solely your son’s fault. No lectures about: “alcohol consumption”, “sexual promiscuity”, or “binge drinking” from your son are necessary because it was not the victim’s fault that your son decided to wrongly take advantage of her. She was not asking for it and by no means was it her fault that your son decided to violate her on a fun night out with her sister. Had your son acted as a mature and responsible adult that night, the crime would have never occurred and he could have instead helped the unconscious girl out.
People like you are the reason that rape victims are afraid to come forward to law enforcement and the public with their story. By standing up for your son, you have perpetuated rape culture and ensued victim blaming. You need to own up to the fact that the crime was completely your son’s fault and that he needs to deal with any consequences that come along with it. No matter how highly you may think of your son, he committed this crime and it was not at all his victim’s fault. Stop standing up for your rapist son, but rather give support to his victim and apologize for what your son did to her. You are a poor excuse for a father as you fail to recognize the harm that your son has committed upon another person.
A Decent Human Being