Dear Future President,
Every year “only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators [of sexual assault] will end up in prison.” (rainn.org). This statistic is alarmingly high and should not be the case. There needs to be more defined laws and jail sentences for these crimes. There should not be any legal loopholes when it comes to sexaul assault and rape.
It is taught to women and girls that they shouldn’t dress with revealing clothing because it might “send the wrong message” or be “asking for it”. The problem with this idea is that girls should be comfortable in what they wear without fear of being assaulted or harassed. People often use this as a loophole because it is a way to blame the girl instead of taking the blame themselves. The saying “boys will be boys” is commonly used to justify the actions of guys who harass or assault girls. Instead of telling girls how to dress, boys should be taught what is wrong and right and to act in a respectful manor.
On January 18, 2015 a former stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, was found on top of an unconscious half dressed woman behind a dumpster. The woman woke up in a hospital with no knowledge of what had happened or why she was there. She later found out the gory details of the night by reading an article written about it (Grinberg, cnn.com). Turner would have faced a maximum 10 years in prison for three felonies: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person (Xu, stanforddaily.com). The victim asked that Turner get no less than a year for the trauma he had caused her. Judge Aaron Persky gave Turner a six month sentence with three years probation. Because Turner turned 21 in jail, by some California law he was let out after serving three months.
The victim of the Brock Turner sexual assault case suffered severe trauma from this case that she explains in a thirteen page letter. She was unable to speak about her assault for eight months after it occurred. The amount of time Turner served was not nearly as much as he should have. Brock Turner took advantage of this woman’s body by taking away her privacy and rights. The victim of this assault has to live her entire life with looming thought of this man rapping her and only serving three months. Many victims also developed severe depression and lifelong side effects of these crimes.
I find sexual assault a very serious topic because of how common it is. When someone is sexually assaulted, they often believe it was their fault in some way and become depressed. It usually takes years for victims to recover from their assault and feel comfortable talking about it. Meanwhile perpetrators do not go through nearly what these victims do, even if they do serve time. When perpetrators do not get time or caught, it is often because of a loophole, or minor thing that changes the whole case. In Brock Turner’s case it was considered a less violating felony because the act was done with fingers not a sexual organ. This was the loophole Turner’s attorney found to make his sentence shorter.
Some people perceive sexual assault differently than others and don't realize the way they are acting is sexual assault. This makes it a “gray area” to some people. I think this gray area needs to be changed and sexual assault should be clearly known what is or is not crossing the line. If people do not know what is considered sexual assault they might think they can get away with something, while really violating someone’s privacy.
The example of Brock Turner’s case is one in thousands that ended unjustly. Almost all perpetrators find a loophole in their case, making them serve less time or none at all. These loopholes need to be fixed because sexual offenders are getting off easy while their victims go through an incredible amount of pain. Once again there needs to be more defined laws and jail sentences for these crimes.