Brock Turner's case is now pretty well known to us all: the Stanford rapist was sentenced to 6 months in prison for three counts of sexual assault on an unconscious woman at his University. Justly, this outraged people internationally and the case caught fire online, propelling not just conversations of America's flawed justice system into the spotlight, but also issues of white privilege, male privilege, and rape culture. As of Friday September 2nd, the 21-year-old has been released from jail having served only half his time.
However, it appears that even if the legal system went easy on him, the public refuses to; despite his lenient sentencing and early release, his neighbours have not allowed him any respite. Brock Turner arrived home to protesters surrounding his house, some of whom were armed. Others held signs that bared phrases such as: "Castrate all rapists".
|Protesters and their signs outside Turner's residence.|
(photo: Splash News)
A multitude of chalk writing reading "Shoot your local rapist" and "RAPIST" with arrows pointing to Turner's residence also littered the sidewalk.
|Chalk writing reading "Shoot your local RAPIST!"|
|Chalk writing in the middle of the street reading "RAPIST"|
These events have led his parents to, once more, speak out in concern for their son's well-being. Throughout this case his family have made several comments on the toll it has supposedly had on their son, including his father's renowned worry that his son wasn't eating his "ribeye steak" anymore. Both Dan and Carleen Turner's present concern for their child has led them to reach out for the local police to help deal with the protesters and the death threats their son is receiving.
80% of women do not report their rape, whether out of fear of judgement or of watching their rapist walk free. 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, numbers increasing depending on whether or not they're white, cisgender, straight or able-bodied. There is much to be said, thus, of Turner and his relatives turning to the police for protection when the very same system has failed rape survivors repeatedly – that Brock Turner, as a white man, can be confident in finding solace in the same system which treats women and minority groups with such carelessness, yet finds protest – something used by minority groups to empower them – intimidating.
It is clear however that said protesters have no reservations about what Brock Turner or his family wish. As one protester said: "We’re going to never let him forget what he did." However, although protest keeps these important conversations in the news in the hopes of real and substantial change occurring, there is still the question of whether it is enough to create justice in this case, or bring peace of mind to his victim. Rape survivors may have to carry their trauma with them for all their lives, all Brock Turner has to do is close his curtains.