My Letter to Brock Turner's Mom, Carleen Bradfield Turner

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Carleen Bradfield Turner-

Where are you?

Photos of you standing next to your son while entering the courthouse have been plastered all over the internet. Your husband's disconcerting letter to Judge Aaron Persky begging for leniency for your son is making news headlines across the globe. Longtime family friend, Leslie Rasmussen, is being criticized for her influential words and her band, Good English, is being shunned throughout the country. Judge Aaron Persky is undergoing worldwide scrutiny for his shockingly lenient sentence for your son.

As a mother I ask, where are you? Have you been silenced by this horrific modern-day rape culture? Are you battling the "good ole boys club?" Is blaming the victim a coping mechanism? Has your son's actions horrified you? Do you agree with your husband, or are you embarrassed by his words? And last, what if this had happened to your daughter?


Before our obsession with mobile tech and social media, I imagine the trial and verdict could have been kept mostly private. Your family's name and personal photos would not be visible to millions of readers online. Unfortunately for you and Brock, the opposite is true. Your neighbors, colleagues - even complete strangers like me, feel as if they somewhat know you. The Brock Turner rape case has been sensationalized and used to demonstrate stereotypes in both racial crimes and sex crimes. When will it be time for you to speak?

Your 20-year-old son has blamed his own alcohol consumption for the attack (which could be true to a degree.) Your husband has infamously stated that jail time is "a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action." Why are you staying silent? Do you agree that this rape was merely a product of social drinking, peer pressure and sexual promiscuity?

As a mother myself, I understand the innate need to protect your child. I, like I imagine you, would walk through hell, fight an army and raise all the money in the world to defend my offspring. But while shielding them from potential injury, I'd also be sure they are held accountable for their actions and recognize their errors. I'd also speak publically for my family when necessary.

While your husband has seemingly made a mockery of responsible parenting, where are you? Why are you still silent?

This letter is not to condemn you. I know that parenting is the most challenging job and unique for everyone. My heart also breaks for you and your other two children. Although I am a mother to a young family, I come from a big family. I have seen firsthand that everyone follows their own path and makes mistakes. I can also sympathize in wanting the most lenient sentence for your child.

However, I'm just wondering, where are you?