Since June, the public has been rightfully outraged over former Stanford University student Brock Turner’s lenient six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. We’ve heard from reporters, politicians and celebrities.
But what about survivors of sexual assault and rape?
A new video from Bustle aims to elevate those voices by featuring four women who have been sexually assaulted. The powerful video was published only a few days before Turner was released from jail Friday morning after serving only three months in protective custody.
The four women describe their assaults and the gut-wrenching scars they have to live with every single day as survivors. One woman was raped by her best friend in college. Another was raped by her boyfriend. All four women describe the devastating experiences that followed their assaults, such as being victim-blamed by the cops, suffering from debilitating PTSD and developing substance abuse issues.
The judge who presided over Turner’s trial, an who has since stepped down from criminal court under intense scrutiny, justified his lenient punishment by saying that prison would have a “severe impact” on the former college student.
In the video, Bustle asked the women to discuss the severe impact their assault had on them. These are just a few of their answers:
“The severe impact that my assault had on me is still ongoing years later.”
“I struggle with depression.”
“I don’t trust anyone.”
“I started self-harming.”
“I didn’t want to be touched.”
“Generally I just wanted to die, pretty much every single day.”
Brock Turner’s victim was brutally assaulted, bravely came forward and then endured an agonizing character assassination throughout the trial that ― along with the trauma of her assault ― will likely stay with her the rest of her life. But prison would have more of a “severe impact” on perpetrators like Turner than their assault did on the actual victims?
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.