Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail last week for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman and now thousands of people have taken to the Internet to condemn the outcome of the case.
There are at least six petitions to sign circulating online at Change.org that allow activists to speak out against rape culture, Turner’s lenient sentence and Judge Aaron Persky who sentenced him.
Brock Turner was found guilty of three felony assault counts: intent to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object.
Law prof.: Lenient rape case decision makes "all women at Stanford and in colleges all across the county less safe" https://t.co/blZDYyGWY5— New Day (@NewDay) June 7, 2016
During the sentencing, Turner’s victim, now 23-years-old, addressed him directly, giving an account of how the assault had changed her life — her letter has been viewed six million times after being posted to Buzzfeed.
“I was not only told that I was assaulted, I was told that because I couldn’t remember, I technically could not prove it was unwanted. And that distorted me, damaged me, almost broke me. It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet. I had to fight for an entire year to make it clear that there was something wrong with this situation.”
Turner’s victim said she only uncovered the details of her own sexual assault after reading an online article describing it, reports Buzzfeed.
“Then, at the bottom of the article, after I learned about the graphic details of my own sexual assault, the article listed his swimming times.”
The judge gave Turner six months in jail and said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the former Stanford swimmer, who once aspired to compete in the Olympics.
Now, there are six Change.org petitions circulating online asking for a harsher sentence and a recall of Judge Persky.
Demand Justice For Stanford Rape Victim
This petition has almost 14,000 signatures so far with a goal of 15,000. It’s authors point out that while Turner will be out of jail in six months, his victim faces a life sentence where she will be forced to struggle with her own self worth.
"The extreme leniency and empathy afforded to a convicted rapist, Turner, in the sentencing is incomprehensible" https://t.co/1Kft1EOIKS— Laura D'Angelo (@oohlalaura7) June 8, 2016
Join Official Brock Turner Rape Judge Recall Movement
With 67,000 supporters at the time of this writing, this petition only needs another 7,000 to reach its goal. With no political opponents to run against, Judge Persky quietly slid into another term Tuesday and that’s not OK, Stanford law professor Michele Dauber told the USA Today.
“His victory will be short-lived. I am 100 percent confident we will recall him. His decision hit every woman in the state of California in the gut.”
Remove Judge Persky From The Bench For Decision In Brock Turner Rape Case
This petition is similar to the first one, but is more popular. Launched over the weekend, it’s already gathered some 480,000 signatures and only needs another 20,000 to reach its goal. The petition notes that Brock Turner’s lenient sentence was opposed by Santa Clara County residents, including the district attorney, the deputy district attorney, and 250 Stanford students.
Give Rapist Brock Allen Turner The Max Sentence
With almost 7,000 signatures, this petition urges the court to sentence Turner to the maximum 14 years in jail allowed by law because he showed no mercy to his victim and therefore deserves none himself.
To Appeal The Sentence For Brock Allen Turner For A Fitting One
With 1,600 signatures and a goal of 2,500, the author of this petition explains that consent is needed before sexual activity and they promise to forward the signatures gathered to California Senators’ Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.
Recall effort launched against judge in controversial Stanford rape case. https://t.co/JP4XxAc3tF— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) June 6, 2016
Letter To Stanford University In Support Of Survivor Of Brock Turner Case
Noting that with good behavior Turner will probably only serve three months in jail, this petition with more than 26,000 signatures asks Stanford to step up and support the victim by apologizing for the attack and increasing campus resources available to rape victims.
For activists who are angered by the rape culture prevalent in the country today and want to take a stand these petitions offer a voice for change.
[Photo by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office/AP]