What Happens When Rape Victims Don’t Get Justice?

Brock Turner quickly became known around the world as the Stanford rapist who received virtually no punishment for his crimes because the judge “didn’t want to ruin his life”. The question many people have in response to this kind of outcome is what about the victim? What happens to the victims in these kinds of situations?

According to Huffington Post, the results can be deadly as Marquesa C. Jackson-Locklear opens up about how her daughter, a student from New Jersey, committed suicide after being raped at a fraternity house at William Paterson University. The mother claims her daughter did report the rape to the school, but the school neglected to do anything about it.

It was on November 22 of last year that Cherelle Locklear was found dead on the bathroom floor of her dorm room at William Paterson University. According to her mother, Marquesa C. Jackson-Locklear, her suicide came just two months after she was raped at the school’s Sigma Pi fraternity house in the later portion of September.

Huffington Post goes on to reveal this was not the first time Cherelle Locklear had attempted to kill herself following the rape. About three weeks after the attack, she was hospitalized for trying to kill herself. She spent five weeks in the hospital. A few weeks later, Cherelle Locklear made a second suicide attempt. This time, it was successful.

On Wednesday, the vice president for student development at William Paterson University released a statement saying the school had yet to be served with a lawsuit regarding the matter despite knowing a lawsuit exists.

The lawsuit claims Locklear did not report the attack to the police department on campus until November. However, once she did, the school failed to perform any type of appropriate or detailed investigation. The man Locklear had accused of raping her was never confronted or charged with the rape by the officers who responded.

The lawsuit names the police department of the university, the university itself, several school officials, and the Sigma Pi fraternity chapter as defendants in the case. Huffington Post goes on to report that the fraternity where the attack is believed to have occurred claims the student accused of raping Locklear was not a member of the fraternity when the attack is believed to have occurred. The fraternity goes on to claim the student had been expelled for reasons unrelated to the attack a year earlier in 2014.

“However, given that the incident occurred at an off-campus property where active members lived, once we learned of this incident, we took immediate action, including initiating an internal review and working with the University during its investigation.”

According to Daily Campus, Brock Turner – the Stanford rapist mentioned earlier – is a walking example of just how broken the justice system is for rape victims. Brock Turner only had to serve three months after committing rape. Stanford, in response to the rape, decided to ban hard liquors at on-campus parties and restrict bottle sizes believing this would fix the problem. Daily Campus speculates the response, or lack of response, to the Brock Turner case just shows nothing is being done on college campuses to deal with rape culture and that justice is not being served for these victims.


When a rape victim ends his or her life after the traumatic event because of the broken justice system, is it really even suicide? Some argue the attacker and individuals who failed to do anything to get the rape victim justice played a role in ending the life of the victim. The question is, will there be any justice for these rape victims? Will colleges start doing something about rape culture? Will anyone be held responsible for this suicides?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

[Featured Image via ShutterStock]

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