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DSC00375 Sexual Assault

Brock Turner was a swimmer at Stanford University in 2015 when he sexually assaulted a 23-year-old female student. He was sentenced on June 2, 2016, to six months' incarceration in the Santa Clara County jail to be followed by three years of probation. He was released three months early. The judge, Aaron Persky, cited that prison time could have a “severe” impact on Turner’s life as the reasoning behind the lenient six-month sentence.

According to Statista, over 400,000 men sexually assaulted women in the United States in the year 2019. And according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. Conversely, out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators walk free.

How can this be?

Are we just not talking about it, or do we just not care? What would make us care? What would make judges and juries and the general public render judgments more comparable to the crime? Would a picture of a 42-year-old woman sleeping in her closet for over ten years because she needs to feel cocooned in safety do it? Or how about the woman looking in the mirror but sees no reflection back because her body no longer belongs to her? Would that do it? Or broken relationships and the difficulty of trust and fear of intimacy? Shame and embarrassment leading to an unwillingness to report or share? Ongoing depression and suicidal thoughts? Chronic illness?

I am angry about how sexual predators receive a mild sentence when convicted of assault, all the while the survivor often lives with the trauma in horribly disturbing ways... and often for the rest of her life. A life sentence for the survivor, and merely a slap on the wrist for the predator. People need to know/SEE the severity and the longevity of the trauma. This project is one effort towards doing just that.
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Patricia Fortlage All Rights Reserved
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Life After Sexual Assault
Brock Turner was a swimmer at Stanford University in 2015 when he sexually assaulted a 23-year-old female student. He was sentenced on June 2, 2016, to six months' incarceration in the Santa Clara County jail to be followed by three years of probation. He was released three months early. The judge, Aaron Persky, cited that prison time could have a “severe” impact on Turner’s life as the reasoning behind the lenient six-month sentence.<br />
<br />
According to Statista, over 400,000 men sexually assaulted women in the United States in the year 2019.  And according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.  Conversely, out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators walk free.<br />
<br />
How can this be?  <br />
<br />
Are we just not talking about it, or do we just not care?  What would make us care?  What would make judges and juries and the general public render judgments more comparable to the crime?  Would a picture of a 42-year-old woman sleeping in her closet for over ten years because she needs to feel cocooned in safety do it? Or how about the woman looking in the mirror but sees no reflection back because her body no longer belongs to her? Would that do it?  Or broken relationships and the difficulty of trust and fear of intimacy? Shame and embarrassment leading to an unwillingness to report or share? Ongoing depression and suicidal thoughts? Chronic illness?  <br />
<br />
I am angry about how sexual predators receive a mild sentence when convicted of assault, all the while the survivor often lives with the trauma in horribly disturbing ways... and often for the rest of her life. A life sentence for the survivor, and merely a slap on the wrist for the predator. People need to know/SEE the severity and the longevity of the trauma.  This project is one effort towards doing just that.