Rape culture: don’t blame alcohol

The Brock Turner case was all over tthe media for the last few days. This young man sexually assaulted a woman around his age when she was inconscious, after a party. Why was this story so big in the news is that the sentence by the judge was considered at least a “light” one. Brock Turner was convinced guilty, but with only 6 months of prison. Which did not help was the letter of the dad saying that his son’s life, promised to a great future as an athlete, would be ruined for “20 minutes of action”.

Well, I am pretty sure that the victim does not agree and as she will have to suffer from this attack pretty much all her life. I can’t even imagine what is like to be victim of such a horrible attack, but the worst part is probably all the suspicion and the sordid questions that she had to face during the police enquiry and the trial. Because no matter what happens, it seems that victims of rape are always seen as suspicious, like it is so beyond our understanding that it can’t be true. So everything is scrutinized, every detail needs to be told and told again. No wonder why a lot of women don’t even bother to go to the police because they are not strong enough to cope with all of this. Imagine being destroyed by a sexual assault, going under suspicious police men, then lawyers and judges, it’s like living your attack a second time.

Why are rape victims so hard to believe? If you look at those stories carefully, there is always a moment when you will ask yourself or read somewhere that the victim was wearing a provoking outfit, that she drank too much, that she was alone in the dark. That somewhere, it must have been her fault, that what happened have a logical explanation. It seems that nobody points to the obvious: the attacker. It is his fault, we should blame him and his action instead of telling girls to avoid wearing short dresses and walk alone at nights. Attacking a girl who is unconscious is something that I have trouble to understand. Surely this is not about sex. Sex is about pleasure, having a good time with a partner who is hopefully enjoying as much as you do. A rape is all about power. Power over women who are seen for a night like an object.

We should stop focusing on the victim and trying to undermine her unbelievable courage to have come out and face her attacker for a long and painful journey over the trial. We should focus on why a young man thought he could pick a vulnerable girl at a party and use it like a tissue. Brock Turner abused this girl behind a dustcart, there is no reason why she was willing to do something like that, not even mentioning the “unconscious” part. Some might have blamed the alcohol, the victim was intoxicated. So what? The alcohol did not assault the victim. Brock Turner did. The alcohol might make you do stupid things, you can fall or be sick, there you have only yourself to blame. But this is not a reason to blame a victim of a rape.

I am not familiar with American campuses but I read more and more about the rape culture. Wealthy kids who think they are king of the world, that college life is put into brackets before “real” life begins. Well, this is time to give protection and support to victims and to shame and blame Brock Turner and his friends.
Beyond that, men should be supportive and society should not take those stories lightly and just assume that “boys will be boys” and college stories are just episodes that don’t need to have serious consequences in a lifetime. Offering a safe environment for women on campuses and everywhere else is something we all need to work on. Women should not be afraid to walk back to their dorm at night. They should not have to find tactics to avoid being alone in certain places. Let’s all work on explaining that rape culture is over. No is no. Simple as that.

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