The Way to Gain Power Through Sexual Assault


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Power is one of the most important things in all societies and all cultures. It feeds the egos of all human beings. One way people try to gain power is through sexual assault. Many believe it is about the need for dominance and control.

In college rape cases specifically, the assailant will barely get off with any jail time, the victims will be shamed for the rape, and/or the assailant’s life will be scarcely affected by the rape. At the Stanford college campus, a female college student was raped behind a dumpster by another male student, Brock Turner. When she was interviewed, she chose to remain anonymous and claimed to have been unconscious at the time. The victim decided to press charges. This one moment in her life, changed everything for her in a split second. For court, the victim wrote Brock Turner a letter and read it aloud. It consisted of her talking about how she felt like she was broken. She had insomnia and depression. She slept too little and cried too much. This twenty-three year old woman wrote about not knowing how to go back to her normal life.

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After she spoke her truth, Dan Turner, Brock’s father, read a letter as well. Dan begged the judge to keep his son out of jail. He stated that that night ruined his son’s life too. Brock will barely eat anymore and is kept awake at night. His swimming career would be over. The judge came to a conclusion and Brock would get 6 months in jail and 3 years of probation. He should’ve been facing 14 years in jail for trying to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually assaulting an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually assaulting an unconscious person with a foreign object. The judge felt that 14 years in jail would be too harsh on Turner. He was almost an Olympic swimmer, after all, and should continue to stay in our community and harm other women. This twenty year old man had four charges against him and ended up with six months. He ruined four lives forever and his was only damaged for six months. In the article “It’s like I owe $40,000 for getting raped”, it states that 13% of female college students get sexually assaulted. Some don’t even report it because no one wants to go through a long trial and have their assailant walk away with minimal punishment.

At Yale, a female college student reported that she had been raped on Halloween by Saifullah Khan. This woman stated that she didn’t remember how much she drank or how she got back to her dorm, but does remember waking up in the middle of the night to Khan being on top of her. In the morning she woke up naked with bruises everywhere and Khan next to her. Immediately angry, she called the police. She pressed charges, and her case went to trial as well. During the trial, Khan’s lawyers made statements about her costume. They were asking why she didn’t wear a long Cinderella type gown that covered her. They brought up old texts that showed flirting between the two of them. Khan’s lawyers were basically saying that she was asking to be raped that night. She still couldn’t recall how much she drank, but surveillance video showed Khan walking her back to her dorm room. Her foot was dragging behind her as she was leaning on him. Khan’s lawyers saw this as the two of them being ‘lovers’ that night. When the judge and jury finally came to a decision, Saifullah Khan was found not guilty.

Later on in an interview with the New York Times she said, “I have nothing to gain by this, it has been difficult receiving it the last three days.” Khan’s lawyer then made the comment that if she had wanted to win the case, she would’ve given more details about the night. Women shouldn’t be blamed for their own sexual assault. Rape has been relevant for centuries back when women wore layers of clothes. It doesn’t take a scandalous outfit to get raped, it takes a rapist.

Beckett Brennan was a basketball player at her college. One night, she went to a party and remembers drinking six shots of vodka. Brennan knew that she couldn’t drive so she started looking for a ride. Steffan Johnson, Michael Nunnally, Michael Kirby offered a ride to where the party was continuing. CBS News reporter Katie Couric asked Brennen if she felt completely comfortable with them, and she replied with “Yeah. Absolutely. There were no red flags that came up. No reason not to trust them.” Instead, she found herself at an apartment. Two of them took her into the back room and raped her. After, a third player shoved her in the closet and raped her again. This was all recorded, and you could hear her saying ‘no’ over and over again.

Beckett didn’t want to go to the police, but still wanted a punishment to take place. She went to her university’s judicial review board. She was questioned about that night and they asked if she was flirtatious, what she was wearing, how much she had to drink, etc. Couric wrote that “The questions made her feel like the case was suddenly less about the basketball players and more about her behavior that night.” When it was time for them to interview the boys, they all said different things. Johnson told them that he wasn’t even there and got expelled. Nunnally claimed that they did have sex, but it was consensual. His punishment was being suspended for a year. Kirby also claimed that they had consensual sex after she had flirted with him and got suspended for a semester. For some reason all of these punishments were different even though they all had raped her together.

Some time after the rape, Kirby and Nunnally went back to the college and was the star of the basketball team. After being expelled, Johnson got a full scholarship to the University of Idaho. Beckett and her family were furious about this. Her father then told Couric “Unbelievable to sit there and say ‘Oh, wow, okay, well, we can use a guy like that. One that has been found guilty of sexual assault’ How in the hell do you end up at another university within three months?” In most rape cases, the victims are severely affected while the assailant can continue their life like the assault never even happened.

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