Sexual assault: A problem taken too lightly

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Every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted, according to the Department of Justice.

In January 2015, ex-Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after meeting at a party.

The victim was forced to attend trial where Turner and his attorney challenged her claims about the incident that took place that night.

Turner was sentenced to six months in the Santa Clara County Jail, though prosecutors recommended six years for his crime.

He was released after only three months in jail due to good behavior.

“I think it’s terrifying. It’s crazy to think what money can buy you in America today. I thought that our justice system was beyond this,” said student Justin Hung about the case. “This woman was clearly unconscious and her speech was slurred. This obviously meant she couldn’t give consent. This could happen to anyone, practically anywhere.”

There are no exceptions or immunities granted to specific genders or age groups. 

Sexual assault can happen to anyone at anytime.

Although it’s important to recognize the amount of reported sexual assault or rape incidents are significantly higher with women as victims than men.

Women ages 18 to 34 who are college students are three times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

The idea that the women who surround me in class, pass by in the hallways and in the parking lot could have been victims of sexual assault is frightening.

This woman was at a frat party with her sister and had consumed too much alcohol for her body to handle. That night she didn’t have the ability to call out for help or try to fight back.

Turner sexually assaulted this woman while she lay unconscious behind a dumpster and still somehow managed to only serve three months in prison.

The original sentence for Turner was to serve six months in jail, because the judge seemed to see guilt in Turner’s doings and that alcohol was involved.

The outcome of the case, People of the State of California v. Brock Allen Turner,  sadly isn’t uncommon.

“Little to no time in jail or prison is common among college athletes convicted of first-time sexual offenses — if they are charged at all,” reports CNN.

Approximately only six out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up serving jail time for sexual assault, according to RAINN.

As a young woman, I was taught to always be on guard: walking to the parking lot with my keys in between my knuckles, having 911 on speed dial, monitoring my cup with fear it may be

spiked the moment I look away at parties.

The victim that Turner sexually assaulted that night wasn’t “on-guard.”

Because apparently we now have to treat one another as possible predators.

Because sexual assault is a considerable problem in the United States.

And because it’s all too often taken lightly.