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I’ve lived with my rape for 23 years – Brock Turner can pay for ’20 minutes of action’

After Brock Turner was found guilty on three felony counts related to a sexual assault, he was sentenced to six months in county jail for the crime and will be required to register as a sex offender. His daddy said that his son’s punishment was “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” Even as I’m typing this, I’m shaking.

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I’m so angry that my head has started to hurt. I am actually becoming physically ill. I was 26 when I was raped the first time by the man I was married to. By all accounts, I was a tough cookie, but let me assure you: Rape erases any semblance of strength a woman has.

We don’t know Brock’s victim’s identity, but I don’t have to know her personally to know what she felt that night or what she feels right now. Her letter chilled me to the bone. All the pain, all the horror, all the terror in her words were the sheer emotions that she felt and will likely feel for a very, very long time to come. I know how that feels.

Her ordeal took place in January 2015. Both of mine took place in 1993. The first time it happened to me was shortly before my birthday that year; the next time was right before the new year started.

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I was numb after the first time. The zipper on my jeans had been ripped all the way out. There was plenty of blood because of the force he used. I was so sore I could barely sit up the next day. He said he didn’t remember doing any of it. He didn’t believe he had done any of what I said until I showed him the jeans. Then he apologized. I just stared at him. I was still in shock. I didn’t tell anyone because I wasn’t sure if what he had done to me could be classified as rape since he was my husband. Let me assure you, it was.

The second time he raped me, I fought, just as I had the first time, but what could a 5-foot-2-inches, 125-pound woman do against a 6-foot-2-inches, 225-pound man? I felt that I had died after the second time.

Brock’s prey was unconscious, so she couldn’t have fought back if she had wanted to. Yet, his daddy said the six months of jail time he was sentenced to was steep. Sir, stop it. I have yet to read her letter to the court without cringing, crying and wanting to scream.

If, by chance, this post reaches the victim, here’s what I want her to know: You will get through this. It will take time, counseling, family, friends and more time. Ma’am, it will take time. While I urge you to take all the time you need, I also urge you to move on and not let the trash that’s the fool who violated you cause you to stop your life. What he did was despicable. The fact that his father tried to make it seem like his son didn’t do much more than push you down on the playground makes me want to throw up. The fact is, he knocked the wind out of your sail. Yep, he did.

What he can’t do, however, is keep you down. Be strong. Nurse your wound, let the scab form so that the scar, invisible though it may be, can materialize. I sense your strength even though you may not know just how strong you are right now. The pain of the day will always be with you, but one day, I promise, the woman you are will pounce on that pain and you will stand taller than ever. You did nothing wrong.

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If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing and recovering, and more.

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