Instances like these remind me of the extent gender inequality is still rampant in the United States. A consistent pattern of indifference and inaction in our judiciary and collegiate systems have failed to hold [white] degenerates like Brock Turner accountable for their actions. It has become clear that colleges would rather hand trivial sentences to the Brocks of campus to “protect” their futures, than work to support their victims.
Brock Turner served a 3-month sentence for raping one of his drunk peers (compared to the entirely-warranted fifteen-year sentence Corey Batey served for the violent rape of a Vanderbilt student). While it may be funny to joke about how short Brock’s sentence was, it sends a very clear message to female college students: Your safety is not as important as his reputation. Judges and college administrators have made decisions time and time again to prolong or halt sexual assault investigations rather than “beseech” the names of male students.
CC Carreras, a student at the University of Richmond, is proof of this message. In an article she wrote for the Huffington Post, entitled “There’s a Brock Turner in all of o(UR) lives,” Carreras writes,
“A year ago, a school administrator at the University of Richmond (UR) in Richmond, Virginia called me into their office. Clad in an ‘It End Now’ shirt, this administrator told me my sexual assault case would not be moving forward. ‘I thought it was reasonable for him to penetrate you for a few more minutes if he was going to finish,’ he said, even though I didn’t consent to the sexual acts.” (You can read the rest of CC’s article here, and I highly suggest you do, she’s an amazing writer and her voice deserves to be heard.)
Delaney Robinson, a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shared a similar experience. “I did everything a rape victim is supposed to do,” Robinson states in a video (below) released on September 13th. “I reported it. I allowed the rape kit to be taken. I gave a statement. I cooperated with law enforcement and the Title IX office. But six months later the university has done nothing.”
Parents of William Paterson University student Cherelle Locklear are suing the school after Locklear committed suicide because of the school’s inability to follow-through with her sexual assault case. This is the second lawsuit William Paterson has received following the misconduct of a sexual assault case. It is very saddening to hear the death of a young woman as the result of her assault, and the failure of the college to protect her.
American colleges have a sexual assault and violence problem. 23% of college women and 5% of college men experience “rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation” (more statistics here). Colleges and universities are failing to protect their students against assault, and are failing to prosecute rapists and assailants. Many men and women who experienced an assault are either discouraged from reporting it, lack a safe campus environment to report it, or lack the confidence that their school will follow through with the report. This needs to change.
We need better sexual violence education. Grant Neal, a student at Colorado State University of Pueblo, was accused by a third-party observer (not the alleged victim) of raping a girl he took out on a date. The school suspended Neal from the football team at Pueblo based on this third-party accusation, which was denied by the “victim.” Neal is now suing the school, and the U.S. Department of Education, for his suspension. Campuses need to learn that situations like Neal’s require a stronger, lengthy investigation.
While I do not know everything about the case, I am amazed that Neal was charged based on a third-party statement alone. I think that if both parties (Neal and the “victim”) agreed the sex was consensual, all charges against him should be dropped. This is a disappointing example of a college failing to properly follow investigative guidelines, as Neal is likely innocent.
History is repeating itself. We saw Columbia University fail to protect Emma Sulkowicz, we see Colorado State University-Pueblo accuse Grant Neal with little evidence, and now we see Cherelle Locklear lose her life because UNC-Chapel Hill could not follow through with her assault claim. College students, both male and female, will not be safe from assault until colleges can learn to prosecute the Brocks, and support the Emmas, Grants, and Cherelles.