I was, like many intelligent and thoughtful individuals, disgusted by Dan A-hole Turner's complete dismissal of the young woman who his son raped, of the very fact that his son raped, of his completely ignorant and lacking letter. It shows that Dan is the type of man who has always excused his son's poor behavior, and when one does this with one's children, those children never learn empathy. So, I fixed your letter, Dan. You're welcome. If you've not read the letter, maybe you shouldn't. It will make you angry. If you really want to do so (I don't suggest it). Here is a reference.
As a writer who is empathetic, as a writing teacher, an editor and a survivor of sexual assault, here are some suggestions that will make this letter not disgusting. For fun, I've addressed it to you. Notice how I take into consideration fault, the violence that occurred and the ways in which that violence might have harmed the survivor. Feel free to use any of this. It's called empathy and honesty.
Dear Dan A. Turner:
As it stands now, a woman’s life has been deeply altered forever by the rape of Jan. 17th. She will never be her happy-go-lucky self, with her bright and welcoming smile. After the rape she is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear and depression. After all, how can you welcome a person who might intend you harm? You can see it in her face, in the way she walks (always looking behind her, always with a fist clenched around her mace), her silenced voice, her lack of appetite.
The survivor always enjoyed going out to eat with friends, but now she is careful about who she goes out with, what she eats, what she drinks. Not because she should have to be, but because a man who likes steak treated her like meat. The judge’s verdict has shattered her and her family in so many ways. Her life will never be the one she dreamed of before she was badgered, broken, and abused.
That is what twenty minutes of sexual violence can do; it can shatter a survivor’s dreams, relationships, self-confidence, her life.
The fact that her abuser will face such a lack luster penalty, will too soon stroll streets--streets so much like the one where he raped her--forever alters how she will be able to interact with the world. For how can she trust a world where sports scores trump the safety and well-being of victims of sexual assault?
What I know as a survivor of sexual assault is that incarceration is a proper and fitting punishment for sex offenders, one that creates an environment of no tolerance, and a feeling of safety and support on the part of the survivor. On Jan. 17th, Brock forced himself on an unconscious woman, left abrasions, lacerations, pine needles and dirt inside her, and you refuse to say what he did was violent.
No woman or intelligent man wants to hear your son spout bullshit about sexual promiscuity and drinking, as “promiscuity” is a term meant to shame and demean females exclusively. Since boys are never labeled in such a way. How can a man who does not understand what rape is, does not understand consent, even try to speak to such a subject without fucking it up? He doesn’t. So he shouldn’t. And neither should you.
For the survivor of your son’s violent attack, and for all victims of sexual abuse, let me personally say: probation is bullshit. Stop making excuses for your child’s disgusting, demeaning and violent behavior. It is clear to me, to so many of us, that you’ve been excusing him for so long that he never learned how to take responsibility for his own actions and thoughts. It’s clear to us all that men like him, like you, like the judge who pardoned him are still placing the blame on the victim.
With dripping anger and deep wishes that you’ll grow a brain,
H.M. Jones is the author of many books in which the topic of rape is neither sugar-coated or excused. Monochrome, her dark fantasy, will be re-printed by Feminine Collective in 2016. It was awarded an honorable mention at the LA Book Festival, a B.R.A.G medallion and was a NIEA finalist book in the New Adult category.
H.M. writes many short stories, guest pieces and poems, which are featured in various books and a few wonderful sites. She is a mother to two children, three chickens and one dog. She is married to a man who likes books almost as much as she does.