Brock Turner and the Work We Still Have To Do
Yesterday, ERA proudly attended the United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., where we joined with thousands of champions for gender equality to celebrate progress we have made and call for action to address the serious challenges still facing women and girls.
Today, feeling inspired and hopeful, we return with renewed focus and urgency to our work of ensuring that women and girls have safe places to work and learn. And we know there is plenty to do.
Just last week we were reminded of how far we still have to go when Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Brock Turner to just six months in county jail (with the possibility of early release) for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman at Stanford, expressing his concern that a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner.
Judge Persky’s decision reflects an astonishing failure to comprehend the nature of sexual assault and to recognize the severe harm it causes to those who are assaulted. A judge should not have to be reminded that rape is an act of intentional violence – not something that happens by accident. That is why more than a million people have demanded Judge Persky be recalled.
But we will not let Turner’s sentence become the last line of this story.
We will continue to demand that our educational institutions and judicial systems take sexual violence seriously, whether it happens at Stanford University or in an anonymous office building. We will stand up for women like our clients at Stanford who were sexually assaulted by the same male student and want to make sure that it never happens again.
And we will stand with women who are the most vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment at work, including janitors like our client Maria Bojorquez. We will keep fighting until workplaces and campuses are safe and welcoming for people of all genders.
There is no excuse for violence against women, on campus or anywhere.
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