Back in 2015, a man sexually assaulted a woman on a college campus and it became “huge” news! Why? Initially, because the victim was unconscious at the time, due to being intoxicated, and because the perpetrator of the assault was at the time a budding athlete and a member of Stanford University’s swim team. And later, uproar from some, when the perpetrator’s father, Dan A. Turner, let it be known that he believed that prison was too harsh of a punishment for his son and referred to the sexual assault as “20 minutes of action”! Giving his opinion on the proposed six years prison sentence, Dan Turner wrote in a letter submitted to the court: “That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”. Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/06/a-steep-price-to-pay-for-20-minutes-of-action-dad-defends-stanford-sex-offender/ Retrieved 9/18/19.
Back in 2016, the victim of the sexual assault, then not named, criticized how much attention the media was giving to the impressive swimming ability that the defendant had and the negative effect that this incident would have on his future in relation to opportunities as a professional athlete. “The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency.” Source: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/02/stanford-swimmer-sexual-assault-brock-allen-turner-palo-alto Retrieved 9/18/19.
Earlier this month, more than three years following the sexual assault, the victim has revealed her identity to the public. She is now no longer just seen as the intoxicated, unconscious woman. She is Chanel Miller. She has a book coming out on September 24th.
It is my hope that the book has a decent-sized portion dedicated to acknowledging the two “angels” who by chance witnessed Brock Turner sexually assaulting Chanel Miller in 2015 as they were cycling through the campus, and stepped in, one of them going to the aid of the victim and the other chasing the perpetrator as he attempted to flee the scene and managing to stop him and hold him there until police arrived.
We, the public, need to be made aware of and potentially educated about acts of abuse, such as sexual assault. For example: Possible circumstances, dynamics, consequences. I also believe that we could benefit from more emphasis being given by the media on the details related to any heroes/heroines involved in violent crime stories. Had Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson not intervened the night of Chanel Miller’s attack, the outcome of the story would have been different. Let’s increase positive reinforcement of good/right behavior, as well as paying attention to bad/wrong behavior!
Note: Although “Bystander Intervention” is potentially very valuable. It can also unintentionally escalate a situation, making it worse!