Letter to Ashleigh Banfield, may you find peace

2016Beauty Speaks Life and inspiration
     Many things happen in life that we all wish and pray could be erased. Ashleigh Banfield wished what happened to her could be blown away into thin air and out of existence. She was raped and victimized behind a dumpster after a frat party that she decided to attend with her younger sister. Twelve jurors all agreed that she was a victim and found Brock Turner, the defendant, guilty, but the judge didn’t seem to think Turner deserved a long sentence in state prison. Instead, Turner will be spending 6 months in county jail. Oh, let’s not forget that as long as he’s “a perfect little angel” in there he could be out in weeks.
During trial, the defense team had the nerve to try to prove that because Ashleigh could not remember what happened to her then there is no proof that it was unwanted. Well, if someone is unable to speak properly enough to say yes or no as Ashleigh was unable to and if someone can’t properly walk, and if someone is drunk then why would you bring them behind a dumpster, take all of their clothes off, and then proceed to penetrate them. She couldn’t coherently say yes or no, so Turner decided to assume she said yes.
Turner’s father put out a statement saying that he did’t want his son to lose everything because of “20 minutes of action.” Well, Mr. Turner, I know you love your son and want to stick by him through this but you are only enabling him to think that he can do this again and get away with it with a lovely slap on the wrist. And because of those 20 minutes of action your son lost a scholarship. Are you kidding? A scholarship? Let’s take a minute to see what Ashleigh lost. Sense of safety, trust, confidence, joy, freedom, and so many other things that she may not ever get back. And she lost all of that right after the 20 minutes of action. And listen Mr. Turner, you can call it whatever you want, but your son raped her. That’s what the “20 minutes of action” trickles down to. Oh right, I forgot about the binge drinking. In Ashleigh’s letter to Turner she had enough integrity to say “You were not wrong for drinking,” and she is right. What you are guilty of is the same three counts that those jurors found you guilty of.
Yes, Ashleigh was drunk, but if she went to the party and didn’t allow herself to get drunk or even if she didn’t go to the party at all what happened to her would have happened to someone else. RAPE is the big issue. Alcohol was just apart of it.
Our hearts go out to Ashleigh and her family. We would also like to remind Ashleigh’s sister that she is not the guilty one and should not blame herself for inviting Ashleigh to the party because she didn’t tell Turner to do what he did. Brock Turner made a choice. I truly hope that he seeks help and my prayers go out to his family as well. Also, our hearts go out to all rape victims, especially the ones who were not able to have any witnesses to testify for them. Ashleigh was fortunate enough to be saved by two boys on bikes who saw Turner raping her behind the dumpster and chased him so he wouldn’t get away. But, we see that there are many holes in our justice system because even if you have not only one but two witnesses the rapist can still get away barely punished if punished at all.
One major thing we loved about Ashleigh’s letter was that even through all the pain she felt, she seems to know that what happened to her is not her fault. To anyone out there who has ever been a victim to rape, molestation, or any type of abuse know that you are not alone and you are not guilty.

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