Augusta, GA — Outrage spread across social media when a Brock Turner, a student and athlete at Stanford university, was convicted of felony sexual assault for raping an unconscious woman, yet only received a six month jail sentence. Just a few months later a University of Colorado Boulder student, Austin Wilkerson — also convicted of rape — did not receive any prison time either. Then, fueling the fire of both of these cases, Brock Turner was released from jail three months early for good behavior.
Chandler McCorkle, a rape survivor, penned a letter to the Huffington Post in which she addressed the lenient sentences by explaining, “Your sentence tells young men that as long as they are white, show an inkling or remorse for their crime, and behave themselves during trial, they too can rape with impunity without fear of true repercussion.”
These two cases made national headlines, but they are far from the only examples of what many consider a slap on the wrist for sexual offenders. Often times the acts are chocked up to “boys being boys”, but, as Susan Seldon — the executive director at the Cumbee Center in Aiken County — explains, that perception needs to change.
Seldon was our special guest on The Means Report and addressed the two national cases. She also shared some startling statistics. Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, and 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives. Many of these cases are not reported for the simple fact that victims do not feel there will be justice.
The Cumbee Center is working to change the tide by introducing sexual assault awareness and prevention curriculum into local schools. Seldon also offers advice to parents for talking to their kids and warning signs to look out for. Most importantly, she encourages victims to reach out for help.
The Cumbee Center is ready to take your call. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Their number is 803-649-0480, and they DO accept collect calls. You can also visit CumbeeCenter.org for a multitude of resources and valuable information.