Rape and Math – Numbers Don’t Lie

I’m mad. Infuriated, actually. A rapist is getting set free, possibly right now. Today, after only serving three months in jail. Upon hearing this news, my immediate reaction was  to pull out my laptop and shove my two cents down your throat. I wanted to write about the injustice of Brock Turner’s short sentence.

Armed with a handful of hot tamales and an ice water, I grabbed my laptop and began my research, ready to write about statistics and logic and speak to the rational world about how this Stanford student’s sentence was a travesty and a joke to our judicial system and a complete and utterly repulsive slap in the face of his victim because it was. It is. It is the definition of injustice.

But sadly, with rape (or in this boy’s privileged world) sexual assault or according to his dad, “twenty minutes of action,” it’s not uncommon. Like I said, I wanted to write a logical article about how illogical his sentence was and how even more illogical his time served was, so I did some research.

Here’s what I found:

Brock Turner was not convicted of rape. He was convicted of sexual assault. Three counts of felony sexual assault: Assault with intent to rape, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and sexual penetration of an unconscious person.  Here’s the difference in rape and sexual assault according to The Bureau of Justice Statistics. Rape is: “Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means penetration by the offender(s). Includes attempted rapes, male as well as female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.” Sexual assault is: “A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.  These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender.  Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling.  It also includes verbal threats.”

In California, the minimum sentence for assault with intent to rape is two years. It’s less for the other two felonies.  Upon his release today, he will have served three months. According to basic math, that’s only 1/8 of the minimum sentence.

Enraged, I googled the average time served for assault with intent to rape.

As much as I wanted to be angry about Brock Turner and the giant middle finger he waved to the judicial system and his victim, I couldn’t be. Do you know why?

This is normal.

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

I was as shocked as you are to read that the average rapist only serves a few months in jail, rarely prison.

Let’s look at some more numbers on this so you can get as boiling mad as I am.

I got on RAINN.org and read these alarming statistics:

  • Every 109 seconds, someone is a victim of sexual assault. That’s less time than the recommended time to brush your teeth.
  • 90% of victims (in reported cases) are female, but get this, only 3% of sexual assaults are even reported. 97%of sexual assaults do not get reported to police. 97% of victims do not report the crime.
  • One out of every six American women will be a victim of sexual assault (attempted and completed.)
  • Only 1% of perpetrators spend any time in jail. 99% go free. 99% of these guys/gals are still walking around like nothing ever happened. Wonder what’s going on with his/her victim? Pretty sure life isn’t business as usual for the victim. Ever. For the rest of the victim’s life, nothing will ever be business as usual.

Numbers don’t lie.

Rape is a problem, and cases like Brock Turner’s can only shed light on this epidemic that so many people are afraid to discuss.

But I’m not.

There are a lot reasons why little privileged boys get away with rape, but one is that victims do not speak up. Why?

  • She was asking for it. Because girls who get raped often shout out to potential rapists, “Hey, please rape me and ruin my life.”
  • She shouldn’t have gotten so drunk. That’s right, rapists. As long as she’s drunk, it’s basically an invitation for you to enter her vagina because she drank too much. Bad girl.
  • She shouldn’t have worn that. I never realized mini-skirts were welcome mats for unwanted penises, but girls, remember, your skirt should touch your knees unless you want to be held down and assaulted.
  • She’s the kind of girl who puts out that vibe. I’ve met a lot of women. I’ve talked to women of different walks of life. Strangely, I never caught the vibe that any of them wanted to be sexually assaulted, but maybe I’m dense.

When my friend Darla wrote about rape on her blog, this happened to her:

And we wonder why sexual assaults go unreported. How many victims blame themselves? And if they don’t, there are plenty of people out there ready to point the fingers at the wrong person.

There is only ever one person who is at fault in any sexual assault. The rapist.

We must stand up for ourselves. We must report these crimes. We must demand longer sentences, and we must break the chain in rape culture, shattering the ridiculous notion that the blame is ever on the victim.

P.S. Nobody deserves to be raped. Ever.

rape numbers




21 thoughts on “Rape and Math – Numbers Don’t Lie

    • And I’m still trying to figure out the difference between those two definitions of rape and assualt… if I ventured a guess, it would be that priveleged, wealthy/middle class white men get charged with sexual assault and minorities and the poor get charged with rape. *silently screams*

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t even understand this. I can’t wrap my head around it. Where are these men? They’re not me. They’re not my friends. Whenever I hear horror stories like this, I just don’t even know how to react, because I am privileged enough to have been born with a Y chromosome and I have NEVER been subjected to anything like that. Where do men get off saying things like that to a stranger?


  2. I remember trying to explain to people that this idiot wasn’t convicted of rape, but it fell mostly on deaf ears. He should have been charged with some sort of sodomy, which is as serious as rape, here in MO. Not sure about California, but here, sticking anything where it doesn’t go is sodomy for sure. Anyway, my two cents are this. Prison really really really should be reserved for the worst of the worst of society’s miscreants. I’m all for short prison stints for people who we think will learn a lesson and live a productive life thereafter. Rapists, or in this case, an attempted rapist, aren’t those people. Sex offenders are like domestic abusers. They rarely do it once and feel any remorse. It’s a sickness and it can’t be cured.

    As a husband and father to two beautiful and confident women, I worry for them and want them to be safe from sexual assaults. It should be a no brainer that an unconscious person can’t consent to sex. That’s a lesson I will teach my boys. I hope they’ll grow up like me in that respect. As off as I am in many facets of life, it’s never crossed my mind to touch a woman who I didn’t 100% know was okay with it, even a simple touch of her arm or whatever that might send the wrong message. It’s hard sometimes, because I am a hugger and a toucher. I’m Italian for God’s sake.

    Anyway, kudos to you and the other people out there spreading the word and making sure that this issue doesn’t fall to the wayside. As an officer, I’m aware of many many incidents just like this that happen and go either unreported, or undereported. College campuses are rife with sexual assaults. I think the truth would be shocking to most people. They are tough to investigate as well, especially if there are no witnesses. There are very real instances where women have made up accusations against either real men or imagined men, for reasons that are irrelevant here. My own police department got dragged over the coals a little bit several years ago because we weren’t always writing reports when a person claimed they were sexually assaulted, and the officer didn’t believe their story for one reason or another. We no longer do that and we take every accusation seriously. I don’t know why some people can’t see the seriousness of rape. I find it to the the most vulgar crime that one person can commit against another, even more so than murder. At least the murder victim doesn’t have to relive the experience. We bring rape “survivors” (they don’t like to be called victims), in to speak to our recruits from time to time. Every class hears from these women and their stories are always powerful and amazing.

    Good Lord, I’ve rambled….Carry on my friend!


  3. It’s completely unbelievable and, unfortunately, not at all surprising because this has become the tolerated norm. It boggles my mind to look at these definitions and see how the sentences vary (never mind how little time is actually served…whole other problem) to the point where I just find myself wondering how blind we really are as a society.


  4. Brilliant! Thank you. Nobody is the property of any other to do with as they please, Alas, the fundamental belief of patriarchy says otherwise, and has since before the beginning of recorded history.


  5. What bothers me most is my reaction to this…dulled by the normal feeling of these statistics and the uphill battle it all is just to do anything about it or even make this kind of thing heard, tired of the wall of silence against these kind of figures and all the effort it takes to get noticed…or, not get noticed.


  6. You succeeded in getting my blood to boil with a plume of smoke billowing out my ears, seen from miles away!!! Enough is FUCKING enough! We need to continue to get angry and shout at the top of our lungs until things change! We will never stop, Mandi! Thanks for writing this on our behalf! xoxoxo


  7. Being a survivor of childhood rape by many of my moms boyfriends as well as an adult survivor of a brutal date rape, it pisses me off that Brock Turner only served three months. The woman he raped will have to deal with PTSD for the rest of her life. There won’t be a day where she won’t have to deal with the affect of what Brock Turner did to her. Rape is a huge issue in this country and it appears that there are people out there that don’t think its in issue or a problem. Well, I am sorry but it is a huge problem and it needs to stop.


  8. Brilliant post – and horribly necessary!
    This is one of the reasons that people are so mistaken about Sweden’s seemingly high rate of rape: in fact, it’s that their laws are way stricter. Anything related to sexual assault or even sexual harassment (in some cases) comes under the banner of rape in Swedish law and is punished accordingly. So while it sucks that there’s a rape rate at all, it’s actually a positive thing for women that it’s high in Sweden.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. why we people are describing A RAPIST whether he/she is a whitish or black, rich or poor, an auto driver or an businessman, he/she is just called as CRIMINAL of humanity, a good creativity of GOD, or a rule breaker of this nature.


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