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Brock Turner

Brock Turner
photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff

As the case that started the backlash, you could say Brock Turner was the worst of them all. It certainly was the most heart-wrenching, especially after the release of a powerful letter his victim read after the sentencing.

"You have no idea how hard I have worked to rebuild parts of me that are still weak," she wrote in her letter to Turner. "...I have to relearn that I am not fragile, I am capable, I am wholesome, not just livid and weak."


But in a way, many victims learned that same lesson in the aftermath of Turner's case: That we are not fragile, we are not weak, and we are capable of rebuilding.
Victims and allies, for example, lobbied to have judge Aaron Perskey fired. Just this month, he announced he'd no longer preside over sexual assault cases. Activists in California, where the rape took place, pushed for a minimum prison sentence for rape convictions. The California Assembly unanimously passed a minimum sentencing bill on August 30.
Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton both spoke out about the case, and Congress even read the victim's letter out loud. But more importantly, other victims started speaking up too: the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline saw a 35% increase in calls after the victim's letter was released. 
If anything positive came of the Turner ordeal, it is the massive spotlight it shone on sexual assault, and on our criminal justice system as a whole.