I’m a Dad of 3 Boys. I Married a Rape Victim—& I Have Something to Say to Brock Turner’s Father


This open letter is going viral and for good reason.

The Husband of a college rape victim, Christine Suhan, has penned an incredibly powerful open
letter to Stanford rapist Brock Turner’s father after hearing his very
controversial statement supporting his sick son.

This powerful letter has since gone viral and was originally posted at the rape victims blog site www.feelingsandfaith.net. Below, after the rapist’s father’s statement defending his son, you can read this powerful response in full;

“That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20
plus years of life. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual
offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live,
visit, work and how he will be able to interact with people and
organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not
the appropriate punishment for Brock.”
—Dan Turner

“Steep?” Mount Everest is steep. The peak of the emotional roller coaster
Brock Allen Turner’s rape victim has only begun to descend is steep.
Six months in jail is a joke; a speed bump, if you will. The “20 minutes
of action” that Brock’s father minimizes in his above statement will
haunt his victim for the rest of her life. It may have been a measly 20
minutes for him but for her, the impact of those 20 minutes will weave
into every fiber of her being, every facet of her life, for its
entirety. In her letter, the rape victim states that she “does not
remember” the night Brock penetrated, groped and left her behind a
dumpster. But what she will soon find out is that her body will not let
her forget. I know this because I married a victim of a college rape.

Steep will be the amount of time, energy and financial resources that
will go into undoing what Brock has done. Undoing is the wrong word
here, what he did can never be undone. It can only be rewired, reworked,
processed and worked through again. When she is but a distant bad
decision in your life, you will be a permanent fixture of her

Trauma has a way of blocking the logic centers of the brain and reducing
its survivors to their most primitive survival instincts. When I touch
my wife, nearly 13 years after her rape, she can be triggered into an
immediate fight or flight response. We never know when, or if, it will
happen because Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) often has no rhyme
or reason. Her body remembers what her mind can’t. Sexual desire was
non-existent for years, and is just now only slowly coming back. For
years I couldn’t understand why she didn’t have the same desire for me
that I do for her. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to, it’s that she
can’t. The trauma she experienced has caused her primitive brain to
associate sex with danger.

My hope for these unfortunate events is not that we would use this story
to communicate the dangers of college partying and binge drinking to
teenage girls. My hope is that we would use this story to raise better

As the father of three boys, I can understand the hurt and
disappointment that is felt when your child makes a poor decision. The
loss of the dreams and aspirations that were once so clear is a crushing
blow. But rape is not just a poor decision. Rape is an intentional
violation of another human being. Rape is an abuse of power. I love my
boys with every ounce of my being, but if they ever rape a woman, I will
not defend them the way Dan Turner defended his son. I will not
minimize the impact of sexual trauma because in doing so, I’d be
perpetuating a much larger social issue that is playing out all around

I don’t believe my children will ever rape a woman because I have the
ability, as their father, to raise them to respect women. Not only do I
have the ability to shape them into respectful men, but I feel a social
responsibility to do so. We, as parents, should all feel socially
responsible to parent children who are upstanding citizens; children who
grow into men and woman with integrity. We need to raise men who value
the lives of other people, especially women. Men who do not violate
women for self-satisfaction. I shouldn’t have to defend my children for
committing a heinous crime because I will not raise them to be capable
of destroying another human life.

While this case may be used as a way to draw awareness to the dangers of
binge drinking and partying in college, I want us to focus our
attention on the larger social issue at hand. Twenty five percent of
women suffer sexual abuse. TWENTY FIVE PERCENT! That means 25 percent of
parents are not upholding their social responsibility to raise men who
value human life more than their sexual gratification. No wonder women
are scared of men; 1 in 4 of them will be or already has been assaulted
by one. This is not okay. The fact that women are scared of men is a
societal crisis and we, as a society, are handling this crisis all
wrong. We are doing a great job of warning women and providing them with
safety precautions in case they find themselves in a dangerous
situation, but it’s about time we start working on the root of the
problem. We need to raise our children better than the generation before

I plan to read the victim’s letter to my boys when they are old enough
to understand the conversation behind it. Will it be an uncomfortable
conversation? Absolutely. But it’s a crucial conversation to have. I
need them to understand the emotional impact that sex has on the woman
involved. Sex is always intentional, and they are going to understand
that even consensual sex needs to be cared for with the utmost delicacy.

I will not shy away from my social responsibility of raising better
boys. My boys will become men that will stand up for others. They will
build each other up instead of tearing humanity to shreds. They will be
able to draw into awareness the emotional ramifications of all of their
actions, and when they make a mistake, they will be humble enough to
admit when they are wrong. And if, God-forbid, they ever violate another
human being, they will take full responsibility for their actions, no
matter what the cost.”


Image Credit: Feelingsandfaith,net

You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Choice and Truth 

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