Culture of Respect’s Allison Tombros Korman and NASPA President Kevin Kruger spoke out on behalf of survivors in a New York Times Letter to the Editor.
To the Editor:
Re “Outrage Over Sentencing in Rape Case at Stanford” (news article, June 7):
The decision to sentence a former Stanford University student, Brock Turner, to six months in jail for three felony counts of sexual assault, lest prison have a “severe impact” on his future, is a prima facie example of the way our culture understates and devalues the horror of sexual violence.
While the actions of two brave people who intervened and the groundswell of support for the survivor are bright spots in the horribly bleak landscape of this case, the unjustly light sentence speaks volumes about privilege and criminal justice. Until we stop putting the health, well-being and future prospects of the perpetrator ahead of the survivor, we re-victimize survivors and diminish the chances that women and men will come forward.
In the words of the Santa Clara County district attorney: “Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape. Rape is rape.” It is incumbent on all of us — in and outside of higher education — to create a culture in which sexual violence is intolerable, a culture of respect.
ALLISON TOMBROS KORMAN
Mr. Kruger is president of NASPA – Students Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Ms. Tombros Korman is senior director of one of its programs, Culture of Respect.