Pinoy Stanford students back sexual assault victim

Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 14 2016 04:38 PM

PALO ALTO, California – Filipino-American Stanford students joined others across the country in supporting victims of sexual assault in the wake of a case where former Stanford student-athlete Brock Turner was given six months of jail time after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman last year.

"Women aren't objects", "Women aren't toys", and "Women aren't play-things for boys" are just some of the chants and signs that were heard and seen during the Stanford's graduation ceremony over the weekend.

Motorboards were marked with the fraction 1/3 because they say one-in-three women and trans-gender students will experience sexual assault while in college.

The protests came after 20-year-old Brock Turner, a former Stanford student and swimmer, was given a sentence of six months in county jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster last year.

Students of Stanford's Pilipino American Student Union or PASU said that while the news is tragic, it brought more people to come in defense of the victim and brought more awareness of sexual assault on campus. 

"I think a great thing about publicizing this so much has done to bring about not silencing the victim, making sure her voice is heard, and making sure that we realize as a society, as a community, that this is not ok," said student Kelsey Pian.

Another student, Joriene Mercado, added, "Our campus tries to bring awareness towards sexual assault but this case in particular has really got us talking and the thing is, we shouldn’t stop talking because it’s something that’s happening every day in college."”

The unidentified victim read her version of what happened that night directly to Turner inside the courtroom, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her. 

Turner's father angered the public even more in a letter to the judge defending his son saying "his life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20-plus years of life."

"Sure it's 20 minutes, but for the victim, her life is incredibly changed. The way that she functions in relationships with other people…just like the social damage and the mental hurt could be a lifetime and it’s very, very hard to get past that," said student Phil del Rosario. 

More than a million people have signed an online petition calling for the presiding judge, Aaron Persky, to be recalled.

The petitions were delivered to the California Judicial Performance Commission on Friday.

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