Sexual assault continues to make headlines


Santa Clara Sheriff's Department

The actual mugshot of Brock Turner.

By Ashley Onzuka, Staff Writer

The lenient sentence and early release of Brock Turner, the 21-year-old convicted rapist and registered sex offender, led to an uproar. Turner, the former Stanford University student was found guilty of sexual assaulting an unconscious woman behind the dumpster. A maximum of 14 years in prison was set while prosecutors sought out for six years. Turner was sentenced to six months in prison and was then released three months earlier for good behavior.

The former Stanford University student, instigated concern on college campuses throughout the nation and is only a fraction of the widely controversial topic of sexual assault.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the NSVRC, reported in its 2015 nationwide study, that one in five women and one in 16 men will be sexually assaulted in college. Between 2012 and 2014, Chaminade University of Honolulu reported two cases of sexual assault.

“I feel that Chaminade is a safe environment, however, I cannot say the same for any other students or other schools, said Samantha Tufaga, a third-year Chaminade student majoring in elementary education. “We are a smaller school, compared to UH Manoa, so it wouldn’t be surprising if our crime report were smaller.”

The original photo of Turner, taken by Stanford University, that was released to the public.

In the same span of time, 2012 to 2014, the University of Hawaii at Manoa reported 29 cases of sexual assaults, leaving UH students feeling more on edge about the situation.

“The Brock Turner case makes me feel unsafe, especially since I’m a female student attending college,” said Nikki Lau, a third-year UH student majoring in Business. As a female student, Lau feels that the Brock Turner case led her to understand the importance of taking better precautions on campus, especially at night.

Although both universities’ crime rates are below NSVRC nationwide average, studies show that more than 90 percent of assaults on college campuses are unreported.

“I think that’s the scariest part, sexual assault is a recurring issue, we just don’t always see it,” Lau said when informed of the high percentage of unreported assaults.

The Brock Turner case agonized the public while sexual assault-related conflicts continue to develop and raise more awareness of the failed justice system.

In local news, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported in October, that the Honolulu Police Department is backed up on testing rape kits. More than 1,300 rape kits have not been tested, some dating back from 1992. HPD claimed in the article that it is aiming to test 500 rape kits by the end of this year.

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, also made his contribution to the controversial topic of sexual assault. Trump’s “locker-room talk” is a voice recording, released by the Washington Post, of him gloating about groping, kissing, and touching women without their consent. “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said in the video.