Dear Gossips,

Tomorrow is September 2nd and, you’ll recall, I promised to remind you that that’s when Brock Turner, who raped his unconscious victim behind a dumpster, will be released from county jail. Brock Turner was originally sentenced to 6 months but only had to serve half of that for good behaviour. Brock Turner is going home for Labour Day long weekend. Hopefully the weather will be great. And he and his family can enjoy a good BBQ before putting everything that’s happened behind them and moving on with their lives after they were all inconvenienced – albeit temporarily – because, you know, Brock Turner drank too much. Which, if you recall, is what Team Turner is blaming it on. Brock Turner raped a girl because alcohol. And not because he doesn’t understand how to respect other people’s bodies, women’s bodies.

So the problem, again, isn’t just that Brock Turner’s future seemed to be considered and valued over his victim’s but also that there is a system in place that has allowed him to bypass responsibility and, perhaps more importantly, acknowledgement of what he actually did. Brock’s parents and friends have attributed his behaviour to party culture. They haven’t held him to his action: that he raped. Which is why I want to keep naming him. He is Brock Turner, the rapist.

Last week on the Sasha Answer’s podcast, we heard from Lost Teenager who reached out to us for help after being sexually assaulted by a boy who keeps telling her he loves her. Thank you for all your messages of support for Lost Teenager. We have continued to communicate with Lost Teenager and she is struggling. Which is why we devoted the entire episode of this week’s Sasha Answers to her story. Sasha and I were joined by Nova Browning Rutherford, a personal development coach, who is an experienced teen mentor and herself a sexual assault and abuse survivor. One of the issues Lost Teenager is having a hard time with is calling herself a “victim”. She doesn’t want to identify with that word. We asked Nova for her perspective in moving from “victim” to “survivor” and what she shared with us really resonated. For Nova, the word “victim” is more about the rapist than it is about the survivor. And she told Lost Teenager that if she were to call herself a “victim” it doesn’t mean she’s weak, it means she is calling out what HE did, naming what HE did. Making sure that HE is associated with HIS action. As Nova says of her own experience, “claiming that I was a victim affirmed the fact that there was a violator”. That’s also why I keep naming Brock Turner. Brock Turner, he is a rapist.

Click here to listen to more of Nova’s advice to Lost Teenager on Sasha Answers. And click here for Nova’s most recent blog post about her recovery, with her words of encouragement for those in a similar situation.

Yours in gossip,