Brock Turner’s father, Dan. A Turner, wrote this summer that his son’s punishment for rape is a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” Turner was released from jail on Sept. 2 after a much-criticized three-month sentence. In response, CU-Boulder students Sofia Pena Y Lillo, Emily Nellestein and Libby Symes hosted a protest against sexual violence.
Participants, mostly women, gathered Friday afternoon at the UMC plaza for the event. For 20 minutes, the protesters sat silently while holding up signs that read “20 Minutes of Action” and “Stop Rape Culture.”
Organizations such as Movement to End Sexual Assault, Zonta Foothills Club of Boulder County and the school’s Office of Victim’s Assistance were also present at the event where they had information booths set up.
The Zonta Foothills Club sported orange shirts and had set up about twenty life size silhouettes of men and women who were victims of sexual assault. Their stories, some more chilling than others, were attached to the silhouettes.
The 20 minutes passed with varying degrees of reactions from bystanders. A few people visited the information booths, others looked over the signs and nodded, while many simply walked past the group without any physical reactions. Only a couple people showed signs of disapproval.
After the protest, students and other participants socialized and thanked one another for supporting the cause. One participant, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that when she was “a victim of sexual violence 53 years ago on the CU campus, at that time [her] only choice was to pretend that it never happened.” Now, she feels grateful “because now at least girls and boys…have an avenue to start reporting it.”
Pena Y Lillo hopes that this event inspires people “to be aware of what’s going on…to go beyond social media, and to give a voice to everybody.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kristin Oh at Kristin.Oh@colorado.edu.