Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Louise Nicholas: I would 'knock some sense' into Brock Turner's father

A Kiwi advocate for survivors of sexual assault says she'd like to "knock some sense" into the father of the former Stanford University student convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in January last year.

Louise Nicholas said Brock Turner's father showed no understanding of the impact his son's actions had on the life of the 23-year-old woman, identified only as Emily Doe.

"It's all oh woe poor me, oh woe, oh woe my poor boy. This father has given no thought whatsoever to the consequences of his son's actions," she said.

Ms Nicholas is a vocal advocate for the rights of sexual assault survivors and rose to prominence following her own public battle to have four Rotorua policemen she claimed raped her as a teenager held to account.

One of the four was acquitted in 1994 and three were acquitted in 2006.

But the case sparked an inquiry into how police treat victims of sexual violence and Ms Nicholas has since worked with police as an advisor on rape cases.

Turner was last week sentenced in California to six months in prison for assaulting Doe, a punishment many have criticised as being too lenient.

But Turner's father does not think he should serve time in prison at all, arguing in a letter to the judge presiding over his son's case that Brock should be given probation instead.

Brock Turner. The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced last week to six months in jail and three years' probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Photo / AP
Brock Turner. The former Stanford University swimmer was sentenced last week to six months in jail and three years' probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. Photo / AP

Dan Turner wrote how his once "happy-go-lucky" son was now an anxious wreck who hardly ate, and that their family had been "shattered" by the verdict.

His comments proved the ignorance of the Turner family "knows no bounds", Ms Nicholas said.

"I'm not one that condones violence, but I would love to get in front of that father. I want to knock some sense into him.

"Does he have a daughter? How would he feel if something like this happened to a woman in his family? His daughter, his wife, his mother?"

Ms Nicholas applauded Doe for making her victim impact statement public.

"It was so powerful. It will have a huge impact for survivors knowing they can still put their story and the impact of what they have gone through out there without having to be identified, which is really important because it encourages others to come forward.

"She's put it out there for everybody, for the world to understand we should be able to go out, have a good time, and if I get sloshed that's my hangover in the morning it's not a invitation to be sexually assaulted."

As for Turner, Ms Nicholas did not think he had yet realised the gravity of what he had done, but was hopeful that could change in time.

"He's on a sex-offender register for the rest of his life. He put himself there and once he gets that into his noggin and understands that, he could actually be someone who helps others learn from his mistake. But he has to grow up and he has to acknowledge he has done harm."

- NZ Herald

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