This is What “20 Minutes of Action Looks Like” /NSFW/Trigger Warning


Brock Allen Turner raped a woman behind a dumpster. His father, Dan Turner, has said his son’s lenient sentence “is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action” and more stomach-turning excuses, which you can read here.

I read his dad’s statement, and my hands shook for two hours. Then, my whole body started to tremble. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION. TWENTY MINUTES OF ACTION.

I don’t even know where to begin with the levels of disgust I have for this. I do, know, however, where to begin to describe what “20 minutes of action” steamrolled into my life.

This is what “20 minutes of action” looks like:

I refused to take baths and have exclusively taken showers for the majority of my life.  I hate getting into the pool.

Why?  Because my abuser used to ejaculate on my hair after “20 minutes of action” and then would stick me into the pool or the bathtub and gently clean his cum off.  If someone saw a seemingly loving male relative with me in the pool, they were wrong. He was washing away his evidence of his disgusting behavior, knowing that if my 50 pound body fought back, he would drown me, as he tried to the one time I fought him in the water.

Does this make you cringe? Does it make your stomach turn? It should. And yet I refuse to shut the hell up about it. I will keep talking about abuse because the only people that should be ashamed are my abusers and the people who were complicit in the situation.

My kids, like most children, love to get in the swimming pool. It takes all of my emotional energy to get in the pool with them. All of my emotional energy to watch them squeal with delight in a simple joy of childhood. In those moments, I feel like I am drowning even though my head is above water, suffocating under the weight of the memories that feels like I breathe them into my lungs every time I wade into a swimming pool.

Twenty minutes of action has robbed me of 20 minutes a day where I weigh myself and mentally check my lifelong struggle with anorexia. Twenty minutes of action has cost me 20 minutes a day of joy a day with my kids because I worry daily about someone touching them and am suspicious of all of the people in their lives.  Twenty minutes of action steals 20 minutes a day I have to use a catheter on myself to empty my bladder, a by-product of scar tissue from the abuse and weakened bladder muscle from anorexia. Twenty minutes of action causes 20 hours a year sitting in a doctor’s office dealing with the physical ramifications of those actions. I wonder 20 minutes a day if I’m too damaged for my husband to love me. I worry 20 minutes a day if I am too damaged to parent in a way that doesn’t rob my children of the simple joys of childhood.

I am so sick and damned tired of no one giving a damn about the victims, and only caring about the future of the abusers. If this is you—take a damn seat. You are enabling future abusers and are complicit in their actions.

This is not a drinking culture— this is a culture that rapists know that even if they are outed and caught, the punishment is a slap on the wrist and the majority of people will care more about them than their victims.

As far as his very brave and courageous victim, whose victim statement needs to be read by everyone (read it here), I stand with you. Keep talking. Keep balking. Keep fighting.

36 thoughts on “This is What “20 Minutes of Action Looks Like” /NSFW/Trigger Warning

  1. My mom told me to get over it. (My step father, her first husband, was my abuser)
    He abused her as well.
    When I was 15, I aimed his own revolver at him and told him it would stop.
    The hurt, the rage, are still there
    My moms words hurt the most.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. You are beautiful. You are strong. And you worthy. Never forget that. Thank you for sharing and staying strong even on the days it’s SO hard to do so.

  3. Every student entering freshman year should have to read her letter. It humanizes and gives voice to “unconscious drunk girl” who society deems deserving if what “she had coming to her, drinking too much” . This woman is amazing, a true hero and deserves to have her rapist face a real punishment

  4. Bravo! I was molested by a relative once, it damaged me for life. You are amazing, thank you for not apologizing and for your voice. It has taken me over 40 years to talk about what happened to me and I am the same, tough shit if it makes you uncomfortable, it should, but it’s not my fault.

  5. My mom told me that ” if it happened then it was your fault, you were always very aggressive around boys” I was 11… It did happen, it’s not my fault is what I tell myself everyday, it doesn’t make the pain go away, I don’t trust many people with my kids… Thank you for sharing your story
    You are very brave

  6. the part about being overly paranoid of your childrens interactions with strangers (aka family and or friends) is sad but such a blessing in disguise. your babies will be safer because you lived through this hell sister

  7. Audrey…I am standing here at work reading this, with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your story with me (and everyone else). I marvel at your strength, and am grateful I have had a chance to get to know you. I am so sorry.

  8. Oh, Audrey. I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a hug. I weep for the pain you have endured. Your words about wanting to play with your children in the water is powerful. I wish happy memories of their joy could slowly replace the terrible memories of your own childhood. Would that it were so simple. I pray you can continue to recover a little bit each day. Know that you were heard today.

  9. As a divorced father with sole custody of my two teenage sons, what do I tell them about these things? They know it is wrong, and I can’t fathom them ever assaulting or abusing anyone, but there’s more to it than that. There’s a systemic issue that needs to be addressed. I know my oldest would definitely intervene to stop/prevent an assault (my youngest has PTSD and would likely have a panic attack if he witnessed something).

    Basically, how do I help my sons help make this stop?

    1. You have them read things like this. You let our voices echo. It will help it sink in. Give this to them and talk about it. Read them the news. Talk about it until the mere thought of it no longer haunts you. That’s what we eventually have to do. Facing the discomfort is powerful. If survivors can do it, we all should.

  10. As a mother to a victim who was only 13 at the time, I am heartbroken for not only my own daughter, but every single victim. Everywhere. This disgusting act of selfish violence changes their entire lives, personality, sense of self. I’m proud of everyone of you who has let us hear your voice, help to carry your burden. Feel your sorrow. Be strong.

  11. for years I wondered why I never told my mom. She was so protective of us kids. She would have properly killed him. Like a momma bear. I finally realized that in my childish brain, I felt like some how I had encourage him. Somehow, it was my fault. They are good like that. Making you feel like it’s your fault. One day I said enough is enough. Looking back I know I was just a child. I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t deserve it. I was a child he was a perverted,sick,evil son of a bitch. I think this is the first time I ever told anyone this. Thank-you ….my heart hurts with & for you.

  12. Thank you for sharing this. Too many of us know personally or through the experience of a loved one, exactly what you go through on a daily basis. TOO MANY. And too many people, including family members of those attacked, don’t want to talk about it. TOO MANY. It is a rape culture and WE NEED TO CHANGE IT.

  13. You are not alone…..survivors always have to fight to stay afloat……keep fighting the good fight!

  14. My heart aches for you and so many innocent victims! I I AM SORRY! THANK YOU to you and many others strong enough to survive horrific acts of violence committed against you and who have the courage to SPEAK THE TRUTH! This RAPE culture has been going on for far too long! Entire families hiding the fact that there is abuse going on and protecting these MONSTERS! Only speaking the TRUTH can stop this culture. You are STRONG! You are a WARRIOR, You are a SURVIVOR and an AMAZING human being! May you continue to heal with the love and support from your husband, your children and all others who love you! ❤️

  15. Thank you for being so powerful. Victims of abuse are meant to feel ashamed of what they’ve been through, but really, the abusers should be the ones who are shamed and ashamed. As a victim of sexual abuse, with two young daughters, I share your feelings. I was victimized by my father between 2 and 3 years of age. To cope, I have somehow managed to forget most (not all) of the details but I struggle to trust the most trustworthy men in my life including, unbeknownst to him, my own husband. Almost daily I watch like a hawk with concerns on how touch happens with my girls, even though he is the best most trustworthy man I’ve ever met, and I have no reason to fear him. Scars run deep! It takes a lot of self reflection to be “normal” after someone steals your innocence and breaks your trust. if you ever want someone to talk to please reach out! I don’t have anyone in my life who understands me fully or who I feel I confide in without hearing, “Oh, I’m so sorry for you”. I’ll be following you… keep up the good work empowering us survivors.

  16. I am 38 and just now trying to place the blame on him, where it belongs. I have carried the guilt with me all these years of his violence, rapes, threats and humiliation. I was 5 yrs old and suffered for 3 years.
    People don’t understand that for us survivors, we will never be the same. There will always be the physical and emotional scars the we must cope with daily.
    Thank you for posting this. It reminds me that I am not alone in this struggle.

  17. Amazingly written. I am an incest survivor and I struggle daily with triggers, guilt, shame, worry for my own kids. And my abuser, my father, sits in New Hampshire with no remorse. I applaud your words and thank you. Janice

  18. I am so deeply, deeply sorry this happened to you, Audrey. So deeply sorry, as a fellow mother and fellow survivor, that this is your motherhood story, too. Your courage, for the every day as well as for sharing your story, is stunning. I thank you for this call. My 2016 Listen to Your Mother piece, “Trigger Warning: Mothering Boys,” was written months before news of the Stanford Rapist’s ridiculous sentence came out. I stand with you and I stand with Emily Doe and I’m trying to be grateful that these events have empowered survivors to share our stories. Sending so much love.

  19. Thank you so much for sharing your syory. When I read that excuse for a father’s letter I threw up.
    I spent 2 1/2 decades as a single mom because I was terrified for my kids to have a stepfather. Mine was a monster.

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