Recently a story in the state of California caught my attention.
It involves a young woman who was raped and sexually assaulted while passed out at a party.
The details of this assault are disturbing and disgusting.
The accused was convicted of his crime and was sentenced to a paltry six months in prison and will be a lifetime member of the sex offenders registry.
The part of this story that caught my attention and got my blood boiling was the open letter written by the convicted rapist’s father.
He wrote it to the judge in the case as an attempt to decry the sentence given to his son. It was his contention that six months in prison and a lifetime on the sex offenders registry is “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”
There are so many things wrong with that statement but let me just address one.
The sense of entitlement.
On what planet is it acceptable behaviour to sexually assault a woman, and not have consequences that fit that crime?
I think the sentence given out in this case is a travesty.
Six months should be six years and I think a lifetime reporting your movements to authorities is only fair considering the victim has to live with this assault for a lifetime.
She doesn’t get to forget what happened and move on with her life.
Twenty minutes of “action” is a life sentence for her.
This points to a larger problem.
Parents want to protect their kids. We want to make sure they have every opportunity at a good life.
Unfortunately, that means sometimes standing in a room while your child is punished for an action they committed.
The instinct is to defend.
It is hard wired into us.
However, sometimes the best protection is to let them face the consequences.
I have a son. I am raising my son to respect women and boundaries.
I hope he makes good choices in this regard. If he doesn’t, I hope the consequences of his actions fit the crime.
It is my job as his Dad to show him the right way.
It is not my job to make excuses for his bad behaviour thus teaching him that he doesn’t have to follow the rules of society.
Will I stand beside him while he takes his punishment? You bet.
I hear frequently about our youth not showing respect, not engaging in society, not contributing.
If that is happening, the blame is equally shared with the parents.
It is up to us to be the bad cop once in awhile.
It is our job to make sure our kids understand the value of belonging to a society, by contributing. When we make excuses, clean up their mess, we do them no favours later in life.
All we are doing is making the problems worse.
So next time you are in line behind a parent denying their screaming child a toy or treat, don’t roll your eyes. Pat them on the back and tell them they are doing the right thing.
Rob Murphy is the sales manager at the Summerland Review.