The life of the woman assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner did not get any easier after her rapist’s sentence. In fact, the hard part was just beginning.
“I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party,” the survivor, who chose to keep her identity a secret, wrote in her 12-page statement during the trial. “I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt...You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”
The emotional statement soon went viral.
Turner was sentenced to six months in jail — an insignificant punishment compared to the crime he had committed. However, his release halfway through his prison term left his victim, who goes by pseudonym Emily Doe, utterly devastated.
Recently, Glamour magazine honored Doe with as one of its “Women of the Year.”
“It was Doe’s take-no-prisoners telling of what happened afterward — the relentless victim-blaming, the favoring of Turner, a student athlete — that changed the conversation about sexual assault forever," said Cindi Leive, Glamour's editor-in-chief.
The award prompted Doe to open up about her life in the last few months.
“Immediately I felt embarrassed for trying, for being led to believe I had any influence,” she wrote, referring to her assailant’s early release. “The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer.”
“I started getting e-mails forwarded to me from Botswana to Ireland to India,” she revealed. “I received watercolor paintings of lighthouses and bicycle earrings. A woman who plucked a picture of her young daughter from the inside of her cubicle wrote, ‘This is who you’re saving.’”
Now, when someone says, “I hope my daughter never ends up like her,” Doe tells them: “I hope you end up like me, meaning, I hope you end up like me, strong. I hope you end up like me, proud of who I’m becoming. I hope you don’t ‘end up,’ I hope you keep going. And I hope you grow up knowing that the world will no longer stand for this.”
“Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath,” Doe concluded. “Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.”
Doe’s extraordinary courage is indeed a shining example for all the women who have gone through such horrible experiences.