The woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner has penned an essay for Glamour magazine detailing what her life has been like since the attack, trial, verdict and subsequent lenient sentencing of the former Stanford swimmer.
“Emily Doe” was named a Woman of the Year by Glamour in its annual list honoring women the magazine feels are an inspiration. Doe was chosen for her bravery in addressing her attacker by reading a letter at his hearing that she had written documenting what she had been through since the attack.
On Jan. 18, 2015, Doe, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was assaulted by Turner behind a dumpster at the California school as she lay unconscious. Two men riding bicycles happened upon the scene, tackled Turner and held him down until police came.
Turner, 20, was found guilty of the assault, and at his sentencing hearing, Doe read her powerful 12-page letter that told her side of events. A judge sentenced Turner to six months in jail, saying that a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him.”
The “severe impact” of Turner’s actions on Doe resonated around the world. According to Glamour, within four days, her statement had been read 11 million times. It was read aloud on CNN and on the floor of Congress. It led to the state of California closing a legal loophole that had previously allowed lighter sentences if the victim was intoxicated or unconscious.
In Glamour, in an essay just shy of 955 words, Doe talks about life in the aftermath of the verdict, the sentencing and how she felt about her statement going viral.
She said that after his sentence was announced, she felt embarrassed “for trying, for being led to believe I had any influence.”
“The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer,” Doe wrote.
She recalls the moment she found out that BuzzFeed wanted to publish her statement online. After granting permission, she said, she felt exposed and vulnerable all over again.
Doe also writes about the overwhelming numbers of supportive emails, texts and letters she received from around the globe. Even as trolls posted her picture online and said, “She’s not pretty enough to have been raped,” the outpouring of support bolstered her and made her feel stronger.
If you think the answer is that women need to be more sober, more civil, more upright, that girls must be better at exercising fear, must wear more layers with eyes open wider, we will go nowhere. When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, we go nowhere. When we all make it a priority to avoid harming or violating another human being, and when we hold accountable those who do, when the campaign to recall this judge declares that survivors deserve better, then we are going somewhere.
Read Emily Doe’s story in her own words at Glamour magazine.