In June, former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail (of which he served three) after being convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster following a party. The case quickly gained national attention, due in part to the eloquent impact statement in which Turner’s victim — known only as Emily Doe — described the harrowing aftermath of her sexual assault, as well as all the victim-blaming she was made to endure. As of Tuesday, Glamour magazine named her one of their Women of the Year, and published her account of what she’s dealt with since the case became so public.
Doe writes of being floored when she heard that Turner only received six months in jail, saying, “Immediately I 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.”
But then she writes of the overwhelming response she received after her statement was circulated millions of times, mentioning supportive emails from “Botswana to Ireland to India” and the letter from Vice-President Joe Biden.
She also addresses the one especially hurtful comment she came across, one that read “Sad. I hope my daughter never ends up like her.” In response, she says:
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. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.
Read the full letter here.