Stanford Rape Survivor Pens Powerful Essay  


The anonymous Stanford sexual assault survivor known only as “Emily Doe” penned a must-read essay in Glamour, and she started it with: 

“From the beginning, I was told I was a best case scenario.”

In January 2015, Doe was brutally assaulted behind a dumpster by “star athlete swimmer” and fellow Stanford student, Brock Turner, while she was unconscious. Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to 6 months in county jail but he was released after only 3 months — despite being convicted of three felony sexual assault charges in March of the following year.

Doe wrote: “I had forensic evidence, sober un­biased witnesses, a slurred voice mail, police at the scene. I had everything, and I was still told it was not a slam dunk. I thought, if this is what having it good looks like, what other hells are survivors living? I’m barely getting through this but I am being told I’m the lucky one, some sort of VIP. It was like being checked into a hotel room for a year with stained sheets, rancid water, and a bucket with an attendant saying, No this is great! Most rooms don’t even have a bucket.”

A few months after Doe read a victim impact statement aloud in court, Buzzfeed published the statement and it went viral. So viral that it reached celebritiespoliticians and both Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden commended her for her bravery. Biden even wrote her a letter.

Doe wrote: “I yelled half of my statement. So when it was quickly announced that he’d be receiving six months, I was struck silent. 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. The judge would release him back to his life, back to the 40 people who had written him letters from Ohio. I began to panic; I thought, this can’t be the best case ­scenario. If this case was meant to set the bar, the bar had been set on the floor.”

She ended her essay with: “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.”

Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive announced in the foreword that the Doe was named Glamour’s Woman of the Year for her bravery.

Read her entire column HERE.

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