Profile in Courage

Glamour magazine names Stanford sexual assault survivor ‘Woman of the Year’

Stanford students carry signs during the "Wacky Walk" to show their solidarity for a Stanford rape victim during graduation ceremonies at Stanford University, in Palo Alto, California, on June 12, 2016. (GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images)

Glamour magazine has named Emily Doe, a pseudonym for the young woman who was sexually assaulted by former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner, as its “Woman of the Year” for 2016. A 12-page letter written by Emily addressing Turner, who raped her on Stanford’s campus behind a dumpster while she was unconscious, was published by Buzzfeed News and quickly went viral. “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” her statement begins, “and that’s why we’re here today. You took away my worth.”

Turner was sentenced to six months in jail and three years’ probation for the crime, causing public outcry over the lenient punishment. He left jail in early September after having served half of the sentence. Describing the tremendous impact of the letter, Glamour writes, “Doe’s words circled the globe. Within four days her statement had been viewed 11 million times; it was read aloud on CNN and the floor of Congress. Rape hotlines experienced surges in both calls and offers of volunteer help. And importantly, California closed the loophole that had allowed lighter sentences in cases where the victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated.”

The magazine also published a new personal essay by Doe, where she talks about her life since Turner’s conviction and describing the many gifts and mails she received from strangers around the world. She also describes her feelings over the letter she received from Vice President Joe Biden, which was also published on BuzzFeed News, writing, “I printed his letter out and ran around the house flapping it in the air.” She describes her relief and excitement over hearing Turner’s guilty verdict — but then feeling “silenced and embarrassed” when his sentence was read. “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,” she writes. “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 the full story at the The Washington Post.

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