The victim of a sexual assault committed by former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner has remained anonymous. But in the past week, her voice has only grown in reach.
The woman, identified as “Emily Doe,” released a statement to KTVU Fox 2 regarding her anonymity through her attorneys during the court proceedings that concluded Thursday. The statement follows Turner being sentenced to six months in county jail on three felony convictions, assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. In the statement, the woman wrote the decision to remain anonymous was made not only to protect her identity, but also to make her into an “every woman.”
“I remain anonymous, yes to protect my identity. But it is also a statement, that all of these people are fighting for someone they don’t know. That’s the beauty of it. I don’t need labels, categories, to prove I am worthy of respect, to prove that I should be listened to. I am coming out to you as simply a woman wanting to be heard. Yes there is plenty more I’d like to tell you about me. For now, I am every woman.”
Turner was tackled to the ground by two graduate students who saw him assaulting the victim outside a party and was subsequently arrested the morning of Jan. 18, 2015. Turner is expected to serve just three months of actual jail time on the assumption of good behavior, and will be required to register as a sex offender and complete a sex offender management program.
After the sentencing, the victim, a 23-year-old California-Santa Barbara graduate, read a 12-page letter to Turner, detailing the physical and mental struggles she faced as a result of his actions. In the letter, she also disagreed with the judge’s sentencing, writing leniency was not warranted given Turner’s actions.
“As this is a first offense I can see where leniency would beckon. On the other hand, as a society, we cannot forgive everyone’s first sexual assault or digital rape. It doesn’t make sense. The seriousness of rape has to be communicated clearly, we should not create a culture that suggests we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error.”
The letter went viral after first appearing online Friday at Buzzfeed and Palo Alto Online.