The survivor of the Stanford sexual assault — whose powerful court statement ignited a national outcry against rape culture, prompted new state laws and launched a recall movement against the sentencing judge — was named Tuesday as one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year.
In a powerful essay published in the magazine’s December issue, the woman, identified as “Emily Doe,’’ speaks out for the first time since former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail for sexual assault by Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky.
Doe writes about the despair she felt over the sentence, which allowed Turner to be released after three months, as well as her joy over the public’s outrage about the case. And for the first time, she announces her support for Persky’s recall in November 2017.
“When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, then we go nowhere,’’ she wrote in a one-page piece. “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’s past women of the year honorees helped select Doe and 10 other 2016 women of the year. The women include Olympic gymnast Simone Biles; Black Lives Matter founders Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi; International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde; model and body activist Ashley Graham; human rights activist Nadia Murad; fashion designer Miuccia Prada; singer and fashion designer Gwen Stefani; and actress and activist Zendaya.
“Emily Doe’s courageous statement was one’s of the year’s most remarkable events for women – for anybody, really, who cares about justice and the experience of sexual assault survivors,’’ Glamour’s editor-in-chief Cindi Leive said in a written statement to this newspaper, referring to Doe’s victim-impact statement in the Turner case, which went viral. “She changed how America sees this experience.’’
Persky, who followed a probation department recommendation in handing down Turner’s sentence, has declined to comment on the case or the recall movement. But the judge has formed a committee to fight the effort to remove him from the bench and begun raising money, including from defense lawyers who have cases before him. Recall opponents, including dozens of California law school professors, have characterized the effort as an overreaction that threatens judicial independence.
“If this helps Emily Doe move on and heal, great,” said Gary Goodman, a Santa Clara County deputy public defender who opposes the recall. “But we don’t want victims determining the punishment because they are too close to the case and that’s not how our system works.”
In her essay, Doe writes that she was “shocked’’ by the sentence. Prosecutors had asked for six years in state prison. Turner, now 22, will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
“The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer,’’ she wrote.
After Persky sentenced Turner in early June and Doe’s 12-page impact statement was posted online, Doe wrote that she expected it to get only a few thousand clicks. But once it was read aloud on CNN and in Congress, Doe got emails forwarded to her from “Botswana to Ireland to India.’’
She was particularly elated by an email from Vice President Joe Biden, who called her a warrior with a steel spine.
“I looked around my room — who is he talking to?’’ she writes, then ran around the house, “flapping it (the email) in the air.’’
She also rebukes people who blamed her for being intoxicated and passing out. Turner assaulted her outside a campus fraternity party in the middle of the night, behind a dumpster. Two Stanford graduate students who were bicycling rescued her.
“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 wrote.
The case inspired state legislation, including two bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that go into effect Jan. 1. One, suggested by Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, will remove a provision in state law that allows judges to treat sexual assault as a less severe crime if the victim is unconscious or intoxicated. The legislation imposes a mandatory prison term in such cases. However, Rosen does not support recalling Persky.
Brown also signed another bill, which broadens the definition of rape to include forced penetration of any body part with any foreign object. Turner was convicted of that charge, but it did not qualify as rape under existing law.
Glamour will present the awards Nov. 14 in Hollywood. Accepting the award for Doe will be Stanford law professor and recall leader Michele Dauber. Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross will open the awards ceremony.
Doe’s essay is accompanied by an introduction from Glamour’s editor-in-chief, as well as a request for donations to the recall campaign. Dauber said the campaign, whose slogan is “Enough is Enough,” has raised about $320,000 so far.
“Victims are survivors,’’ Doe writes in the essay, adding “and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.’’
Original article posted by The Mercury News
By Tracey Kaplan
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