Glamour magazine's 2016 Woman of the Year isn't a victim – she's a survivor.
The woman known as Emily Doe, who was sexually assaulted by former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner in 2015, read a powerful statement at his sentencing in June. Her statement and his lenient sentence ignited a national firestorm against rape culture, victim blaming and privilege.
Now, she's spoken out publicly for the first time in an essay for Glamour about her shock and anger with Turner's sentence and her life since. She is one of 11 women of the year selected by the magazine.
'"Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath," she wrote. "Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving."
Doe's initial "take-no-prisoners telling" of her assault and the ensuing legal battle earned her recognition from around the world. Four days after Doe read her impact statement in court, it had been viewed 11 million times and read on CNN and the floor of Congress. She received letters from Vice President Joe Biden, as well as from strangers in Ireland, India and Botswana.
On Jan. 18, 2015, a 19-year-old Turner sexually assaulted an intoxicated and unconscious Doe behind a dumpster after a Stanford University party. Two bystanders chased and tackled him when he ran off and held him until police arrived.
"I had everything, and I was still told it was not a slam dunk," Doe wrote. "I thought, if this is what having it good looks like, what other hells are survivors living?"
Turner was convicted of three felony sexual assault charges, and Doe said she was "struck silent" when she heard the sentence – just six months in county jail with a possible release after three months for good behavior. Judge Aaron Persky said a harsher sentence would have a "severe impact on him." On Sept. 2, Turner returned home to Ohio.
The public responded with outrage. A Change.org petition to remove Judge Persky from the bench has more than 1.3 million signatures. California lawmakers passed a bill closing the loophole that allowed the sentence.
"When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, we go nowhere," she wrote. "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."
Doe's statement also inspired other women to come forward with their own sexual assaults, and sparked a more open dialogue on rape culture.
"Emily Doe's courageous statement was one 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 statement. "She changed how America sees this experience."
Original article posted by U.S. News
By Gaby Galvin
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