Rachel Sanoff
Updated Nov 01, 2016 @ 5:38 pm
Credit: GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images

The Stanford sexual assault case, in which former student Brock Turner was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a frat party, forced us to have a desperately needed national conversation about rape culture and our judicial system’s reluctance to hold rapists accountable. This was largely due to the eloquence and courage of the anonymous survivor Emily Doe, who has released an essay, publicly speaking for the first time since Turner’s horrifically light punishment was handed down.

In June 2016, Emily Doe’s profound victim statement went viral as she boldly criticized rape culture, Judge Aaron Pesky’s pathetic six months sentence for Turner (which ended up being only three months), the court’s urge to protect Turner because he can swim fast, and Turner’s inability to recognize what he had done.

Credit: GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images

Emily begins the essay by explaining that she was told she was “best case scenario” — she had witnesses of her attack, after all. But then Turner was sentenced — and that all changed.

Emily also recalls the surreal moments that followed the initial publication of her victim statement — and the reach that her experience had:

Credit: GABRIELLE LURIE/AFP/Getty Images

Emily specifically remembers one comment she read about her story: “Sad. I hope my daughter never ends up like her” — a comment that reduced her to the attack she survived, that reduced the rest of her life to victimhood. In response, she delivers one of the most powerful statements on surviving sexual assault that you will ever read:

You can read the entirety of Emily Doe’s essay here — and you need to read it (and share it) immediately.