Brock Turner’s Victim Talks His Grossly Short Sentence In Powerful Essay

WARNING: This article discusses sexual violence.

Emily Doe, the survivor of ex-Stanford student Brock Turner‘s sexual assault in 2015, has penned an essay for Glamour after being named one of the magazine’s Women of the Year. (Others include Simone Biles, Gwen Stefani, Ashley Graham and for some fucking reason, Bono. Let’s not go there.)

It’s the first time she’s spoken publicly since her insanely powerful victim impact letter went viral, although she remains anonymous (if it’s not obvious, ‘Emily Doe’ is a pseudonym).

“After the trial I was relieved thinking the hardest part was over, and all that was left was the sentencing,” she wrote. “I was excited to finally be given a chance to read my statement and declare, I am here. I am not that floppy thing you found behind the garbage, speaking melted words. I am here, I can stand upright, I can speak clearly, I’ve been listening and am painfully aware of all the hurt you’ve been trying to justify.”

She writes that while reading her statement in court she yelled about half of it, but after learning of Turner’s paltry six-month sentence (he was released after three), she was “struck silent”. 

“Immediately I felt embarrassed for trying, for being led to believe I had any influence. The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer. The judge would release him back to his life, back to the 40 people who had written him letters from Ohio. I began to panic; I thought, this can’t be the best case ­scenario. If this case was meant to set the bar, the bar had been set on the floor.”

She had no idea how far her statement would reach after giving permission to BuzzFeed to publish it, thinking it had maxed out at about 20,000 views. It hadn’t, of course.

“I started getting e-mails forwarded to me from Botswana to Ireland to India,” she wrote. “I received watercolour paintings of lighthouses and bicycle earrings. A woman who plucked a picture of her young daughter from the inside of her cubicle wrote, This is who you’re saving.

“When I received an e-mail that Joe Biden had written me a letter I was sitting in my pyjamas eating some cantaloupe. You are a warrior. I looked around my room, who is he talking to. You have a steel spine, I touched my spine. I printed his letter out and ran around the house flapping it in the air.”

While the majority of the response was overwhelmingly positive – even leading to California closing the loophole that allowed Turner to receive such a lenient sentence – Emily reveals that she had a few trolls.

At one point, pictures of her leaked, and one troglodyte commented: “She’s not pretty enough to have been raped.”

“In response I say, damn I wish the world could see me,” she writes. “I wish you could see my big, beautiful head and huge eyes.”

She ends her essay with a powerful message to survivors of sexual assault and rape everywhere:

“So now to the one who said, I hope my daughter never ends up like her, I am learning to say, I hope you end up like me, meaning, I hope you end up like me strong. I hope you end up like me proud of who I’m becoming. I hope you don’t “end up,” I hope you keep going. And I hope you grow up knowing that the world will no longer stand for this. Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.”

You can read it in full here.


If you or someone who know has experienced sexual assault or violence, you can access 24/7 counselling by calling 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.