No one can talk me out of the hurt he caused me.
-The Stanford Rape Victim
Brava, brave one, hurt one, raped one.
Voice this loudly, with all the power you can summon!
Brava, brave young woman of Palo Alto,
“Stanford Rape Victim” the only name we know.
But you speak, you voice this loudly!
Your deposition twelve pages, single-spaced,
letting us know, letting the world know,
letting the court know
what he did to you, what they all did to you.
“You don’t know me,
but you’ve been inside me,
and that’s why we’re here today.”
Raped behind a dumpster after a party, unconscious,
pine needles and dirt rubbed into your body.
Painstakingly you described the ordeal.
At the hospital-
“a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs...”
the immediate aftermath-
“I didn’t talk, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep...”
“I didn’t want my body anymore. I was terrified of it.”
the news media-
“By the way, he’s really good at swimming.”
Brava, brave one, voicing this for us all!
Your profound work, your deposition
is out on the table for us all,
for young men and for young women,
now at last out in the open, the vividness of your truth.
After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions
designed to attack me, to say,
“see, her facts don’t line up.”
You gave this back to the world, saying “chew on this!”
and we have. We hear you!
The world will never be the same,
never again to doubt your truth and your pain.
The world has changed. There is no turning back.
I can’t sleep alone at night without a light on.
I have nightmares of being touched
when I cannot wake up.
Brava, strong one, give it voice!
Spare the world nothing of your truth!
And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you.
On nights when you feel alone, I am with you.
I bow in thanks, a thousand thanks, to you, victim-no-more.
For the sake of girls, the next ones and the next,
you gave of your all, you gave us your truth,
the screaming depths of your pain.
(All quotes in italics are taken from the deposition of the Stanford Rape Victim, reported in Buzzfeed, June 3, 2016 by Katie Baker.)
A former Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman was sentenced to six months in jail because a longer sentence would have “a severe impact on him,” according to a judge. At his sentencing Thursday, his victim read him a letter describing the “severe impact” the assault had on her.
One night in January 2015, two Stanford University graduate students biking across campus spotted a freshman thrusting his body on top of an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster. This March, a California jury found the former student, 20-year-old Brock Allen Turner, guilty of three counts of sexual assault. Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison. On Thursday, he was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation. The judge said he feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on Turner, a champion swimmer who once aspired to compete in the Olympics — a point repeatedly brought up during the trial.
On Thursday, Turner’s victim addressed him directly, detailing the severe impact his actions had on her — from the night she learned she had been assaulted by a stranger while unconscious, to the grueling trial during which Turner’s attorneys argued that she had eagerly consented.
The woman, now 23, told BuzzFeed News she was disappointed with the “gentle” sentence and angry that Turner still denied sexually assaulting her.
“Even if the sentence is light, hopefully this will wake people up,” she said. “I want the judge to know that he ignited a tiny fire. If anything, this is a reason for all of us to speak even louder.”