Brock Turner's rape victim shocked the world with her horrifying and articulate account of the impact his actions will have on the rest of her life. Now she's written another equally powerful essay addressing his short, three month jail sentence.
The essay has been published in Glamour as part of her nomination as one of Glamour's Women Of The Year. Her first court statement was praised by editor-in-chief Cindi Leive as changing how America sees the experience of sexual assault survivors.
In this new essay, she addresses the impact she has had so far, and how she reacted to her attacker's short sentence.
“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,” she wrote.
“I yelled half of my statement. So when it was quickly announced that he’d be receiving six months, I 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.”
After the disappointing result of the court case, the victim experienced some trolls online, including one commenter who told her she 'wasn't pretty enough' to be raped. While she ignored this stupidity, one comment did get to her...
"In the very beginning of it all in 2015, one comment managed to lodge harmfully inside me: Sad. I hope my daughter never ends up like her.
"I absorbed that statement. Ends up. As if we end somewhere, as if what was done to me marked the completion of my story. Instead of being a role model to be looked up to, I was a sad example to learn from, a story that caused you to shield your daughter’s eyes and shake your heads with pity. But when my letter was published, no one turned away. No one said I’d rather not look, it’s too much, or too sad. Everyone pushed through the hard parts, saw me fully to the end, and embraced every feeling."
She ended her piece with a powerful new reflection on this comment.
"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."