Former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was released from prison Friday, after serving three months of a six month sentence for three felony counts of sexual assault.
Much of the media coverage is focusing on the attacker and his return home to Ohio, but this is also an opportunity to amplify the voice of his victim by remembering the letter she read to Turner in court last June shortly after his sentencing for the January 2015 assault.
The letter in its entirety should be read, but here are 15 of the most powerful lines in Turner’s victim’s statement.
- “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”
- “The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced.”
- “I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs. I had long, pointed beaks inside me and had my vagina smeared with cold, blue paint to check for abrasions.”
- “I stood there examining my body beneath the stream of water and decided, I don’t want my body anymore.”
- “In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it.”
- “Sometimes I think, if I hadn’t gone, then this never would’ve happened. But then I realized, it would have happened, just to somebody else.”
- “It is the saddest type of confusion to be told I was assaulted and nearly raped, blatantly out in the open, but we don’t know if it counts as assault yet.”
- “And then it came time for him to testify and I learned what it meant to be revictimized.”
- “If you are hoping that one of my organs will implode from anger and I will die, I’m almost there.”
- “If you want talk to people about drinking go to an AA meeting. You realize, having a drinking problem is different than drinking and then forcefully trying to have sex with someone? Show men how to respect women, not how to drink less.”
- “Lastly you said, I want to show people that one night of drinking can ruin a life. A life, one life, yours, you forgot about mine.”
- “My damage was internal, unseen, I carry it with me. You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”
- “Do not talk about the sad way your life was upturned because alcohol made you do bad things. Figure out how to take responsibility for your own conduct.”
- “The probation officer’s recommendation of a year or less in county jail is a soft timeout, a mockery of the seriousness of his assaults, an insult to me and all women.”
- “And finally, to girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you.”