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Stanford Survivor Reads Out Powerful Letter to Her Rapist in Court

“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”

Published
Women
3 min read
A woman attends a protest against rape and violence against women in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: Reuters)

In March 2016, a California jury found former Stanford swimmer, Brock Allen Turner guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. He was sentenced to six-months in jail and probation on 2 June.

Eye witnesses said they saw Turner “thrusting on top of the motionless woman and that they intervened and held him until police showed up.”

The judge, however, feared a longer sentence would have a “severe impact” on the “champion swimmer, who once aspired to compete in the Olympics,” according to Buzzfeed.

On the day of the verdict, the sexual assault survivor addressed Turner directly. Through an emotionally charged letter, she expressed to Turner, the impact the assault had on her. From the normal evening she was having with her sister, to agreeing to attend a party with her despite a long day at work, to the not remembering a thing, to being told about her fateful encounter. She tells her perpetrator everything.

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She begins by saying, “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”

Describing the ‘day after’ vividly, she tells him;

I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in. I was asked to sign papers that said “Rape Victim” and I thought something has really happened. My clothes were confiscated and I stood naked while the nurses held a ruler to various abrasions on my body and photographed them. The three of us worked to comb the pine needles out of my hair, six hands to fill one paper bag. To calm me down, they said it’s just the flora and fauna, flora and fauna. 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.  
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Turner, 20, had hired a “powerful attorney, expert witnesses, private investigators”, who left no stone unturned to find details about the survivor’s personal life in order to use it against her.

I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name. After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts don’t line up, she’s out of her mind, she’s practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, he’s like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so he’s having a really hard time right now.  
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Asking the rapist to “learn to take responsibility of his own conduct” she told him;

You should have never done this to me. Secondly, you should have never made me fight so long to tell you, you should have never done this to me. But here we are. The damage is done, no one can undo it. And now we both have a choice. We can let this destroy us, I can remain angry and hurt and you can be in denial, or we can face it head on, I accept the pain, you accept the punishment, and we move on.
Buzzfeed Report

She ended her letter thanking all those who stood by her and gave her strength to fight for her dignity in the past year, and said;

To girls everywhere, I am with you.
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(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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