“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.”
This past June, we all learned about Brock Turner and his appallingly light sentence for raping a woman and leaving her blood-soaked body behind a dumpster. Since then Turner and the judge in his case, Aaron Persky, became public examples of white male privilege and rape culture.
But from the terrible came painful power. Known only as Emily Doe, the survivor of Turner’s attack, wrote a victim impact statement that went massively viral. She has inspired countless people. She’s a hero. And rightly, Glamour named her a woman of the year. Michelle Dauber, professor at Stanford Law School, accepted on Doe’s behalf.
Before sharing Doe’s letter, Dauber gave a few words on the election and President-elect Trump. “I’m devastated that we have elected a president who bragged about committing sexual assault,” she said. “However, now it’s time to get to work.”
Then, Dauber read a statement from Emily Doe accepting this greatly deserved honor.
“Hello. First, I would like to say thank you to Cindi Leive and to Glamour for recognizing me tonight. Thank you for seeing me through my words and giving me a voice without having to see me physically. Thank you for honoring me among the incredible women I’m determined to one day meet.
“I want to thank my prosecutor who powerfully fought for justice for me. I’d also like to recognize Katie Baker at BuzzFeed and Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering for enabling so many survivors [with their film The Hunting Ground]. I want to say thank you to my mom and dad for buying 10 copies of magazine, and to my younger sister, the reason why I’m so determined to fight back and create joy in this life.
“The past year has been hard but through the worst times I’ve discovered I’m indestructible. I was slow to learn, but now I can’t forget it.
“I am one of so many who have fought before me…so many who have had enough. I stand among millions of groundbreaking Emily Does. I have seen them speaking. I have seen the strength that accompanies healing.
“Right now, I’m watching the award show from home know many survivors watching at home too. I hope every survivor is sharing the stage with me feeling proud—feeling part of this too. I am grateful to be among them, and tonight we have won together
“With every set back, the word show know every survivor has a story. Every story is our power. Together, we are louder than any system or person who threatens to silence us. Together we are countless and unstoppable. Now, we are indignantly rising. Be excited. Keep going. I’ll be fighting alongside you.”
Introduced tearfully by Lena Dunham and read by Amber Heard, Gabourey Sidibe and Freida Pinto, here are the words of Emily Doe’s original statement and recent essay for Glamour.
Emily, if you’re reading this, thank you. The world needs more of you, and you deserve better than this world.
Let’s fix it for the Emilys. Like Professor Dauber said, “now it’s time to get to work.”