Friday 9 December 2016

Stanford rape case survivor gives powerful speech at Women of the Year awards

Stanford professor Michele Dauber read the note on behalf of the victim

Rachael Revesz

Published 15/11/2016 | 18:16

Stanford professor Michele Dauber read the note on behalf of the victim. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Glamour)
Stanford professor Michele Dauber read the note on behalf of the victim. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Glamour)

The sexual assault survivor whose words prompted a massive movement against rape culture said she was "honored" to be given a Glamour Woman of the Year Award and encouraged fellow survivors to feel "hopeful" for the future.

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Emily Doe did not attend the ceremony in Los Angeles. In a powerful speech delivered by Stanford law professor and family friend Michele Dauber, she said: "Through the worst times I have discovered I am indestructible. I was slow to learn that, but now that I know it, I can't forget it."

Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS
Former Stanford student Brock Turner Photo: Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department / Handout via REUTERS

Emily Doe was sexually assaulted by Stanford athlete Brock Turner behind a dumpster in January 2015 while she was unconscious.

Turner was sentenced by judge Aaron Persky to six months in jail this year but he only served three months and was released in September.

The "Recall Persky" movement, led by Ms Dauber, has gathered support from high-profile celebrities like Lena Dunham and politicians such as vice president Joe Biden.

"I am one of so many, so many who have fought before me, so many who have had to endure, so many who have had enough," said Emily.

She said she hoped survivors were watching the Glamour ceremony, feeling "proud" and a part of the movement.

"Tonight we have won together," she said. "With every setback the world should know that every survivor has a story, each story is our power, and together we are louder than any system or any person that threatens to silence us.

"Collectively we are countless and unstoppable and now, like never before, we are indignantly rising. Be excited. Keep going. I’ll be fighting alongisde you."

Ms Dauber added in her own words that the last week had been "hard" as the population had voted in a new president.

"Like many people, I cried, watching secretary Clinton concede. I’m devastated that we have elected a president who bragged about committing sexual assault," she said, referring to the leaked video from 2005 where Mr Trump said, as a "star", he could get away with grabbing women by their genitals.

In a tribute to Emily, Dunham said she had also been sexually assaulted and revealed that most of the backlash and attacks against her came from right-wing outlet Breitbart News, where president-elect Donald Trump’s appointed chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, had spent most of his career.

"When I was assaulted I lived with guilt that I had been out, wasted in a party dress, and fear that I was as inconsequential as I had been made to feel when I woke up on the floor," she said.

Emily Doe’s words, which went viral when they were published on BuzzFeed, were read out on stage by actors Gabrielle Sidibe, Freida Pinto and Amber Heard, the ex-wife of Johnny Depp who accused him of domestic violence.

Independent News Service

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