This Video Of Sexual Assault Survivors Reading Stanford Victim's Letter Will Move You
It looks like the 23-year-old victim of the Stanford rapist's attack has found allies in good-hearted strangers who have also been sexually assaulted.
ABC News posted a video that aired on their "Nightline" segment in which 22 survivors of sexual assault, both men and women, read the powerful statement the Stanford victim read aloud in court to her rapist. It was the victim's choice to remain anonymous, but she decided her voice still needed to be heard.
The video begins with a young woman reading a powerful message from the statement. She says, "You don't know me, but you have been inside me." The survivors go on to read the rest of the testimony, which, as emotionally charged as it is, brought me to tears. I can't empathize with the victim's horrific situation, but I can absolutely sympathize.
Though Brock Turner's victim admitted she was displeased with the court sentence given to him, I hope she keeps in mind he hasn't won just yet. It's so important to acknowledge the small but significant strides people who have ever been sexually assaulted are making in a society that discourages speaking up. Women are often shamed into not using their voice, but there is power in numbers.
At the end of the day, we don't need to know the victim's identity. That isn't the part that matters most. What does matter is that she was irreparably damaged and will never be the same, and something needs to be done about it. Justice needs to be served in a way she believes to be fair. No court sentence can take back what happened to her, but closure in a way that she sees fit would be a good start. We can start listening to what she and all the other victims of assault have to say about what they've endured.
Because the Stanford victim is taking a stand for every woman who's ever been taken advantage of in a vulnerable situation. Let's not forget powerful message she leaves us with:
"I am every woman."