Taking Her Story Back.
In the early hours of Sunday, January the 18th in 2005, two grad students at Stanford University were biking across campus when they saw a freshman student on top of a half-naked female behind a dumpster. Instinctually, they tackled him to the ground until police arrived.
Thus began more than a year of hearings and trials that have ultimately captured the nation’s attention and fueled its fury following the recent ruling. California judge Aaron Persky presided over the case of former Stanford student Brock Turner, 20. He was sentenced to a mere six months in prison, followed by three years of probation, even though he was found guilty of three felony counts of sexual assault.
Throughout the entire case, we only heard the side of the attacker, Brock Turner, instead of his unnamed 23-year-old victim, as she was unconscious throughout the life-altering ordeal. Brock took her dignity, or at least tried. Then he took her voice away. Took her story away: until now.
The young woman addressed her attacker in an impassioned speech at the end of the trial, and then shared a letter with Buzzfeed News that has since been read by millions of people. Her words show resiliency, strength, love, and vulnerability. They speak directly to Turner, confiding in him of all the emotions she went through in the months following that morning she woke up in the hospital, completely unaware that she had been digitally raped the night before. In her speech, the survivor informs Brock about all of the times he went wrong both the night of the attack and during the trial.
Sadly, the assailant, his friends, and family still don’t understand.