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We have all heard (unless living under a rock) of the Brock Turner sexual assault case that broke in the U.S some months ago. Well what about “Emily Doe”? Emily Doe was his victim. This post is NOT going to be about the vile being that is Brock Turner. This post is NOT going to detail the case. This post is about Emily Doe, the human being.

Doe wrote a harrowing victim impact statement that was read in court during the trial. The statement was published online and was read over 11 millions times in just a few days. Doe’s statement was so powerful that it lead to the closure of a loophole in California state law that gave lighter sentences in cases where the victim was intoxicated or unconscious.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Actors Gabourey Sidibe, Freida Pinto and Amber Heard speak onstage during Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for Glamour)

For her courage, bravery and power, the so called “Emily Doe” was honoured at this years Women of the Year Awards. Her victim impact statement was read on stage by Amber Heard, Frieda Pinto and Gaborey Sidibe. In order to protect her identity, Michelle Dauber, a Stanford Law School Professor accepted the award on Does behalf. While Emily Doe has understandably decided to remain anonymous, her impact has certainly not been so. You can read her aceptance speech below.

“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.”

Speak out and you will be heard.

To Emily Doe, the survivor!

Thanks to Niamh Clarke for writing this thought provoking piece. If you would like to submit a piece, please get in touch at info@shona.ie