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Stanford sex assault victim named a Glamour woman of the year

by Reuters
Tuesday, 1 November 2016 20:43 GMT

"Survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving"

By Curtis Skinner

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Glamour magazine on Tuesday named the woman who was sexually assaulted by a former Stanford University swimmer one of its women of the year.

The woman, who remains anonymous, rose to national prominence after BuzzFeed published a letter she wrote ahead of Brock Turner's sentencing, which went viral and drew support from celebrities and politicians, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, Glamour published a new essay written by the victim, her first public comments since Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail and released in September after serving just half the time.

The essay detailed the whirlwind of media attention the letter generated, as well as the strength she hoped it instilled in other sexual assault victims.

"Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving," she wrote.

Turner was convicted in March of sexually assaulting the unconscious and intoxicated woman behind a dumpster after a fraternity party, and was sentenced by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky.

The sentence was widely decried as too lenient considering prosecutors had sought six years, triggering an effort to recall Persky.

In the Glamour essay, the victim also took aim at Persky and Turner, as well as those who blame the victims of sexual assault instead of the perpetrators.

"If you think the answer is that women need to be more sober, more civil, more upright, that girls must be better at exercising fear, must wear more layers with eyes open wider, we will go nowhere," she wrote. "When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, we go nowhere."

California has since toughened its laws on rape. Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that broadened the state's legal definition of rape and mandated prison if the victim was unconscious.

The Glamour honor was shared with several other women, including U.S. Olympian Simone Biles and the three women who founded the Black Lives Matter movement. In addition, the women's magazine named U2 singer and humanitarian Bono its first Man of the Year.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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