Many were moved by a letter written by a Stanford sexual assault victim addressing her assailant, 20-year-old ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, in court. Her gut-wrenching letter went viral after being released by Buzzfeed News, sparking national attention and outrage toward the case. Now, a letter from the assault victim’s younger sister has been published by The Washington Post.
As the unnamed assault victim’s letter detailed, she had no intention of going out the night of the attack. She planned to spend a quiet Saturday night at home watching TV alone. However, her younger sister, who was visiting for the weekend, talked her into going to a fraternity party with her. The now 23-year-old victim spoke of her sister’s guilt and pain over the incident, telling her attacker, Brock Turner, that she feels more guilt than him.
“When I see my younger sister hurting, when she is unable to keep up in school, when she is deprived of joy, when she is not sleeping, when she is crying so hard on the phone she is barely breathing, telling me over and over again she is sorry for leaving me alone that night, sorry sorry sorry, when she feels more guilt than you, then I do not forgive you. That night I had called her to try and find her, but you found me first. Your attorney’s closing statement began, ‘[Her sister] said she was fine and who knows her better than her sister. ‘You tried to use my own sister against me? Your points of attack were so weak, so low, it was almost embarrassing. You do not touch her.”
According to a Los Angeles Times report, the victim’s sister was approached multiple times by Brock Turner earlier during the party. She said he was “aggressive” and she had to get away from him after he attempted to kiss her and grabbed her by the waist. She addressed Brock Turner’s unwelcome advances in her letter.
“In my head, I still have an image of the assailant right before he tried to kiss me earlier in the evening; the face of the man who assaulted my sister, is burned into my memory.”
The Stanford assault victim’s sister went on to explain how she learned the brutal details of the sexual assault. She learned what Brock Turner did to her intoxicated, unconscious sister at the same time the public did through a police report online.
“Because she had blacked out, neither of us knew exactly what happened. I had to learn about every graphic detail of her assault through a police report that went publicly viral before anyone told us. I had to read about way her body was found. I realized that the reason I could not find her that night, after checking every room in the fraternity house, after yelling her name outside, was because she had been unconscious and hidden behind a dumpster. That she was naked from the waist down.”
The victim’s sister spoke about how the assault has affected her and how her life has been completely consumed with the “seemingly endless battle for justice.”
She also expressed her deep sorrow over not being able to protect her older sister from Brock Turner.
“Today, I am still sick thinking about it. Sick to my stomach every time that I am reminded of the incident. I am still sad that I was not there to protect her. We have both been devastated, we have been speechless, and we have cried until our bodies have run dry. Whenever my sister and I thought we could distance ourselves from this horrid memory, the media was there to remind us in full detail about her sexual assault.”
While numerous letters from Brock Turner’s family and friends surfaced begging for mercy, she has no pity — other than the fact that Turner was never able to know her sister.
“The only sorrow I feel for you is that you never got to know my sister before you assaulted her. She’s the most wonderful person in the world.”
The Stanford sexual assault victim told CNN via a statement from her lawyer that she does not plan to release her identity at this time. However, she is grateful to everyone who is standing up for a stranger. She said for the time being, she is “every woman.”
“I remain anonymous, yes to protect my identity. But it is also a statement, that all of these people are fighting for someone they don’t know. For now, I am every woman.”
[Photos by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office via AP]