The stars of the HBO series “Girls” collaborated with NowThis News in a Public Service Announcement released on June 8, urging people to create a “safer, healthier environment for women to come forward” by listening to and supporting victims.
The 90-second video was dedicated to the victim of Stanford swimmer and sex offender Brock Allen Turner.
“I dedicate this to the brave survivor in the Stanford case who has given so much to change the conversation,” tweeted Dunham with the accompanied video.
I dedicate this to the brave survivor in the Stanford case who has given so much to change the conversation. https://t.co/KMOJUxvPu0
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) June 8, 2016
Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet rattled off the harsh statistics of sexual assault, including that 20 percent of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime and 80 percent will know their attacker.
“This isn’t a secret,” Dunham begins before the others join in. “So why is our default reaction, as a society, to disbelieve, or to silence, or to shame?” they say. “What if we chose to turn towards those in need instead of away? To listen. To support.”
They continue, “You have a choice to make things better. And while it’s just the four of us here right now, we hope to represent the solidarity and support all survivors should be able to find.”
Judge Persky’s decision to hand down a six-month sentence to Turner—who may only have to serve three months on good behavior—has outraged the nation. A petition with over 1 million signatures, as of June 10, has called for the resignation of Persky.
“Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency,” said the petition. “He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors.”
Vice President Joe Biden offered support to the victim in an open letter released on June 9.
“I am filled with furious anger—both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth,” he wrote.”It must have been wrenching—to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.”
Watch the PSA above.