Stanford Sexual Assault Victim’s Sister to Brock Turner: ‘The Damage You Inflicted Is Irreversible’
A letter to the judge, from the sister of the victim who was sexually assaulted at a Stanford University fraternity party in January 2015, has been revealed.
In the statement, the victim’s sister, referred to as Jane Doe 2, tells the assailant, Brock Turner: “The damage you inflicted is irreversible.”
The letter, revealed on June 14 by the Washington Post and other news outlets, was read during the trial against Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman after a party. Two students caught Turner and held him until authorities arrived.
Turner was sentenced to 6 months in jail by Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky on June 2. He is now appealing the sentence and may only serve three months in jail. On the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office website, it says Turner will be released on Sept. 2.
“What has affected me most is that you did something to someone I love that I cannot take back,” said Doe 2.
“In this last year and a half, I have experienced some of the lowest points of my entire life; I have felt more sadness, guilt, and anger than I have ever felt. But I would go through what I’ve suffered a million times over if it meant that I could take away what you did to my sister. I can’t undo your mistakes and I can’t mend the part of her that you took away, even though she’s dedicated her life to mending me when I need her,” wrote the victim’s sister in the letter.
Like the victim, Doe 2 said she also learned about the graphic details of the attack through the media.
“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,” she said.
“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,” continued the sister.
The sister, who invited the victim to the party that night, said she is saddened because she could not save her sister from the attacker.
“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,” the survivor’s sister wrote.
“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.”
The victim’s sister said the assault and long trial, as well as Turner’s failure to admit that what he did was wrong, have left her heart “permanently broken.”
She also talked about how her personality changed, saying she is “no longer the always-laughing, always engaged student” at school.
“A few of my professors confronted me, asking me why I was distracted,” she wrote in her statement. “One by one I had to explain the event to them, to describe again and again, that my sister had been assaulted and that we were in the middle of a seemingly endless battle for justice, that for the year I would have to be traveling back and forth. I have spent heavy portions of my senior year of college driving six hours alone on multiple trips to sit in a dreary courthouse.”
She also said in her letter she felt hopelessness.
“I feel such intense hopelessness that there will always be people like you, who believe alcohol can dismiss perverted, harmful, sickening actions. You saw a drunk girl alone, incapacitated why would you not try to find her friends? I was trying to find her,” she wrote.
She then asked Turner, “Where has your remorse been? Really, truly: do you feel guilty because you were sexually assaulting her, or because you were caught?”
Doe 2 says she sees hope in the people that helped her sister and her family.
“But then I think about the two men that found her, the men who understood within two seconds that what you were doing was wrong, and I find hope again. I think about all of the police, my family, the counselors, the hospital workers, my professors, our friends, anonymous strangers, the District—I remember that the majority of people out there understand the depravity of sexual assault, and are kind, respectful, caring, attentive traits you will have to grow into,” she said.
The letter ended with her saying, “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.”
During the trial, the 23-year-old victim also read a letter, in which she described how the incident left her emotionally battered.
“My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty,” she wrote.
College age women are four times more likely to be victims of sexual assault, according to Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network.