Rarely do we hear the voices of the victims of sexual violence. When a women is raped or assaulted too often we never hear her story. Last Friday, I led a group of 22 women in giving voice to one victim.
Many of us have heard the story of the sexual assault out of Stanford University that led to the six month jail sentence and probation to the perpetrator, Brock Turner. During sentencing, the victim “Emily Doe” prepared a statement that gave a vivid picture of her experience, and the impact the assault has had on her life since. Her words are a powerful reminder of the devastating nature of sexual assault. I chose to bring together women from Peace Over Violence, Planned Parenthood, the Commission on the Status of Women, as well as women leaders inside City Hall to read Emily Doe’s statement – word for word.
My goal was to remind my colleagues, and the public, that we must take sexual violence seriously. We must take every measure available to us to protect our women and girls from this type of violence. I encourage you to read Emily Doe’s statement, or watch the video of our presentation on my Facebook Page.
Leaders from throughout California are taking steps to ensure that perpetrators of this type of assault are not let off as leniently as Brock Turner was. Assembly Member Evan Low introduced AB2888 to prohibit probation as a sentence in these cases, and last week I called on my colleagues to endorse that legislation.
We must remain ever vigilant in our fight against sexual violence that targets women, children, and other vulnerable people in our community.