Her words have been shared around the world.
Her story: that of waking up in the hospital, without her underpants and being tested with a rape kit. Her discovery: that she’d been sexually assaulted behind a dumpster while unconscious. The statement of her rapist (The Stanford Rapist): lamenting the loss of his career, reputation, university position. His sentencing of only six-months for aggravated sexual assault when the maximum could have been 14 years. These fragments of the woman’s reality have shaken the world.
But we still don’t know her name.
‘Emily Doe’ is choosing to remain anonymous to protect herself, but also because she is “every woman”.
And in the wake of the incredible international reaction to her truly tragic story she has released a statement to a US Television network.
In a statement to KTVU Fox 2 she said:
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.
That’s the beauty of it. I don’t need labels, categories, to prove I am worthy of respect, to prove that I should be listened to.
I am coming out to you as simply a woman wanting to be heard.
Yes there is plenty more I’d like to tell you about me.
For now, I am every woman.
And she is. Her impact statement, where she shared details of the physical and psychological aftermath of that night, resonated so deeply with women around the world because it is an experience that has been / could be / might have been / almost was / a reality for many of us.
When she talked about reading the story of her rape in a news article, she showed the raw anguish and eerie disbelief of sexual assault survivors:
This can’t be me. I could not digest or accept any of this information. I could not imagine my family having to read about this on-line. I kept reading. In the next paragraph, I read something that I will never forgive; I read that according to him, I liked it. I liked it. Again, I do not have words for these feelings.
When she spoke about her sister picking her up from the hospital after she was swabbed, photographed, tested, she revealed the masks women use to protect the people they love while dealing with trauma:
My sister picked me up, face wet from tears and contorted in anguish. Instinctively and immediately, I wanted to take away her pain. I smiled at her, I told her to look at me, I’m right here, I’m okay, everything’s okay, I’m right here. She did not know that beneath my sweats, I had scratches and bandages on my skin, my vagina was sore and had become a strange, dark color from all the prodding, my underwear was missing, and I felt too empty to continue to speak.