Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Amber Heard gives a voice to the Stanford sexual assault survivor in powerful reading

amber-heard.jpg

On Monday night, actresses Amber Heard, Freida Pinto and Gabourey Sidibe gave a voice to Emily Doe, the Stanford rape survivor.

The unnamed woman was being recognised as one of Glamour’s Women of the Year, but did not appear at the awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Doe is a pseudonym, and the survivor’s real identity has never been revealed.

But her presence was felt thanks to the three actresses reading aloud from the devastating victim impact statement she wrote earlier this year, which sparked an international conversation about attitudes towards sexual assault when it was published online.

After being introduced by Lena Dunham, Heard – who donated much of her $7 million divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to a charity combatting violence against women – said: “Emily, wherever you are, thank you for your words. Thank you for your courage. We carry it with us every day.”

x

Doe was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner as she lay unconscious behind a dumpster near Stanford University, California, in January 2015. At his trial in June, she made a powerful speech in which she attempted to make her attacker understand the significance of his actions.  

“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” Doe’s statement famously began, “and that’s why we’re here today.”


Read more: Lena Dunham’s Girls support Stanford rape survivor in new video


Doe was praised for her unflinching analysis of the trauma of sexual assault and critique of rape culture. Doe later said she received messages of support from all around the world – including an open letter from US Vice President Joe Biden and notes of gratitude from sexual assault survivors in countries including Botswana, India and Ireland.

After Heard, Pinto and Sidibe read from Doe’s impact statement, Stanford Law School professor Michele Landis Dauber took to the stage to accept the Woman of the Year award on Doe’s behalf.


Read more: One of Trump’s sexual assault accusers says his election is “the biggest con possible”


“The past year has been hard but through the worst times I’ve discovered I’m indestructible,” read Doe’s acceptance speech. “I was slow to learn, but now I can’t forget it.

“I hope every survivor is sharing the stage with me feeling proud – feeling part of this too. I am grateful to be among them, and tonight we have won together.”

Landis Dauber has led the campaign to have Aaron Persky, the judge who sentenced Turner to just six months in prison for his attack on Doe, recalled from the bench. Turner ultimately served just half of his sentence, and left prison in August after three months behind bars.

Images: Rex Features, Getty

Related

donald trump.jpg

Trump sex assault accuser says he’s pulled “the biggest con possible”

rexfeatures_5925869b.jpg

“Unladylike” Gigi and why women always get blamed for acts of violence

iStock_75930487_MEDIUM.jpg

Stanford rape survivor pens empowering new essay

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey shares shocking sexual harassment story

“I got in my car and cried”

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Stylist
17 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted at 16 by a director

“Producers made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Courtney Love tried to warn us about Harvey Weinstein in 2005

This video shows her speaking out against Weinstein over a decade ago

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hillary Clinton praises NHS after receiving medical treatment in UK

Clinton spoke about the UK’s health service during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017