Brock Turner Survivor Will No Longer Help Stanford University With a Memorial Plaque

In October 2017, a year after Brock Turner was released from the three-month jail sentence he served for sexual assault, Stanford University replaced the dumpster by which Turner sexually assaulted a woman publicly known as Emily Doe with a fountain and two benches. It was the University's first step in making the scene of Turner's crime unrecognizable.

At the time, the Stanford Daily reported the next addition to the space would be a memorial plaque engraved with a quote from Doe's victim statement, which read anonymously to Turner at his sentencing and later published in full by BuzzFeed.

But months later, there's still no plaque and Doe is no longer involved with the project, after Stanford declined quotes she suggested from her letter. Stanford Law professor Michele Dauber, who brought the idea to re-landscape the scene of the assault to Stanford in 2016, confirmed Doe was no longer involved in the project in a statement emailed to Cosmopolitan.com.

"Emily provided a quote for the plaque and Stanford rejected it," Dauber said. "Stanford instead suggested their own alternatives including one that featured the out-of-context phrase 'I'm OK, everything's OK.' Emily then provided a second choice, and Stanford rejected that one as well."

In an emailed statement, Stanford spokesperson E.J. Miranda said the university was in "confidential discussions with Emily Doe's lawyer and representative about the garden," and that "at one point, Stanford proposed three quotes from the letter, any of which would be acceptable." The three suggested quotes included, "I'm right here, I'm okay, everything's okay, I'm right here," confirming Dauber's statement. The two additional quotes, also taken from Doe's letter, were:

"You are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you."

"On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought every day for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you."

Miranda said Doe's lawyer responded with a different quote, which Stanford considered but ultimately rejected because a sexual assault counselor reviewed it and "felt that it would be triggering to some sexual assault survivors." At this point, Doe's lawyer once again rejected the quotes Stanford had suggested, and "subsequently communicated that she did not want any quote to be used."

"The goal of the contemplative garden was to have a healing space for solace," Miranda said.

The Fountain Hopper, an anonymous newsletter and independent campus publication at Stanford, originally reported the news that Doe was no longer participating in the project. The Stanford Daily, the university's independent student newspaper, later confirmed the anonymous tip with Dauber, a family friend of Doe's who originally approached the university with the idea for the memorial garden (with Doe's permission).

Dauber now leads the effort to recall the Aaron Persky, the judge who sentenced Turner to only six months in jail after his conviction. In his decision, Persky cited the impact the six-month sentence would have on Turner's life, and mentioned character letters written by Turner's friends and family, "which indicate a period of, essentially, good behavior" up until he drunkenly assaulted Doe behind a dumpster. Just last week, on Jan. 23, a committee determined Dauber's campaign collected enough valid signatures to qualify Persky for a special recall election in June 2018.

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