Lena Dunham and her co-stars on HBO’s Girls have recorded a powerful PSA addressing our treatment of sexual assault victims. The resounding takeaway: she is someone, and you can do something to support her. 

Dunham has also dedicated the PSA to the 23-year-old survivor of the Stanford rape case, the woman “who has given so much change to the conversation” especially through the circulation of the letter she read aloud in court to her rapist, Brock Allen Turner, 20, who last week received a shockingly lenient sentence of six months in gaol with three years’ probation for three felony counts of sexual assault.

The reason for his abbreviated sentence, according to the judge who handed it down: “A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him. I think he will not be a danger to others.” 

Turner’s father has also issued a statement saying that his son should not be incarcerated over the rape of an unconscious woman, or as he phrased it, “the events” or “20 minutes of action” that were not violent but merely the by-product of “alcohol consumption” and “sexual promiscuity”.

A Change.org petition calling for Judge Aaron Persky to be removed from the bench for his decision has since garnered over 744,906 signatures; another facilitated by Ultraviolet has generated a further 725,528 at the time of publication. 

The survivor’s remarkable letter, which you can read here, has since been read over 12,225,376 times on Buzzfeed, where it was originally published. 

Tile and cover image: Courtesy of NowThis

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