One night in January 2015, two Stanford University graduate students biking across campus spotted a freshman thrusting his body on top of an unconscious, half-naked woman behind a dumpster.
This March, a California jury found the former student, 20-year-old Brock Allen Turner, guilty of three counts of sexual assault.
On that morning, all that I was told was that I had been found behind a dumpster, potentially penetrated by a stranger, and that I should get retested for HIV because results don’t always show up immediately.
But for now, I should go home and get back to my normal life.
The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway.
I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person. When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing.
I planned to stay at home by myself, watch some TV and read, while she went to a party with her friends.
Then, I felt pine needles scratching the back of my neck and started pulling them out my hair. I shuffled from room to room with a blanket wrapped around me, pine needles trailing behind me, I left a little pile in every room I sat in.
Imagine stepping back into the world with only that information.
They gave me huge hugs and I walked out of the hospital into the parking lot wearing the new sweatshirt and sweatpants they provided me, as they had only allowed me to keep my necklace and shoes.
My dad made some dinner and I sat at the table with my younger sister who was visiting for the weekend.
I was working full time and it was approaching my bed time.