This Student’s Haunting Photo Series Gives A Brutally Honest Look At Sexual Assault

You’ve probably heard by now that Brock Turner (AKA the Stanford rapist) has been released from prison after serving only half of his six month sentence. Three months…that’s all he spent in jail…three months after being found guilty of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Is our justice system really that fucked? Apparently so, because what should have been a 5 year minimum lockup for sexual assault was passed off as 6 month sentence and a spot on the sex offenders registry. What kind of bullshit slap on the wrist is that?

The public is obviously outraged by this miscarriage of justice and oversight of rape culture as a whole. One student decided to make a statement about the devastating reality of sexual assault through a haunting photo series and people are finally starting to listen.

See Also: 10 Ways To Tell If You’re In A Toxic Relationship


Student photographer Yana Mazurkevich released an impactful photo series following the early release of the Stanford rapist.

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Entitled It Happens, the series was originally published on Facebook by Current Solutions, a website whose mission is to help survivors share their stories of sexual assault in a safe environment. Mazurkevich admits her photos may be hard to look at, but they’re meant to be that way. Assault is real and there’s no shying away from it anymore.

“I want to show the reality of issues like this, because it’s not a sugar-coated kind of topic whatsoever,” she told Cosmopolitan.com. “It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s out there.”

The photos are intended to shed light on the fact that sexual assault can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime.

“Assault happens to anyone, regardless of the color of your skin or your sexual orientation, your skin color, or relationship status,” Mazurkevich said.

Her series is raw and unashamedly real. While some of the photos may be disturbing or upsetting to look at, it’s important to keep in mind that this is happening all around us and it’s time more voices were heard.

According to Current Solutions, the photos are based on real stories of sexual assault told to Mazurkevich by her friends.

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(1/9) “I blacked out and just remember very short flashing images… I remember him asking me if I was on birth control, but I was too incoherent to talk. I was trying to explain that I wasn’t. We had sex anyway. I didn’t want to and I barely remember it.”

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(2/9) “I was at a party once, sober, and two of my good female friends pulled me aside, telling me that someone needed help. They pulled me into this room and pinned me against the wall and started kissing me and taking my pants off, but I was able to push them off and leave. The two girls who were my friends claim that they don’t remember the incident since they were drunk.”

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(3/9) “I can’t remember details or the order of things, but she was very, very aggressive. She left bruises all over me and I was bleeding the next morning. She held me down and forced a lot. I didn’t say no clearly, but I definitely didn’t agree to the aggressive actions she took. Lack of consent is not the presence of a no, it’s also the absence of a yes.”

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(4/9) “He made me feel guilty if I didn’t do what he wanted. I remember on prom night, I was exhausted and just wanted to go home, but he insisted we mess around because that was the whole point of prom night, and that’s what we were supposed to do. I still wonder if he knew just how manipulative he was.”

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(5/9) “When I was in high school, the only place to live for me was my uncle’s place. I thought I could trust them, but there were nights when I would wake up to one of them, the biological one, in my room, or he would sneakily try to touch my junk. I never really resolved it.”

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(6/9) “I lost my virginity at a party when I was in middle school. He gave me a drink and I can’t really remember what happened after that. Just bits and pieces for the most part… but I couldn’t say no or push him off while he made me have sex with him. I woke up next to him and I was really sore but i couldn’t tell anyone what happened.”

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(7/9) “I was tattooed by a guy and while he was tattooing me, he kept inserting his fingers up my vagina. He said he had to keep his hand there to keep the skin taut for tattooing. The most ironic part is that the tattoo is the symbol for female; I wanted the tattoo as a sign of feminism and got sexually assaulted in the process.”

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(8/9) “We had been drinking and, by the end of the night, I had lost all control. I was falling in and out of consciousness. I remember waking up with him on top of me but I kept passing back out before I could do anything about it. I always thought it was my fault for getting too drunk.”

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(9/9) “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.” – Stanford assault survivor

See Also: Mental Health Day: 4 Very Awesome Reasons Why You Need One Right Now

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