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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Emily Doe Speaks out as Glamour's Woman of the Year


The following is Emily Doe's Exclusive Statement to Glamour Magazine

*It started with a simple sentence: “You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me, and that’s why we’re here today.” Maybe you read the powerful words—part of a “victim’s impact statement” the young woman who’d been sexually assaulted at Stanford University had prepared to read to her attacker in court. The facts of the case were harrowing: On January 18, 2015, after a party, “Emily Doe,” as she came to be called, had been sexually assaulted by freshman Brock Turner as she lay unconscious behind a dumpster; two men passing by on bicycles saw the crime and tackled Turner as he ran away.

But it was Doe’s take-no-prisoners telling of what happened afterward—the relentless victim-blaming; the favoring of Turner, a student athlete—that changed the conversation about sexual assault forever. “Future reference, if you are confused about whether a girl can consent, see if she can speak an entire sentence,” she wrote to Turner. And this: “I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party…while you are the All American swimmer at a top university…I am a human being who has been irreversibly hurt.… You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.”

After Turner was convicted last spring, the judge sentenced him to just six months, saying anything more would have “a severe impact on him.” But Doe’s words circled the globe. Within four days her statement had been viewed 11 million times; it was read aloud on CNN and the floor of Congress. Rape hotlines experienced surges in both calls and offers of volunteer help. And importantly, California closed the loophole that had allowed lighter sentences in cases where the victim is unconscious or severely intoxicated. We all know the statistics: One out of every six females will have someone rape her—or attempt to. Doe sent those women a message: I am with you. Glamour is honored to name Emily Doe a Woman of the Year; here, for the first time, she tells what happened next. —Cindi Leive



From the beginning, I was told I was a best case scenario.

I had forensic evidence, sober un­biased witnesses, a slurred voice mail, police at the scene. I had everything, and I was still told it was not a slam dunk. I thought, if this is what having it good looks like, what other hells are survivors living? I’m barely getting through this but I am being told I’m the lucky one, some sort of VIP. It was like being checked into a hotel room for a year with stained sheets, rancid water, and a bucket with an attendant saying, No this is great! Most rooms don’t even have a bucket.

After the trial I was relieved thinking the hardest part was over, and all that was left was the sentencing. I was excited to finally be given a chance to read my statement and declare, I am here. I am not that floppy thing you found behind the garbage, speaking melted words. I am here, I can stand upright, I can speak clearly, I’ve been listening and am painfully aware of all the hurt you’ve been trying to justify.

I yelled half of my statement. So when it was quickly announced that he’d be receiving six months, I was struck silent. Immediately I felt embarrassed for trying, for being led to believe I had any influence. The violation of my body and my being added up to a few months out of his summer. The judge would release him back to his life, back to the 40 people who had written him letters from Ohio. I began to panic; I thought, this can’t be the best case ­scenario. If this case was meant to set the bar, the bar had been set on the floor.

The morning after the sentencing, my phone screen was stacked with texts and I turned it over saying, not today, on this day I deserve to sleep. My phone kept ringing and I learned that BuzzFeed was waiting for my permission to publish my court statement in full. As soon as it was posted, I remember thinking, what have I done, making myself exposed and vulnerable again. I texted my sister when it hit 20,000 views, thinking that was it, the comments were actually quite nice, and I closed my computer.


I started getting e-mails forwarded to me from Botswana to Ireland to India. I received watercolor paintings of lighthouses and bicycle earrings. A woman who plucked a picture of her young daughter from the inside of her cubicle wrote, This is who you’re saving.

When I received an e-mail that Joe Biden had written me a letter I was sitting in my pajamas eating some cantaloupe. You are a warrior. I looked around my room, who is he talking to. You have a steel spine, I touched my spine. I printed his letter out and ran around the house flapping it in the air.


There was, of course, the wee sprinkle of trolls. Some photos of me leaked and someone said, “She’s not pretty enough to have been raped.” In response I say, damn I wish the world could see me. I wish you could see my big, beautiful head and huge eyes. Perhaps now you are at home imagining me looking like some sort of bloated owl. That’s all right.

When Ashleigh Banfield read my letter on the news I sat stunned watching her speak my words, imagining them being spoken on every television set in the nation. Watching women and men at Gracie Mansion, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, girls in their rooms, gathered together to read each segment, holding my words in their voices. My body seemed too small to hold what I felt.

In the very beginning of it all in 2015, one comment managed to lodge harmfully inside me: Sad. I hope my daughter never ends up like her.

I absorbed that statement. Ends up. As if we end somewhere, as if what was done to me marked the completion of my story. Instead of being a role model to be looked up to, I was a sad example to learn from, a story that caused you to shield your daughter’s eyes and shake your heads with pity. But when my letter was published, no one turned away. No one said I’d rather not look, it’s too much, or too sad. Everyone pushed through the hard parts, saw me fully to the end, and embraced every feeling.

If you think the answer is that women need to be more sober, more civil, more upright, that girls must be better at exercising fear, must wear more layers with eyes open wider, we will go nowhere. When Judge Aaron Persky mutes the word justice, when Brock Turner serves one month for every felony, we go nowhere. When we all make it a priority to avoid harming or violating another human being, and when we hold accountable those who do, when the campaign to recall this judge declares that survivors deserve better, then we are going somewhere.




So now to the one who said, I hope my daughter never ends up like her, I am learning to say, I hope you end up like me, meaning, I hope you end up like me strong. I hope you end up like me proud of who I’m becoming. I hope you don’t “end up,” I hope you keep going. And I hope you grow up knowing that the world will no longer stand for this. Victims are not victims, not some fragile, sorrowful aftermath. Victims are survivors, and survivors are going to be doing a hell of a lot more than surviving.



“Emily Doe” has chosen to remain anonymous.

32 comments:

  1. I have, for the longest time, known friends who were raped. Date rape. Violent rape. I can't remember what happened rape. We went so far then he wouldn't stop rape. The one thing everyone has in common is the inability to speak about it. Rape, just like abortion, is hidden from friends, from family, from teachers, from authorities, from anyone who might be able to help and support. I see their pictures on facebook and everything they present to the world looks successful, happy. But I know it's not the whole truth. The fact that 1 in 6 women suffer rape or attempted rape is horrifying. Thank you Emily Doe for standing up, speaking out and telling the truth, the feelings inside truth, the hurtful truth, the truth that makes the victim a real person. For eloquently making it real to people who wanted to go on pretending this doesn't happen, people who don't want to talk about it. For until everyone talks about it, nothing changes. And it really needs to change.

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  2. The D.A> in my case kept saying to me, "I have to prove to a jury of 12 people, beyond a reasonable doubt, that his intention was to rape you." Up to this point, 15 weeks after my attack ('only' attempted rape as I was saved by a passerby) my body was still in shock. Her statement, though, brought me out and as I was crying on the phone with her, asking why, and how can you not understand what he did to me, I said to her, "His intention? He had all my clothes off, what do you think his intention was, to have a tea party?" I guess I truly was one of the lucky ones since my attacker decided to plead guilty and go straight to the sentencing. I was able to read my statement in court and, lucky for me, the judge was not a stupid man who thought sentencing him for the crimes he committed would be ruining his life, and gave him the maximum that the State of California allowed for the crimes he was charged with: assault with the intent to commit a felony (rape), attempted forcible rape and sexual battery by restraint. That was 6 years of which he was to serve 85%, less time served at the sentencing, 317 days. He should have gotten out this past September, the 5th anniversary of my attack. As of right now, for what I can only assume is bad behavior while in prison, his release is set for August 2017.

    I hope that you are getting the therapy that you need. It is no longer a daily struggle for me, but I definitely have my moments. My heart and prayers go out to you. I firmly believe the more we talk about it, the more it will change for the better.

    Tamerie Shriver Halliday

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    1. I honour your courage in posting your heartbreaking account under your own name. You too are far, far more than a victim.

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  3. What an incredible Voice. Such an amazing gift to be able to communicate like this brave, strong, young woman. Maybe this woman, who is so courageous, and who has endured more than I hope either of my kids ever has to at one time, will have doors opened for her and options to speak, and write and advocate. God forgive me, I hope that Brock Turner faces judgment every day of his life for his time not served and the justice not delivered.

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  4. Please take comfort in the fact that millions of us are with you...and the others? Well, they'll get their bad karma one day. There will always be naysayers, just don't listen to their craziness. It's not about them anyways.

    Work on healing yourself.

    Hugs

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  5. I didn't have any evidence or witnesses. I had to settle for reporting it to the university administration. I talked to a policewoman about it and explained that I didn't want to go on trial for being a victim with no evidence. At first he lied and his fraternity brothers, my former friends, ganged up against me on his behalf. Finally he admitted that something happened, and they realized he'd been lying to them. Some still supported his version of the story but the president of the fraternity formally apologized to me. The university banned that particular raping alum from ever coming on campus again. My parents offered to raise a big stink but I figured the university had already done all it could do, and I just wanted to forget and pretend it didn't affect me. It still affects me, more than 24 years later. I hope to God I have successfully raised my son to never do anything like that to anyone. I hope Brock Turner's dad buys a clue and lets go of his misogyny soon enough for it to positively affect Brock. I pray that every man, or woman, for that matter, out there who has ever figured they would "get twenty minutes of action" whenever or however they could, whether or not the child, adult, senior, disabled person, animal, etc. that they have decided to sexually assault could be construed as willing or not, has a wake-up call that this is NEVER okay behavior. I hope every john who has ever visited someone enslaved as a prostitute realizes that the time they are with the person is part of their nightmare, not just the time when they are not there.

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  6. My stepfather, Grover James "Jim" Doyle, of Lyndhurst, NJ raped and sexually abused me repeatedly when I was a girl, starting when I was eleven, 1971 - 79. He said he would kill me, my entire family, anyone I told, and then himself. He's dead, and the whole world can read what he did and guess what? none of us are going to die from it. If you were molested or raped it was NOT your fault and you are not alone. http://rainn.org has free, anonymous help.

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  7. Emily: Thank you. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your voice. You have made more of a difference than you can know.

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  8. I wish I had a 10th of her courage, maybe then I would have continued to speak up. Instead, I stopped when the first person told me I had made a mistake, that I was wrong, that he would NEVER do anything like that. Maybe speaking out would have saved me from becoming an addict,from always trusting the wrong people, more abuse. These things that happened still haunt me even though I have had excellent therapy. I still find myself avoiding situations where I will be alone with a man. Elevator full of men? No thank you, I will take the next. Counting possible exit points, watching for any sign that this man might be dangerous, times when my heart beats so hard and I have this thick, choking sensation in my throat are all daily facts of life for me. Anyone who thinks that rape doesn't affect your life forever is a fool, it's been over 30 years since the last time for me, I've learned to not use drugs to stop the feelings and memories. I've learned how to live in spite of the PTSD, I function despite all the research and data that says I should be unable to. But still, I wonder what it would have been like if I had kept telling until someone believed.

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  9. What an incredible Voice. Such an amazing gift to be able to communicate like this brave, strong, young woman. Maybe this woman, who is so courageous, and who has endured more than I hope either of my kids ever has to at one time, will have doors opened for her and options to speak, and write and advocate. God forgive me, I hope that Brock Turner faces judgment every day of his life for his time not served and the justice not delivered.

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  10. Leave in God everything in God's hand. As humans we are not perfect.. the human verdict was not fear... but sooner or later they will get what they deserve.

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  11. Leave in God everything in God's hand. As humans we are not perfect.. the human verdict was not fear... but sooner or later they will get what they deserve.

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    1. Trust in God, but realize that human striving is important to God and do not be silent if you are harmed, seek comfort from family, friends and your God (whoever that entity is) to help you heal, and (for perpetrators or would-be perpetrators) remember your human obligation not to harm others.

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  12. I join with you. I stood by my daughter as she stood up to her attacker in military court a process that would take her entire Junior and Senior year of High School. A process that would see her mental health records not only released to the defense team but her therapist supoened to READ the notes to the court. A process that would have her as a victim forced to submit to a pre-trial deposition. In the end, he was acquitted BUT her case changed military laws, giving more protection to victims. In the end, like you, she gained her voice through standing up and refusing to be "just a victim" She has been interviewed by Gail Sheehy for her radio show The Daring Project and by Quil Lawrence for an NPR piece on being a civilian victim in the military justice system and for standing up to this archaic system that still can't understand just how violent sexual assault truly is and how deep the injuries go. It has been 2 years since we heard the word "Not Guilty" and in these 2 years not a day goes by that we don't look around a little more carefully and that we are not somehow triggered in a small or large way. Today she is a junior in college and just passed her SARC training so she can help other victims become survivors. Today we are both vocal about the long term affects of sexual assault and the need for legal reform and societal reform.

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    1. I thank you and your daughter for not giving up when it must have felt like the system completely failed you. I thank you both for your strength in continuing the fight. I know the trauma because others in my family have lived it. Even though they move on in life and there is no sign of damage on the outside, I know the profound impact it's had on every cell of their body, it's a cancer given to them by their attackers and I rage at any human being who could do this to another soul. We have so far to go as a nation, a world, a species. Thank you for continuing the fight, I respect your tremendous strength and perseverance. I hope your daughter's daughter will have a joyful life and grow up in the better world.

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  13. Thank you so much for all of the courage you found to advocate for yourself when our system was doing so little. Thank you for getting the loophole in California law FIXED! You are amazing! I wish you much future success -- if you can turn this horrible experience into this amazing triumph, I imagine you can accomplish so much in this life.

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  14. Her words are beautiful and strong. Keep on keeping on, Emily Doe! I have been following your case for awhile. I admire you. And if I ever have a daughter (doubtful, but if I do...), I want her to be just like you. Hell, *I* want to be just like you.

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  15. My very first experience with sex came at the age of four. I watched my father rape my fifteen year old sister. In my adolescence, I was repeatedly molested by the son of my mom's best friend. I'm blood related to at least four pedophiles and I live with that shadow hanging over me. Most of my girlfriends have been raped or molested. I grew up terrified of sex and seemingly incapable of feeling physical or sexual attraction. At the age of 27 I finally took a chance with a friend. I realized that by nature I should have been pansexual, but the perversion I witnessed as a girl and the lifetime of subsequent PTSD altered how my sexuality worked. I was perfectly capable of being attracted to anyone really, provided they meet one non-negotiable condition: making me feel safe. My friend and I have been together for two years together. I just moved from California to Texas for her last month and I've never been happier, or felt safer. I finally feel healed and unafraid! Where before sex terrified me, now it fascinates me! Where before I associated it with violence, I now associate it with love and devotion. We all heal in different ways, but I wish healing and peace on every person who has had to face this ugliness. Thank you for everything Emily Doe! You're an inspiration, a role model, and a hero! Reading your trials have filled me with emotion; rage at that disgusting judge, Brock Turner, and his repulsive family, frustration with the legal system,heartsick that you suffered at all, but also pride. You survived. I survived. Survivors are strong! We are not weak, pitiable failures! We have voices and we are going to use them! Bless you and yours Emily Doe! Keep on keeping on!

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  16. Emily Doe

    You give me hope that the world can change. As a sexual assault survivor I am so dismayed at the victim blaming and the abhorrent attitude that women should be better at protecting themselves and not "get in that situation".

    Your words and unbelievable courage mean so much to me. I have saved your full statement on my phone and I read it over and over and it gives me strentgh and courage to talk about my own experience.

    I hope that if I have daughters that they will be just like you - courageous, eloquent, kind, honest, loving and justice oriented.

    You are phenomenal...

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  17. My mother believed that our purpose in life was to fight our own injustices and that people who did that acheived a huge amount not just for themselves but for every one oppressed in the same way. It seems that is happening here.Public shaming is I believe one of the strongest or even the strongest punishment possible.People who do very shameful things would often rather die than be exposed.Victims are very powerful when they can publically shame people on the internet. It is probably a greater deterant than a prison sentance to people who might consider commiting violent sexual crime. The justice system is letting us down but we are more powerful than judges if we just keep talking. Take care however it is a strong punishment, use it wisely with out be cruel.People can be cruel, damaging and hurtful but most people however badly they behave have some good in them and some kindness and deserve some consideration.In this case I feel it is an appropriate response, but our justice system has also let down the abusers who are not offered treatment and public privacy if they plead guilty. It lets them down because it condones these appaling actions and gives yound men every where the message that abuse is ok. It is not good for the abuser as well as the victim, it destrys their self esteem and self respect.I think about Nazi germany and how so many ordinary people behaved really badly because the state said it was Ok to do so. These people were not all totally bad people, they were under the influence of power of peer pressure and public condoning of bad behavior as often these abusers our in our society. Public shaming can counter balance this but take care.

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  18. Emily Doe, you gave me a voice. I was raped twice: once in 2000 and once in 2012, the result of which was me getting pregnant. I didn't press charges because I didn't think anyone would believe me. Both times were at the hands of "men" I was in relationships with. I knew what would happen. I knew it would be he said, she said.
    My life was shattered into a million pieces, painstakingly put back together, then shattered all over again. I am still trying to put the pieces back together from 2012, including coming to terms with the child I lost to a miscarriage. I am still trying to find the strength that I once had. I have good days, bad days, and truly horrible days. The horrible ones are the days in which the PTSD episodes, flashbacks and panic attacks come fast and furious.
    Thank you for your strength, courage and wisdom, Emily. I will continue to get out of bed each day, put one foot in front of the other, and work to put the pieces back together.

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    1. I am so sorry you had to go through this nightmare in your life. Once is terrible, twice is unthinkable. No one had the right to do this to you, and if justice is not done in court, I can only hope karma catches up to them. I hope there are people in your life who can help you to feel safe and whole again. I hope the future brings peace for you.

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  19. You are an ambassador for all of us that have suffered this particular hate crime. I call rape a hate crime because it is done because our no isnt treated equally to the man's yes. It is a crime of inequality and ego. As a child rape survivor i salute you, you are saying what my parents should of but didnt, instead they shamed me because i was female and had been damaged in their esteem.

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  20. It has been two horrible years for my daughter and she has not had her day in court yet. You are strength to me to help her in her daily hell that people put her through, the system, "friends", and strangers!! Wake up world it happens every.

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  21. Emily Doe, I cannot imagine what you went through but your resilience and strength to stand up for yourself and all women is something you should be extremely proud of. Thank you for speaking out when so many don't. You inspire me.

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  22. Emily, you are a bright light to so many who have been in darkness. I am amazed by the strength of your spirit.

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  23. I appreciate how far your words have traveled, because we absolutely need more support and understanding in this arena. Most of my close friends who are women, and some men, have been sexually assaulted to varying degrees. To those it hasn't happened to, I think they really don't know how crazily common it is. We stand with you. Thank you for being a powerful voice. Much love.

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  24. Oh my goodness!! As I was reading this I was getting goosebumps with how powerful and courageous yours words were!! I pray my daughter would have even half the courage and strength to stand up for herself like you did. I was in utter shock and disbelief when I read the judge saying more than 6 months would have "a severe impact on him".. Did he just say that ignorant statement?!?!?!!! Well what about YOU?!?! The one who was raped and have her life FOREVER changed... If that judge had a daughter and she was raped I bet he wouldn't hand down such a light sentence. Not to mention I thought there was a minimum for a rape charge?? How can this judge get away with handing down this kind of sentence?? There are SOO many judges getting away with handing down sentences that do NOT fit the crime, whether its too little or too much time behind bars... It needs to be stopped.. and it shouldn't matter if you were drinking or what kind of clothes you were wearing. If you are 21 years of age then its legal and by saying oh women shouldn't get so drunk or intoxicated or wear short skirts, is NOT going to fix anything!! There are women all around the world that aren't drunk or wearing skirts that are getting raped, right now, even as I'm writing this.. Alcohol and clothing are not raping women, MEN are.... Emily, you speaking out the way you did and having to be vulnerable, now in front of the whole world and not shying away from all the coverage your story was received is going to help SOO many other women come forward, they will see your bravery and courage and say to themselves, I CAN DO THIS! I will face my attacker and stand tall! God turns bad events and works them out for His good, a tear nor pain is ever wasted.. God is using you to help other women come forward, and to set a precedent to the world, that NO longer are men who are top athletes in universities or frat guys, will be able to get away with this.. But you know what? In my opinion, you still win, so to speak, in the sense that you stood up for yourself, didn't back down or shy away, you let him and the whole world know that NO LONGER WILL YOU GET AWAY WITH having any sort of power over me.. The words that you speak and how you are handling all this is, simply amazing. I feel like the comments where people are saying negative things are people that haven't gone through anything like what you went through and really don't know what they are talking about. Until you have been in that type of situation you have NO idea how you will react, feel, or think.. So people should stop judging and just support you.. Rape is rape and you didn't deserve it or were asking for it because you were drinking, that again is another ignorant statement. So shine Miss Emily Doe!!! Continue to let the world see the beautiful, strong, brave and courageous woman you are... Know that you have people all around the globe standing right there with you!! You are an inspiration to women EVERYWHERE!! We are NOT VICTIMS, WE ARE SURVIVORS!!
    With much love from a mother and also a survivor of rape. You are in my prayers!!

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  25. i love you, i love you, i love you. crying right now, i cant help it... you are a true warrior!!! i thank you for your words, your spirit. don't stop here. you didn't chose this path (obviously) but you are meant to fight it. look at how articulate you are! a true gift to put these feelings into words. as a survivor, i cannot thank you enough for your courage. i love you. i love you, i love you, i love you.

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  26. ***شرکت نوين گيت***

    با سالها سابقه در طراحي ،اجرا و خدمات سيستمهاي درب اتوماتيک و راهبند
    فروش،نصب و راه اندازي و خدمات انواع درب اتوماتيک (درب سکشنال - کرکره اتوماتيک - کرکره پنجره - درب ريلي اتوماتيک - جک پارکينگي - کرکره شفاف - رول گيتر - انواع راهبند و درب اتوماتيک شيشه اي... )
    خدمات 24 ساعته و شبانه روزي حتي در تعطيلات رسمي
    مشاوره رايگان در تمامي مراحل

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