Chanel Miller was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner in 2015. Now, after revealing her true identity earlier this month, she’s ready to tell her story in her upcoming memoir, Know My Name, which is being released on 24 September. Elements of this story may be triggering or disturbing for some readers.
Chances are you’ve never heard the name Chanel Miller, but you’ll probably know her story. Known publicly as Emily Doe, Miller is the victim of Brock Turner – the Stanford University student who was charged with 3 felonies for sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious in 2016.
But what makes the name Emily Doe so powerful is not just the case which she and her defence lawyer so diligently fought. At Brock Turner’s sentencing in 2016, Miller (under the name of Doe) delivered a formidable victim statement which detailed the emotional trauma of her experience, including the impact of the legal system on sexual assault survivors. It instantly went viral – and became a powerful point of reference for victims all over the world.
Now, having spent the last three years writing about and processing her experience – including being blamed for her rape because she drank too much, and how it felt to face Turner in court – Miller has reclaimed her identity as the person behind the Emily Doe victim statement.
In a moving new interview with CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Miller details the abuse and comments she received from strangers online when the news of her assault first broke. She only found out what had happened to her while she had been unconscious when she read an online news article at work.
“It was surreal having the news broken to me by the internet,” she says. “I was alone, sitting at my desk, surrounded by co-workers, reading about how I was stripped and then penetrated and discarded in a bed of pine needles behind a dumpster. And that’s how I figured out all of those elements. And they all added up. And I finally understood.”
She continues: “The first thing I did after reading the article was read the comments. And there were many hateful words. ‘What was she doing at a frat party? This isn’t really rape. Why was she alone? She’s the predator ‘cause she’s older. Why would you ever get that drunk?’ It was endless.”
Now, as Miller prepares to release her book Know My Name, she has a message for the people who dared to suggest she deserved to be raped because she got drunk.
“Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk. And we have this really sick mindset in our culture, as if you deserve rape if you drink to excess,” she says. “You deserve a hangover, a really bad hangover, but you don’t deserve to have somebody insert their body parts inside of you.”
Know My Name is out on 24 September.
Images: Penguin/Supplied by publisher