“Emily Doe”—who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner in 2016—has revealed her name.
First known as a faceless body crumpled beneath Brock Turner behind a dumpster and then as the author of a powerful victim impact statement, Chanel Miller is now the author of a forthcoming memoir detailing her excruciating ordeal.
Chanel Miller, who was sexually assaulted by former Stanford student Brock Turner (who served only 3 months in jail after his conviction), was known as Emily Doe in the case. Now she wants the world to "know my name." https://t.co/UOWvAhYFCz— Marina Fang (@marinafang) September 4, 2019
“It is one of the most important books that I’ve ever published,” Viking Books editor-in-chief Andrea Schulz told the New York Times of Miller’s memoir, which is called Know My Name.
Miller, who made a devastating victim impact statement about her sexual assault by Turner, began writing the memoir in 2017.
She recently re-read that statement on 60 Minutes (and tons of social media users rightly pointed out that 60 Minutes‘ headline is problematic and should instead name Turner as “rapist” not “Stanford swimmer”).
She has been known to the world as “Emily Doe,” the sexual assault victim of Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Now she’s revealing her name and face. Chanel Miller, here reading her victim impact statement, gives her first interview to "60 Minutes" https://t.co/U4GDOofVj6 pic.twitter.com/cpVMwCZ4Sk— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 4, 2019
Even now, with all we know and this young woman sharing her truth, @60minutes refers to convicted rapist Brock Turner as the “Stanford swimmer.” This is unacceptable and they should account for it. https://t.co/LSsQuwq23G
— roxane gay (@rgay) September 4, 2019
“She had the brain and the voice of a writer from the very beginning, even in that situation,” Schulz said.
On the night of January 18, 2015, two Stanford students from Sweden discovered an intoxicated Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. When they tried to apprehend him, Turner fled the scene, but the students caught and restrained him until police arrived.
The sexual assault case gained media attention, with folks expressing outrage over how gently Turner seemed to be treated.
People were concerned that the swimmer would be robbed of a bright future and potential Olympic hopes. Turner’s father infamously said his son shouldn’t be penalized for “20 minutes of action.” Turner’s defenders blame alcohol and said Turner would become a spokesperson for how “party culture” can affect lives.
Turner was eventually convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person, and penetration of an unconscious person in 2016.
Though he could have received up to 14 years in prison, he was ultimately given six months. Out of those six months, he served three for “good behavior” (otherwise known as privilege). In the aftermath, there was outrage over the light sentence. Eventually, the judge who gave him such an insultingly lenient sentence, Aaron Persky, was later recalled by Santa Clara County voters in 2018.
The Brock Turner case reminded Americans that the conversation about sexual assault on college campuses was far from over. It also emphasized how rich, white men continue to have the power in terms of crafting the narrative of sexual assault at the victim’s detriment.
But with the publication of Chanel Miller’s book, she hopes to take back the story and also share how the trauma of that night, as well as the trial, has shaped her life.
According to the Times, “the process of writing Know My Name was also in part, a way for Ms. Miller to piece together the totality of what happened the night she was assaulted. She read pages of court documents and transcripts of witness testimonies she had no been allowed to hear during the trial. She and Ms. Schulz had weekly calls to discuss what Ms. Miller was discovering and how it would shape the book.”
Schulz ultimately hopes the book will “change the culture that we live in and the assumptions we make about what survivors should be expected to go through to get justice.”
This is power.— Kathryn Kosmides (@kathrynkosmides) September 4, 2019
This is taking your story back.
I am here for Chanel Miller and all survivors of not only a person’s actions but of the justice systems that traumatize us more. https://t.co/6edNq1bAKx
Chanel Miller, the woman who Brock Turner served THREE MONTHS in prison for raping, is a goddamn American hero and I cannot wait to read her book. https://t.co/S24DyicKLK— ella dawson (@brosandprose) September 4, 2019
Chanel Miller is so much more than “Emily Doe” - for one thing, she’s an incredible writer - and I can’t wait to read her book: https://t.co/V9h8tSbshZ— Katie Baker (@katiejmbaker) September 4, 2019
Know My Name is scheduled to be released on Sept. 24.