Brock Turner’s Victim, Who Wrote Of Her Horrifying Rape By A Dumpster In An Impact Statement, Is Publishing A Book
In 2015, the story of Stanford University student and rapist, Brock Turner’s sexual assault of an unconscious woman went viral. His victim had written a heart-rendering impact statement that went viral and dominated headlines for months and while it occurred just before the #Metoo movement, there’s no denying it has had a profound impact on the ways similar rape trials have been addressed since. Turner was then charged after two Stanford graduate students witnessed the assault taking place while they were riding bicycles near the college campus.
When the case drew nationwide attention, Turner’s victim remained unnamed. For the last three years, the sexual assault survivor had only been known to the public as “Emily Doe.” Now, she’s releasing her first book and reclaiming not only her truth but her identity as well.
In a profile published in the New York Times, “Emily Doe” wants you to know her real name: Chanel Miller.
(Photo Credit: New York Times)
According to the New York Times, Miller’s case made headlines after BuzzFeed had published the statement she read at the sentencing hearing for Brock Turner and essentially, that statement is what got her the book deal. The editor in chief of Viking, the book’s publisher, tells the NYT that she remembers being in her kitchen, reading “this incredible, riveting piece of work.” Afterward, a literary agent representing Miller contacted the EIC of Viking to say her client was interested in writing a book. Four years later, and Miller is now celebrating the publication of her first memoir, “Know My Name.”
“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,” writes the New York Times. “She read pages of court documents and transcripts of witness testimonies she had not been allowed to hear during the trial.” Miller began writing the book in 2017.
The cover art for Miller’s memoir also holds significant meaning. It was inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi or “golden repair” in which “broken pottery pieces are mended using lacquer and powdered gold.”
The meaning of the cover art is meant to symbolize and represent Miller’s recovery from the sexual assault and the trauma of the trial said the publisher.
Brock Turner was convicted in 2016 of sexually assaulting “Emily Doe” appealed his convictions and requested a new trial in December of last year. In March of 2016, Turner was found guilty on three felony counts: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious individual, the penetration of an intoxicated individual and the penetration of an unconscious individual.
Turner’s conviction caused national outrage, mostly because of Miller’s letter.
According to CNN, Turner’s lawyers filed an appeal with California’s 6th District Court of Appeal in 2017 claiming that their client was “denied due process” and called the conviction “fundamentally unfair.”
Unfair? Brock Turner spent only three months in jail. But the public wasn’t surprised. After all, this was a white male being accused of sexual assault. That basically says it all. According to CNN, Turner was released for “good behavior” and only served half of his sentence. However, as part of his sentence, he still has to “register for life as a sex offender.”
In 2018, CNN reported that Turner lost his appeal in the case.
Miller also went on to give her first public interview to “60 Minutes” where she also read her victim impact statement from the sentencing hearing.
People on social media are also already rallying behind Chanel Miller by showing her support and expressing their excitement over the release of her new book.
One Twitter user said she “got goosebumps” over the news of Miller revealing her identity. “She deserves the world,” she added.
Another woman on Twitter called her an “American hero.”
In another tweet, Ella Dawson went on to say that her testimony at Brock Turner’s trial, published anonymously in 2016, “paved the way for #MeToo and exposed the sickening treatment rape survivors receive from the justice system.”
Others also began criticizing not only 60 Minutes for their language in a tweet but media in general for the way they continue to cover this case.
In the tweet 60 Minutes shared of Miller’s first interview since the case, they referred to Brock Turner as the “Stanford swimmer” instead of calling him what he is: a rapist. Danielle Campoamor on Twitter retweeted the original 60 Minutes post and said, “Hey 60 minutes you spelled ‘RAPIST’ wrong.”
Social Media Manager for Voto Latino, Mariah Castañeda also echoed the sentiment of the irresponsible way media outlets continue to humanize Brock Turner by not referring to him as a rapist.
“Chanel Miller is one brave badass for publicly reclaiming her identify after how horrible y’all treated her as [Emily Doe],” Castañeda writes on Twitter. “And f*ck all news outlets that refer to her rapist as the ‘Stanford Swimmer.'”
Ultimately, it’s clear mainstream media still has a lot to learn when it comes to the right way to treat survivors of sexual assault (and women in general for that matter) compared to their abusers.
Another woman on Twitter noticed how Brock Turner is the one trending on Twitter and again, still being referred to as “Stanford Swimmer” when it’s Chanel Miller that we should be highlighting and uplifting. “She deserves better,” the woman wrote.
“Know My Name” is scheduled for a release date of September 24.