The woman who was previously known as Emily Doe in the Stanford rape case has recently revealed her identity. Her name is Chanel Miller, and she wants the world to know who she is. Almost four years ago, Brock Turner, a college freshman and star of the swim team at Stanford University, raped Chanel Miller while she was unconscious outside of a fraternity party.
In January of 2015, Miller was discovered by two Swedish Stanford graduate students behind a dumpster outside of the fraternity house. When they found then-22-year-old Miller who was not a student at the university, she was being sexually assaulted by then-19-year-old Brock Turner and was clearly unresponsive. She was half-naked and appeared lifeless. The two students chased down Turner and stopped him from further assaulting Miller. Both Miller and Turner were overly intoxicated. When Turner was arrested, he claimed that Miller was conscious and that she told him that she wanted to have sex with him that night. Turner was found guilty in trial, and in June of 2016, he was sentenced to just six months in county jail and probation. The judge’s reasoning aligned with the argument made throughout the trial that any longer sentence would negatively affect the star Stanford swimmer’s chances at Olympic competition. Turner only ended up serving three of the six months.
At the conclusion of the trial, Miller read a statement addressed directly to Turner himself, giving a detailed and deeply painful account of how Turner’s actions that night in January changed her life. In her statement, Miller recalls not knowing she was sexually assaulted until she woke up in the hospital the morning after.
When I was finally allowed to use the restroom, I pulled down the hospital pants they had given me, went to pull down my underwear, and felt nothing. I still remember the feeling of my hands touching my skin and grabbing nothing. I looked down and there was nothing. The thin piece of fabric, the only thing between my vagina and anything else, was missing and everything inside me was silenced. I still don’t have words for that feeling.
Throughout the trial, Turner repeatedly and confidently denied ever sexually assaulting Miller. He refused to admit to what he had done to her that night and acknowledge how it has forever scarred her life. Turner’s light sentence was more than disappointing for Miller among her traumatic experience. Amid the claims of this trial having a “severe impact” on Turner, her rapist, Miller’s heartbreaking yet powerful statement to him addresses the “severe impact” that his assault had on her as the victim.
You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me. In newspapers, my name was ‘unconscious, intoxicated woman.’ Ten syllables, and nothing more than that. I had to force myself to relearn my real name, my identity. To relearn that this is not all that I am. That I am not just a drunk victim at a frat party found behind a dumpster, while you are the all-American swimmer at a top university, innocent until proven guilty with so much at stake.
While she remained anonymous throughout the trial, Chanel Miller revealed her identity to the world three years later on September 4, 2019. Now age 27, Miller released a memoir about her experience, titled Know My Name, on September 24. From deep within this darkness, Miller hopes that girls will know that she is “with them.” She wants them to know that now, after coming out on the other side of her assault and Turner’s trial, she is fighting for them, she is there for them and that each one of them has a voice and is valued as a human being.