Brock Turner’s Sexual Assault Victim Has Revealed Her Identity
Her name is Chanel Miller.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside of me”.
This was one of the most powerful sentences in the 4000-word victim impact statement written by the woman who Brock Turner is convicted of sexually assaulting her behind a dumpster at Standford University in 2015.
Until now, she’s been known to the public only by the pseudonym, Emily Doe, given to her during the trial. Her impact statement went viral after the unsatisfying conviction of her rapist. It sparked a conversation around how sexual assault is discussed, and the way we treat perpetrators and victims. Her anonymous words resonated with victims of assault all over the world. But today, the world found out her name.
The 27 year-old has revealed her real identity as she is releasing a book – “Know My Name” – about the night Turner assaulted her after a campus frat party, and will be speaking publically about it for the first time this weekend.
Turner was found guilty and convicted on three charges: intent to commit rape of an intoxicated and unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.
The possible sentence was 14 years.
He received six months – and served only three before being released.
This lenient, slap-on-the-wrist sentence proved the point that the US justice system doesn’t take sexual assault seriously enough, and are often too concerned with the outcome of a jail sentence for the male attacker than the wellbeing and safety of the victim.
Because, as was well-publicized at the time, Turner had a promising swimming career ahead of him, and the Judge in the case believed that “a prison sentence would have a severe impact on him.”
So, just as Miller’s words resonated with sexual assault victims across the world, Turner’s conviction and the Judge’s words did also. As a victim of sexual assault myself, I relate to many of the things she says she felt. And as a victim of sexual assault, I relate to the fact that people think my rapist is a nice person. My assault was two years before Miller’s, and I never went to the police for that exact reason; I didn’t want to be the one on trial, for an outcome that provides little justice, healing or closure.
According to the editor in chief of Viking publishing, Andrea Schultz, Miller’s book will bring into focus a lot of these underlying issues about sexual assault.
“It could change the culture that we live in and the assumptions we make about what survivors should be expected to go through to get justice,” she said in a statement. “Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.”
Just as her victim statement should be compulsory reading for every human being, so they understand the consequences and impact of sexual assault, her book will probably be the same.
Featured image via unsplash.com
Join the discussion: Why do you think the justice system favors perpetrators of sexual assault over victims?