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Chanel Miller: A Victim Comes Forward

It was January 17, 2015.

Two young men biking across the Stanford University Campus one night came across a freshman on top of an unconscious, partially dressed young woman behind a dumpster.

The assailant? An individual whose name and smug face became known across the United States and the world: Brock Turner, a swimmer whose times were published at the bottom of the article breaking the news that he had raped an unconscious woman in an alley.

For years, we didn’t know the name of the victim other than “Emily Doe”, only the brutally graphic details contained in a letter she wrote to read in front of him in court. 

After going in front of a jury, Turner was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, which carried a maximum sentence of fourteen years. In an extremely controversial ruling, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to only six months in a county jail, of which he served three (the extremely lenient sentence was because Turner was a “very good swimmer”). Persky faced extreme public backlash due to this and was later removed from his position by recall vote. 

Now the victim wants the world to know her identity, not just her story. Twenty-three-year-old Chanel Miller has announced to the New York Times that she is Emily Doe, who we have sympathized with for the last four years throughout the ups and downs of this case. 

Through all the turmoil regarding the aftermath of Persky’s ruling, Miller stayed quiet, in the process of writing a book recounting the events of that night and what her life was like after. Know My Name is a memoir written by a strong woman going through one of the worst times in her life and “is one of the most important books I’ve ever published,” says Andrea Schulz, editor in chief of Viking, the book’s publisher. 

It is important to Chanel Miller that we understand that she deserves to be referred to as more than the “unconscious intoxicated woman.”

Thank you, Chanel, for being brave enough to share your story. We will all know your name now, and there’s no way we can forget it. 

Know My Name is scheduled to release on September 24.


Reilly Shingler is a junior at Ithaca College majoring in politics with a minor in education studies. She is the treasurer of Ithaca's chapter of HerCampus and is also on the executive board for Ithaca's chapter of Planned Parenthood: Generation Action, a college level offshoot of Planned Parenthood that focuses on activism and reproductive justice on college campuses. She can usually be found watching TikToks/anything that contains Andy Samberg or Matthew Grey Gubler, playing ukulele, or reposting social justice infographics onto her Instagram story. Capricorn ☀ Aquarius ☾ Pisces ↑
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