SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Chanel Miller, whose victim impact statement in a 2015 sexual assault case at Stanford University sparked an outcry over entrenched societal views on sexual assault and rape and caused ripple effects worldwide, has stepped out of anonymity to tell her story with her own name and face.
“She’s an incredibly talented writer and an incredibly strong young woman,” said Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber.
Chanel Miller identified herself as the “Emily Doe” who had her heart-rending statement published online by Buzzfeed after Brock Turner, the Stanford swimmer convicted of sexually assaulting her was given a lenient sentence. Miller spoke in an interview with Bill Whitaker which will appear on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, September 22 on CBS.
Miller’s moving account of the attack at the hands of Turner and her dehumanizing experience maneuvering the justice system turned Emily Doe into a lightning rod; prompting countless other women to come forward with their own brutal stories of being victimized and preceded the #MeToo movement.
She had read her statement in court to Turner before Judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to six months jail time – three served in his native Ohio – and probation. The uproar over the sentence led to the Persky’s recall and prompted California lawmakers to develop new legislation broadening the state’s definition of rape.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” Miller said in a clip from the upcoming “60 Minutes” report. “In the 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. 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.”
Miller is also revealing new details of her ordeal in her memoir entitled “Know my Name.”
Today, the dumpsters have been moved to the side and a memorial garden and fountain mark the spot where Turner assaulted Miller before passersby came to her aid.
“I think the decision to come out publicly is a difficult one and up to the individual survivor,” said Dauber, who led the recall effort.
She says Miller’s story will have a positive impact for women in the courts, colleges and beyond.
“I think people will read her book because she is a good writer, and they will understand that this is not just about Brock Turner. This is an epidemic and it has to be treated better by our institutions,” Dauber said.
Esther Omole, a student at Stanford University, said she plans on picking up Miller’s memoir.
“I need to know the story from a different perspective, because we’ve been told from one perspective for a long time,” Omole said. “Brock Turner is the face of the story, and he’s the face that’s always shown.”
Stanford released a statement that read, “We applaud Ms. Miller’s bravery in talking publicly about the ordeal she has experienced and the horrible act that she suffered on our campus. As a university, we are continuing our efforts to prevent and respond effectively to sexual violence, with the ultimate goal of eradicating it from our community.”
“Know my Name” will be in bookstores September 24.
KPIX 5’s Maria Medina contributed to this report.