Stanford Sex Assault Survivor Reads From Inspiring Victim Impact Statement That Went Viral
In an interview with 60 Minutes, the woman who revealed her identity as the survivor of a 2015 sexual assault by a Stanford University swimmer read from her powerful victim impact statement that went viral.
Chanel Miller, who until now was known as “Emily Doe,” was attacked by Brock Turner, then 20, outside an on-campus fraternity party in January 2015. She revealed her name in her upcoming memoir, titled Know My Name, which is scheduled for release on Sept. 24, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” Miller read in a clip released by 60 Minutes. “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.”
Miller first read her statement in a California courtroom in March 2016 prior to Turner’s sentencing after he was convicted of three felonies. Turner faced a maximum of 14 years in prison, but California judge Aaron Persky sentenced him to just six months in county jail, holding that a lengthy sentence would have a “severe impact” on him.
Turner served just three months of his sentence, which drew widespread outrage and led voters to recall Persky.
During the assault, Turner was discovered on top of Miller behind a dumpster by two graduate students from Sweden. When Turner ran away, the pair chased him down and detained him until police arrived.
Miller’s statement was praised for its eloquence and honesty. It is seen as a precursor to the #MeToo movement.
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“The next thing I remember I was in a gurney in a hallway,” she said in her statement. “I had dried blood and bandages on the backs of my hands and elbow. I thought maybe I had fallen and was in an admin office on campus. I was very calm and wondering where my sister was. A deputy explained I had been assaulted. I still remained calm, assured he was speaking to the wrong person.”
Later in the statement, Miller said, “My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition. I became closed off, angry, self deprecating, tired, irritable, empty. The isolation at times was unbearable.”
She concludes her statement by saying, “To girls everywhere, I am with you. On nights when you feel alone, I am with you. When people doubt you or dismiss you, I am with you. I fought everyday for you. So never stop fighting, I believe you.”
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