Elias Williams for NPR
After four years in the shadow of Brock Turner, the man who sexually assaulted her, the woman once known in the media as "Emily Doe" took her name back. In her new memoir Know My Name Chanel Miller introduced herself to a world she only knew as the victim of a country-wide controversy on criminal justice – or in some cases described as much worse.
And she says the moment she finally revealed her identity earlier this month was "an immense relief."
"It almost felt like a bittersweet birthday," Miller NPR's Morning Edition says, "that I could finally exist in the world without having to hide anything."
Since the incident that made her story famous, even if not her name, Miller had spent much time in silence. Only the explanation of her 12-page victim she read in court before Turner was convicted spoke for her experience on the night of January 2015, when Turner was discovered on her unconscious body behind a dumpster at Stanford University.
"To sit under oath and inform us all that yes, I wanted it, yes, I have allowed it, and that you are the true victim who was attacked by men for unknown reasons, is ill, is demented Being selfish, stupid, "Miller told Turner in 2016. "It shows that you were willing to try everything to discredit me, to invalidate me and explain why it was alright to hurt me, you have relentlessly tried to save yourself, your reputation, at my expense. "
Shortly after she read this testimony in court, she described in vivid, disturbing detail the violence and trauma she had experienced, which the judge oversaw. The trial sentenced her assailant to six months Jail much less than the six years in prison that the prosecutor wanted for Turner, who had been convicted by three counts of crimes of sexual assault. Aaron Persky, then a California Supreme Court judge, reasoned his mild verdict with the words, "Imprisonment would have a severe impact on [Turner]."
Turner ultimately served only three months in prison.
] "I spoke with conviction, I felt that it worked, I felt that it was all I could have done, so I felt relief and pride and thought the hardest parts were behind me, but that they were not, "recalls Miller of this hearing. "When the verdict was announced, the immediate reaction that I had was humiliation."
She said she had trouble keeping her family and friends involved in the lawsuit until then. "Ever since she heard what happened to her that night -" every detail I've heard on the news, "she says – Miller remembers excluding many of her family and friends from court cases, hoping "Protecting the People I Loved."
It had even taken some time for her to tell her parents what had happened.
"It was almost as if I had cut myself in half," she says of this conversation. "I just leaned a bit and could not speak and at that point my mother got up and she just held me and we both cried because I do not think you can put words to this initial experience, I think so." have to feel it.
For most in her life, however, she did not talk about what was going on in court, or even told her where she was going when there was a hearing.
"It was extremely difficult to hide that This has happened in my life, "she explains." At the same time, I felt that it was necessary to protect myself, and I was also afraid of the investigators. I felt I could not disclose or be open about what happened. "
When Turner was convicted, Miller had given in and left some family members and friends in the courtroom – but" as soon as the sentence was read ", she says, "I remember thinking, 'Why did you let her in?' Now people are just getting hurt again. They have humbled themselves before all you love. That's why you should do things alone.
She was not only humiliated, she was also confused as to how a conviction substantiated by witnesses and material evidence could have ended.
"If I had not published my statement, I would have gone home and believed that my words were worth nothing. I never thought, 'Wow, that was so brave that I did it' or '# 39; Wow, I'm an eloquent writer. & # 39; I really believed that I failed, "she tells NPR.