In 2016, a rape case involving Stanford student Brock Turner gained national attention and sparked widespread outrage after Turner was only given a six month jail sentence (Turner only served three months of this sentence), despite being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault. Initially, the public only knew the victim as "Emily Doe." On September 4, The New York Times published an article through which the victim revealed her identity as Chanel Miller.
In the statement she read in court, Miller detailed her struggle with reclaiming her identity and name after her sexual assault, especially seeing as she was often referred to as "unconscious intoxicated woman" in the media. Four years after the sexual assault, Miller, who is a writer and artist, has decided to reveal her identity and publish a book, titled "Know My Name," on her experiences.
Although Miller's court statement gained much attention, coverage of her case mainly focused on Brock Turner: his name was the one in the headlines and the one used in discussions about sexual assault and rape culture in the United States. Now, the focus of the story can shift to Chanel Miller as a way for her to reclaim her narrative as well as a way of helping others understand the point of view of the victim. Miller has emphasized the traumatic effects of not only the assault itself, but also the process of going to trial and trying to get justice and closure. While Brock Turner's name has been at the forefront of discussions of this case, it's important to support Miller, as the victim, in her reclamation of the story. Chanel Miller's name should be given recognition over that of the perpetrator.
"Know My Name" is especially important in the present. The topic of sexual assault has been a prominent issue, especially following the spread of the #MeToo movement. Andrea Schulz, the book's publisher, stated, "It is one of the most important books I've ever published" and that the book can "change the culture that we live in and the assumptions we make about what survivors should be expected to go through to get justice." Chanel Miller's "Know My Name" is set to release on September 24 and can be pre-ordered here.