Title: Know My Name
Author: Chanel Miller
Page Count: 368
Publication Date: 2019
Category/Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Autobiography, True Crime, Inspiration, Feminism,
Good Reads Rating: ★★★★★ (4.81)
My Rating: ★★★★★(5)
The riveting, powerful memoir of the woman whose statement to Brock Turner gave voice to millions of survivors
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.
Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.
Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.
The world knew her has Emily Doe, the press described her as the “unconscious intoxicated woman” but her name is Chanel Miller and no one should ever forget that.
Know My Name is the true story of Chanel Miller, a girl who was raped behind a dumpster on Stanford’s campus in 2015. Miller broke the silence as a victim with a gorgeous voice reclaiming her identity and reminding everyone that victims of assault and trauma are more than just what has happened to them.
“You took away
My worth, my privacy,
My own voice,
This stunning memoir highlights the impact and recovery process for sexual assault. She relives the moment she regains consciousness in the hospital – the confusion and denial, disbelief and coming to terms with what has happened. She delves into the legal proceedings and process, where one’s entire character and past are dissected, examined, remolded and put on display for all to see. She details the impact of a trial on how it interferes with daily life in terms of finances, scheduling, and travel. How it chokes out the ability to live, the strain on mental and emotional health and relationships, how doubts, fears, and anxiety take root and permeate into all activities of daily living essentially stripping away the ability to live and turn to only survival.
She is a survivor of sexual assault, but more than that, she is a young woman, coming into her own, she is an advocate, a fighter, an artist, a writer, a big sister, a daughter, a friend, a survivor.
Her words and experiences are raw and emotional, searing – burning their place upon your heart and soul. Her story is even more powerful and profound than her Victim Impact Statement that was published to Buzzfeed, receiving millions of hits and sparking conversations about sexual assault on college campuses, as well as the lenient sentences that privileged young men receive.
“The judge had given Brock something that would never be extended to me: empathy.”
Despite the fact that Brock Turner, the perpetrator, was actually caught in the act and then was found unanimously guilty on three separate charges, the presiding judge gave Turner only a 6-month sentence which ended in three months after his time off for ‘good behavior’.
“My pain was never more valuable than his potential.”
It is with fortitude and courage that Miller tackles this horrifying experience and begins her journey in healing and recovery, ending beautifully triumphant. Miller stresses that it isn’t a simple road with a happy ending, but she writes for victims above all others, hoping her honesty will touch others who have lived through similar horrors and says loudly, clearly, firmly: I Am With You.