Chanel Miller: Sexual Assault Survivor is a Celebrated Author Today

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Sexual assault and cyberbullying emerge as the central themes in Netflix’s ‘Raising Voices.’ The story follows teenage girls who raise their voices against sexual predators who appear in different forms. In one instance, the protagonist, Alma, creates a fake social media account and is inspired by two women, Daisy Coleman and Chanel Miller, who also survived and spoke out against sexual assault in schools and colleges. While the show itself is fictional, the women it references are real.

Who is Chanel Miller?

Chanel Miller first came into the limelight in 2015 as Emily Doe. At the time, she was 22 years old and was working at a start-up in the field of educational technology, having graduated seven months ago. On the night of January 17, 2015, she decided to attend a party at Stanford’s Kappa Alpha fraternity. There isn’t much she remembers about the night apart from the fact that she had some drinks. She woke up a few hours later at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, discovering that she had been raped by Brock Turner.

She later discovered that she was found by two Swedish grad students, Peter Lars Jonsson and Carl-Fredrik Arndt, who saw Turner on top of her by a dumpster at the fraternity. They shouted at Turner, who tried to run away but was pinned down by the students, who later reported that Turner had laughed when they got to him. The authorities were called, and Turner was arrested. All this while, Miller was unconscious, and when she woke up at the hospital, she found her hands crusted with blood and her back sore.

Following a trial where Turner’s accomplishments, particularly as an Olympic-hopeful swimmer, were highlighted, and Miller’s character and credibility were brought into question, he was convicted on three charges: assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. What should have been a sentencing worth years was reduced to six months in county jail, of which Turner only served three. Apart from this, he also lost his swimming scholarship at Stanford. He also had to register as a sex offender.

Where is Chanel Miller Now?

Chanel Miller lives in San Francisco, California, while also working out of New York City, at times. She is a bestselling author, a renowned artist, a coveted public speaker, and an impassioned activist. In 2019, her memoir, ‘Know My Name,’ was published, in which she revealed her real identity to the world after being identified as Emily Doe throughout the investigation and hearing of the case. The memoir was an instant New York Times bestseller and a New York Times Review Notable Book. It also won the California Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Ridenhour Book Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. The book was also listed as the best book of the year by several publications like The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and TIME, among others.

A children’s book authored by her, called ‘Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All’ was published in April 2024. In 2016, under the name of Emily Doe, Miller received the honor of Glamour Woman of the Year and was also named in the list of TIME Next 100 and Forbes 30 Under 30. In the same year, Buzzfeed published her victim impact statement, which was read by millions of people and was even read on the floor of Congress, following which a mandatory minimum sentence in sexual case bill was signed by the then governor of California.

She has since appeared in several talk shows, including ‘The Daily Show’ with Trevor Noah and ‘60 Minutes.’ In 2023, she co-created a podcast titled ‘Makes Sense’. Apart from her writing, she has also made a name for herself in the art world. Her artwork, ‘I was, I am, I will be,’ a 75-foot vinyl mural with Chanel’s words on the side, was featured at the Asian Art Museum in San Fransisco. In 2021, she was one of the artists who painted the mural for Alimama Tea and Yin Ji Chang Fen on Bayard Street in Manhattan, New York. Her artwork has also been featured in The New Yorker. In 2019, a plaque with Miller’s words was installed at Stanford at the site where the assault took place.

Considering the many ups and downs that Miller has been through since the night of her assault, she was recently asked if she was approached by Hollywood to bring her story to the screen, especially after it was told to the world in the form of her book. Miller revealed that some meetings had taken place, but she doesn’t feel that she is ready for “the visual depiction” of her story yet. Perhaps, someday in the future, she will be. Until then, she is focused on her future while commending herself on how far she has come, especially after her mental health struggles. For now, she is entirely focused on her art. She intends to expand to “even more in different mediums” and continue telling more stories, be it in the form of her drawings, murals, or writing.

Read More: Daisy Coleman: How Did the Sexual Abuse Survivor Advocate Die?