Chanel Miller responds to hateful comments about her sexual assault: “Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk”

Trigger warning: This story discusses rape.

Before knowing her name, people across the world knew about the survivor in the Brock Turner rape case. We knew the designation “Emily Doe” from court transcripts, but on September 4th, Chanel Miller went public with her true name and identity, stepping forward to tell her own story. In a new interview, Miller speaks candidly about the impact of victim-blaming and her own resilience, and we’re listening.

Ahead of the release of her memoir, aptly titled Know My Name, which will be released tomorrow, September 24th, she spoke with Bill Whitaker on 60 Minutes.

Miller said that upon reading comments on an article about her sexual assault, she found many “hateful words.”

“What was she doing at a frat party. This isn’t really rape. Why was she alone? She’s the predator because she’s older. Why would you get that drunk? It was endless,” Miller said, recounting the victim-blaming comments that feel all too relatable for many women and rape survivors.

Whitaker then asked Miller what she would say to those comments and to those critics.

“Rape is not a punishment for getting drunk,” Miller responded.

"And we have this really sick mindset in our culture that you deserve rape if you drink to excess," she continued. "You deserve a hangover, a really bad hangover, but you don't deserve to have somebody insert their body parts inside of you."

Chanel Miller is a powerful voice for rape survivors, and we are grateful that she’s decided to tell her own story since it speaks to so many. Know My Name will have a prominent place on our bookshelves.

If you are a sexual assault survivor and need help, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to speak to a trained counselor. You can also chat online with a counselor here. Both services are available 24/7.

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