“When you are assaulted, an identity is given to you. It threatens to swallow up everything you plan to do and be. I became Emily Doe,” Miller says in a voice-over as animations drawn by her appear on screen. “Assault teaches you to shrink, makes you afraid to exist. Shame, really, can kill you.”
Miller wrote, illustrated and narrates the short film, which is titled “I Am With You” and was released in conjunction with her memoir “Know My Name.” Miller, known as “Emily Doe” throughout the trial, publicly revealed her identity earlier this month while announcing the release of her memoir.
“I Am With You” explores the very painful trauma of living through such a public trial and sentencing, even as many people who knew her personally did not know she was “Emily Doe.” The short film reveals what she was going through during that time and how she has learned to cope with ― and at points thrive in ― her newfound identity as a survivor of sexual assault.
“Nobody wants to be defined by the worst thing that’s happened to them,” Miller says in the film. “No one gets to define you. You do. You do. My name is Chanel, and I am with you.”
Turner was found guilty of sexually assaulting Miller behind a dumpster at Stanford University while she was unconscious.
Miller’s impact statement, published by BuzzFeed News, quickly went viral and was read out loud across the country in various venues, including on CNN and the floor of the U.S. House. After the case, California passed a law requiring minimum sentences in cases of sexual assault.
Turner faced up to 14 years in prison, but the judge overseeing the case, Aaron Persky, said a prison sentence would “have a severe impact” on Turner. He sentenced Turner to six months in jail. Turner was released early on good behavior, serving three months in jail after being convicted on three felony assault charges. Persky’s controversial decision later got him recalled from the bench.
Watch Miller’s full animated short below.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.