- CBS News
- The Stanford sexual assault survivor, Chanel Miller, released a memoir on Tuesday titled “Know My Name.”
- In the book, Miller details how she broke the news of the Brock Turner assault to her parents.
- She said asked a lot of questions she didn’t have answers to, but were very supportive.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Chanel Miller, the victim in the Stanford sexual assault case, has written about the emotional moment she told her parents what had happened to her.
- Penguin Random House
In her new memoir, “Know My Name,” Miller describes how she went to a frat party with her little sister in January 2015, blacked out, and woke up in the hospital with no memory of the assault.
In the days after the assault, Miller didn’t have a clear idea of what happened to her, so she decided not to tell her parents until she had more information.
But the weight of this knowledge eventually became too much to handle. About 10 days after the assault, she came home from work and decided to tell her parents what had happened.
At the time, Chanel was just out of college and still living with her parents in Palo Alto. She said she practiced over and over in her room how she would word what happened, without the details that she feared would upset them.
But when she finally had her parents at the dinner table, all that preparation went out the window and she struggled to tell them about what she had suffered:
“I said, There’s news, don’t look at the news, have you seen the news? That Stanford assault guy? They shook their heads; my dad said, Vaguely, a word he often used.
“Remember the party we went to, Tiffany and I, that guy tried to, he was caught. I’m not sure, but I think it was just his fingers, so that’s good. I shrugged. I don’t remember, so. But it’s awful when you read it, so you don’t need to, please don’t, actually. I couldn’t say any more, stood smiling like an insane person.”
Miller said her father told her he was sorry and asked for details, while her mother was initially motionless.
Eventually, her mom too started asking questions about who her assailant was, questions Miller didn’t have many answers to at the time.
Her dad baked her a pie the next day
Miller said the “intensity” of the moment silenced her.
“I could not bear what the room had become … As I stood at the head of the table, unable to fill the silence, I broke. Bent over, my mouth opened in cries of pain, wet gasps. I heard the chair scrape the wood as my mom pushed away from the table, springing up, immediate … She held on to me tightly, one arm locked firmly around my side, the other hand stroking my hair. Whispering Mommy’s not mad, mommy’s just scared.”
Miller said that night she could “finally soften, exhale” with the weight of the secret no longer on her shoulders.
The next morning, she woke up to a touching surprise – a lemon pie and a note from her father.
“In the hushed hours of morning while I’d been sleeping, my dad had picked lemons from the backyard, boiled sugar and eggs over the stove, pressed fingertips into crust along the edge, sprinkled powdered sugar on top,” Miller recalled. “I brought it to work to share.”
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visit hotline.rainn.org/online and receive confidential support.
- Read more:
- Chanel Miller said she didn’t know she was sexually assaulted until reading a news article about Brock Turner’s arrest 10 days after she blacked out and woke up in the hospital
- Sexual assault victim Chanel Miller finally met the Swedish graduate students who helped save her from Brock Turner
- The judge who was recalled over the Brock Turner case was fired from his new job as a high-school girls tennis coach
- California judge who was recalled for his light sentence of Brock Turner is now asking his supporters to pay his $135,000 in legal fees