Exclusive interview: Victim in infamous Stanford rape case shares her story with Breakfast

Chanel Miller has revealed herself as "Emily Doe" in the infamous case where a 22-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by 20-year-old Stanford University student Brock Turner.

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Ms Miller talked to TVNZ1’s Breakfast about her suffering in court, and rising above it in her new book Know My Name. Source: Breakfast

Ms Miller, who just released a book about the incident titled Know My Name, told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning it's because she wants to tell the story of what happened to her and what she suffered through in court.

In January 2015, she was unconscious, having passed out after drinking at a frat house party, she told the programme. She did not and could not consent, and a California jury found Turner guilty of three serious counts of sexual assault against her.

But, he was only sentenced to six months in a county jail and served just three of them.

The "people versus Turner" became well known as a kind of synonym for what's wrong with the way sexual assault cases are treated.

Ms Miller described standing up in court as a proud moment where she felt triumphant. But after the sentencing she said those feelings turned to humiliation.

"I was extremely shocked. I thought I had been melodramatic, that I had overshared, that I had spilled my guts across the floor and everyone was kind of looking around like, 'Why did she do that? That's not what we want to look at, that's not what we're here for.'

"I think to serve three months in county jail for three felonies showed me how eager society was, or the judge was, to humanise the predator, to say, 'He is just a human like all of us who makes mistakes, this was simply a slip up in his judgment, a slight deviation from his character,' that this was a misread or some miscommunication, just a minor lapse in behaviour."

Ms Miller described being "scooped hollow" by every question read in court, while Turner was built up. People talked about what he would go on to do, but no one spoke about what she could be or do, she said.

She described a year and a half of "multiple grillings", including naked photos of her body projected in courtroom and alcohol being used to victim blame as her character was "torn apart". 

"I was forced to ingest so much hurt and verbal abuse throughout the process of trial, to sit on the stand and remain even-tempered and composed and polite no matter how meanly I was grilled and over time that really takes a toll."

But Ms Miller also described being pushed back out into the world after the trial with no job, having to leave her current job because of the long and "invasive" trial.

"I was completely adrift and unanchored. I wouldn't remember what I liked about myself, I couldn't remember why people would like me. I felt like I had nothing to offer, that I was nothing more than someone who is reckless, who doesn't understand how to control herself, someone who needed to learn a lesson - all of that could not be more far from the truth.

"When you endure this much abuse you learn to digest it," she said.

But it wasn't until her sister took the stand as a witness, after also being at the party that night, that Ms Miller saw the way she was being pulled apart by the defence as wrong.

"As soon as it became clear what the defense was doing, and that she didn't deserve it, I understood that I don't deserve it either," she said.

"It is not okay to let victims ingest the shame, to go off into their corners and slowly shrivel. We cannot let that happen when we have so much to offer. I know how much I can give the world, I know what gifts I possess in terms of connecting with other people, in terms of my love of language - and all of that could have been lost had I not been pulled out of it by the people who love me and stuck with me."

Ms Miller said throughout the criminal process she kept her name secret because it was the only thing she was allowed to keep, but now she has come out of hiding because she is proud of who she is and what she's lived through.

"After I released the victim impact statement I began receiving letters where people said, 'You are so courageous, you are eloquent, you are brave, you are who I want my daughters to grow up to be'.

"Before that I had only seen myself as a tainted thing, someone who had massively failed, as someone who had embarrassed myself and was nothing more than a body that had been discarded and assaulted in the news."