We don’t know much about the woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner, a student at Stanford, behind a dumpster on campus in 2015. In an effort to maintain her anonymity, she was referred to as “Emily Doe” throughout Turner’s trial. But the world will soon know more about her life, in a memoir, slated to be released this fall.
According to the Guardian, Doe’s book will cover the aftermath of her sexual assault, including the trial that led to Turner’s measly six-month sentence in a county prison (he was released after serving three months). Already, the book is being trumpeted as a Very Important study of rape culture, as Viking Books, the publisher, wrote: “Emily Doe will reclaim the story of her sexual assault, expose the arduous nature of the legal system, and emerge as a bold, unifying voice.”
Even with the intense media attention during the trial, there’s plenty for Doe to illuminate, especially her interactions with Stanford. The university, planned to remove the dumpster behind which Turner sexually assaulted Doe and build a memorial in its place instead. Doe was originally supposed to be involved, and suggested lines from her 7,000-word victim impact statement to be inscribed on it. Stanford reportedly rejected her suggestions and offered one of its own: “I’m okay, everything’s okay.” A professor confirmed to a campus paper that “Given the situation, Emily felt the best course was to decline to participate in the memorial plaque.”
What Doe decides to write about is ultimately her choice. If, as the Viking Book’s statement suggest, she decides to focus on the intricacies of her trial and is able to paint a picture of the difficulties sexual assault victims face in court, the book could have a wide-ranging impact. California passed a bill creating mandatory minimum sentences for defendants in sexual assault trials after Turner’s six-month sentence was handed down.