For the last four years the media has been covering the overflow of hashtags, trending articles, and buzz surrounding the *shockingly* white, all american swimmer and Stanford freshman, Brock Turner. The increase in coverage occurred when, yet again, our clearly unjust justice system failed us women as a whole and let this coward off with serving 3 months out of his already disgustingly short 6 month jail sentence, rather than the deserved 14+ years. For any of you who may have lived under a rock these past few years, Turner was charged with, and ultimately found guilty on, all 3 charges against him which included, assault with intent to rape an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. Though I could sit and ramble on for hours about my hatred for this pathetic excuse of a man, the ironically named “justice system”, and the terrifying repercussions this entire case has caused society, Brock Turner does not deserve one more second of energy wasted on his existence so enough about that. Let’s shift our focus to someone who deserves the spotlight, someone who should have been the focus the moment this nightmare unfolded, and someone who is already an inspiration to millions across the world, Chanel Miller.
What’s unfortunate about this situation is that for many readers of this blog, and many citizens across the country, this name does not yet ring a bell. That being said, I have no doubt in my mind that is all about to change and she will soon be known as the woman responsible for kickstarting a new era for victims like herself across the globe. Chanel Miller, previously known as “Emily Doe,” is the woman that endured the heinous attacks by Turner back in 2015 when she was just 22 years old. While the media, and clearly the courts, focused on Turner’s previous swimming stats, academic achievements, and affluent family, Chanel Miller and her identity remained anonymous as she watched her trauma continue to unfold and worsen for years. Finally, after gaining unimaginable courage and strength, Chanel Miller wants the world to know HER name, HER identity, and HER story.
Miller is scheduled to release a book come this September 24th, as well as appear on “60 Minutes,” in which CNN relays a message from her publisher stating that her story “illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.” It is no secret that we live in a society of sexual assaults swept under the rug, victims cries for help are ignored, and men getting off with a slap on the wrist in hopes to “not ruin their life” though they had no issue ruining another’s. It is Chanel’s hope, as well as my hope, that by speaking out about what it is like being the victim in one of America’s most well-known rape cases, the hardships she faced, but most importantly the great achievements she has made to get her to where she is now, that she can inspire, encourage and change victims just like herself. One can only hope that this may kick start a movement to make a real change in the way the justice system handles these cases and open the worlds eyes to see that behind each of these anonymous victims is a name, and her name is Chanel Miller.