Why We Must Remember Chanel Miller's Name

According to RAINN, college women ages 18 to 24 are three times more likely than the average woman to experience sexual assault. As a a whole, “among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.” 

Many of these cases never see the light of day. In fact, 70% of victims don’t report what has happened to them, and of those that do, only a lousy 25% result in an arrest. (RAINN)

In most of the cases that become large enough to gather media attention, the focus is mainly on the assaulter. Unfortunately, there is a long history of this. Take Ted Bundy, for example. Though he was guilty of heinous crimes, there have still been multiple films and documentaries produced centering on the harm and chaos he caused women and their families. But how many of his victims can you name? One, two? Can you even name any at all? 

That’s why Chanel Miller, formerly known as “Emily Doe” during the trial of her assaulter, Brock Turner, in the now famous Stanford University sexual assault cause, has deciced to come forward and publicly reveal her name, and her self. Her memoir, Know My Name, is scheduled to come out on September 24th, 2019. The book focuses on her life after the traumatic event, and the trial that followed. The sentencing, from judge Aaron Persky, who has since been recalled, came as a shock to the nation. Turner was sentenced to six months in jail, although he was found guilty of three counts of felony sexual assault, in which the maximum sentence is 14 years. Turner walked out of prison after only three months.

 

On the importance of the book, Andrea Schulz, the editor in chief of Viking publishing, said, “I jumped out of my chair to acquire it” after reading Miller’s viral statement read during the trial.

Shulz added that “it is one of the most important books that I’ve ever published [because of its potential to] change the culture that we live in and the assumptions we make about what survivors should be expected to go through to get justice.”

The title of the book is powerful enough in itself. Know My Name references the way that survivors often live under a shadow of their accuser. His name is everywhere, so why shouldn’t hers be, too? Why can’t we, as a society, decide to not give these cretins anymore attention than is absolutely, minimally necessary? Why can’t we, instead, rise up and support the women, and men, that are the victims of these crimes. Their voice deserves to be heard. Their voice deserves to be blasted through loudspeakers through the streets. 

Remember Chanel Miller’s name. I know I will.