Chanel Miller Gives Sexual Assault Survivors A Much-Needed Voice
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Thank You, Chanel Miller, For Giving Survivors A Safe Space To Speak Out

Chanel Miller didn't get the justice she deserved in court. But she did open up a conversation that can be intimidating to have even before her identity was revealed.

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Thank You, Chanel Miller, For Giving Survivors A Safe Space To Speak Out

Content warning: Rape, sexual assault

According to RAINN, one out of every six American women has been the subject of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

This has been unfortunately the case for thousands and thousands of women like Chanel Miller.

In 2015, Miller attended a party at Stanford University to spend time with her younger sister. What happened to her there no woman should ever experience: She was assaulted by a student named Brock Turner when she was unconscious and unable to give any kind of consent. During the trial, her identity was withheld from the media so we knew Chanel only as "Emily Doe" until September 4, 2019 when she allowed her identity to become known.

Her attacker pleaded not guilty to any of the charges and although he was found guilty on three charges — 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 — he was given a very light sentence for the severity of the crimes he committed considering the fact that there have been people who have gotten caught selling marijuana on the streets and they have been in prison for much longer than him.

Chanel didn't get the justice she deserved in court. But she did open up a conversation that can be intimidating to have even before her identity was revealed. Turner's sentencing caused an uproar as it showed how problematic the issue is especially in college campuses and how the issue is not taken as seriously as it should be.

Many people, specifically women, do not report their assault due to the injustice that victims of sexual assault get. Although this case proved how unjust the system can be, it also empowered women to talk about their past to try to seek the justice they rightfully deserve.

Sexual assault can many times not be easy to accept, let alone talk about but victims who try to heal and overcome this traumatic experience are so powerful. As more women step up and talk about their assaults, the more these supportive-yet vulnerable conversations and gradual change will come around.

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