Justice towards rape victims in America is barely served to the criminals who deserve it, with a handfull of the violators serving a few months in jail or escaping punishment due to technicalities in court. There is no doubt most victims keep their stories to themselves in fear of losing the case, being the subject of victim blaming and reliving the embarrassment and trauma all over again. A lot of feelings can suffocate a victim in such a time of questionable self-worth. Society, and in turn the law, becomes ruthlessly inconsiderate to victims as it is to women who face any type of sexual abuse. In the case of now 26-year-old Chanel Miller, a rape survivor who attended Stanford University alongside her attacker, it’s understandable as to why she waited so long to have her identity revealed.
It is believed that Miller finalized her decision in revealing her identity mainly due to understandably difficult self-coping issues. According to CNN, she says in her 12-page impact statement post her coming out as the victim the attack left her angry, self-deprecating and empty. “I had multiple swabs inserted into my vagina and anus, needles for shots, pills, had a Nikon pointed right into my spread legs…” stated Miller. She continues to describe her mortifying experience in a manner that justifies her hesitation to come out to the public. The process and procedures that follow a victim after they report it to the authorities is quite invasive. Even though that type of probing of your body must feel traumatic, it is brave to let people be aware of its realities.
Overcoming the fears and troublesome emotions caused by rape is one of the most challenging periods in a survivor’s life. How a victim took such a horrific moment in her life and healed to a point where we now know her as Chanel Miller is empowering and encouraging. Not only has she regained confidence and is actively taking back control of her life, Miller penned a memoir of the incident and her strife with all that came with it.
Rape is an evil thing that affects the entire world. Anyone from an elderly person to children as young as two years old sadly suffer forms of sexual assault such as molestation, sexual abuse to any extent, and rape. What makes it worse is that justice isn’t always served in these cases. Sometimes the perpetrators aren’t caught, jailed, or get the overwhelming consensus of enough jail time. Sometimes, the victims suffer more than those who hurt them. But with her story and the unveiling of her identity, Chanel Miller teaches that justice can be served when you take control of your narrative and start the journey of healing.