If you read or listen to one book this year, let it be this one.
As soon as I heard her book was released on audible I bought it. Her victim impact statement that she submitted for the sentencing hearing is remarkable and was read by hundreds of thousands after being shared by Buzzfeed.
Chanel Miller begins the victim impact statement with: “Your Honor, if it is all right, for the majority of this statement I would like to address the defendant directly.”
She goes on: “You don't know me, but you've been inside me, and that's why we're here today.”
Brock Turner was only sentenced to 6 months (reduced to 3) in country jail for sexually assulting an intoxicated and unconcious woman with the intent to rape. The judge, Persky, became the first judge to be recalled in California in over 80 years, after voters gathered to remove him from his position. The case also initiated new measures on the California ballot, which passed, to not allow parole for cases such as this one. And the definition of rape in California expanded from “the act of sexual intercourse” to include other types of sexual assault, like penetration by a foreign object, which were categorized as separate offenses. This was already recognized by federal law but not under California law.
I actually didn’t even know about California’s lack of inclusion in their definition of rape, until hearing it in the interview.
Miller’s account of her sexual assault and the brutal trial process is powerful and courageous. It’s a story that all women are all too familiar with one way or another, whether it’s a first hand experience of assault, a story of a friend, or the eerie feeling and uneasiness when walking alone or inviting a stranger into your home.
I listened to the book on audible and Miller narrates the story herself. It’s a long book but she reads effortlessly. It’s a book that it’s easy to get lost in, at times you might find your self crying without even realizing it, and laughing at times as well. You’ll become enraged by the injustices done to Chanel and against every other women that has been in her position. You’ll also feel hopeful and empowered.
Her voice is powerful and her story is moving. Read it!