Rating: 5 / 5
After seeing many glowing reviews for KNOW MY NAME by Chanel Miller and hearing more of her story, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of the book. When I pulled a reading challenge prompt to read a book about a woman who inspires you, this was the first book I thought of. Chanel Miller was known to the world as Emily Doe, but she has broken her silence to tell her very important story and that absolutely qualifies her as someone who is inspirational.
KNOW MY NAME follows a case we likely first heard about in the news. In 2015 Chanel Miller attended a party at Stanford with her younger sister and she was sexually assaulted. She wakes up in a hospital bed, unaware of what happened to her. She is told that she was assaulted and that two bystanders saw the assault in progress, sending the perpetrator running. She bravely decides to participate in prosecuting the man who assaulted her, Brock Turner.
Chanel’s message to her attacker in her victim impact statement went viral. Still, though he was convicted of sexual assault, Brock Turner was only sentenced to six months of jail time, meaning he was a free man in only three. Though it feels impossible that such a thing could happen in the modern day, this all happened only a few years ago.
This is not an easy book to read, it will break your heart and make you furious. Most importantly, it will also open your eyes. I think most of us know that the experience Chanel went through from the assault to the trial and beyond is a horrifying one, but she really lays bare her feelings and experiences.
I wasn’t aware before picking up this book that Chanel Miller was in Isla Vista during the shootings that occurred in 2014, an event that strikes close to home for me as a UCSB graduate myself. She was one of many, hunkering down and hoping for safety while a shooter enacted a violent killing spree, furious that the girls of Isla Vista didn’t find him attractive. That nightmare added even more fear to her experience coming forward in the case against Brock Turner, not knowing what might happen to her or to her family if her identity was revealed.
KNOW MY NAME is a powerful and well written story and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
#ReadingWomenChallenge – A Book About a Woman Who Inspires You