I see, but do I perceive?

“Know My Name”: Brock Turner’s Survivor Shares Her Story


Emily Shapiro of ABC News writes about the story of Chanel Miller. Miller, the previously unnamed survivor of the Brock Turner assault case of 2016, revealed her name and her story in her memoir “Know My Name”. Shapiro summarizes the sections of Miller’s memoir, going from the assault to the aftermath of the nationally covered trial. Miller chronicles her trauma, giving new details from her waking up in the hospital after the assault to the impact her statement had on unifying other survivors. Her statement, “My independence, natural joy, gentleness, and steady lifestyle I had been enjoying became distorted beyond recognition…I became closed off, angry, self-deprecating, tired, irritable, empty” spread across the world, sparking a unity of survivors that helped Miller’s own healing. Miller urges that people who’ve experienced sexual assault should be thought of as people, not victims.

The story the Emily Shapiro writes is not presented as a sad story of a victim. Her article is a recollection of a woman how was at the center of a national story with no name. I noticed Shapiro avoids calling Miller a victim in the title of the story, instead using the word “survivor.” The word presents the whole story with a frame of Miller’s continued life with the experience. The word victim is used in the story, but only in the summary of Miller’s memoir. The story begins with the important piece of revealing Miller’s name, but it stops being invert pyramid after that. It benefits from moving into time order as it chronicles Miller’s experience. The story about Miller’s experience is newsworthy because of its rarity. From my perspective, stories of men who harm women often leave the women in the background. They are numbers on a statistic or side characters to a glorified murder story. Miller sharing her story is important for anyone else with a similar experience and for those who haven’t.

1 Comment

  1. fuglsang

    Good analysis of the “frame,” Calissa. This story can be told in a variety of ways. The survivor frame is a good one, as is presenting Miller as in control.

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