Know My Name, by Chanel Miller

Know My Name is a powerful book. I had to consume it slowly, one chapter a day, in order to not lose myself amid the pain, despair, and trauma. As a survivor myself, it’s far too easy to slip back to the moments of fear and panic. Especially considering how well written Chanel Miller’s memoir is.

There is a strength in all of the scenes that I admire greatly. Yes, she writes of assault and depression, of despair and hopelessness; but she weaves her words with a thread of courage and determination. She writes about not only the actual assault, but also the painful process of fighting for justice. The fact that the person who assaulted Chanel Miller only received 90 days in jail is a travesty of justice; it makes me ashamed of our system and of those who failed her–and who fail so many women, children, and men who are assaulted.

I think of this book as a statement of why we need to continue fighting for the rights of victims; why we need to stop trivializing and blaming and doubting; why we need to fix our system of justice that, for too long, has made victims of the “nice young men” whose futures may be ruined by such a sordid ordeal.

A triumph of a memoir that I highly recommend.

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