Chanel Miller wrote a Victim’s Impact Statement to read at the sentencing of Brock Turner, who was found guilty and went to county jail for a measly three months. Chanel Miller agreed to have this statement published on Buzzfeed, under the identity of Emily Doe, in order to continue protecting her identity as the still healing, Chanel Miller.
Emily Doe, a persona she allowed to accept the trauma, a persona which in her head accepted and felt defeated by the negative comments she saw online, a persona that was continuously victimized by “the system”, a persona that took all of it, so Chanel Miller could keep some semblance of the life she had before she was sexually assaulted.
Within one week of Emily Doe’s statement being published on Buzzfeed, it was read over 8 million times. It circled the world hundreds of time, capturing readers’ attention, starting to change the narrative – an impact with ripples that would go on far beyond what any one person would expect.
Chanel Miller watched in awe as Emily Doe’s statement went viral. She was taken aback when it hit 12k reads. 12,000. Within days of that moment, Chanel Miller’s words would be read over 8 MILLION times, and she was taken aback at 12,000.
Why? Because she didn’t set out writing this statement for it to be heard by anyone other than who was in the courtroom that day. Even as she agreed for it to be published, she did not expect a viral reaction. She sat down at her computer days before the sentencing, angry and hurting, and wrote something she was advised to write, but didn’t even have to.
She did the thing.
She changed the narrative, changed lives, started healing, reached the White House, reached India, started a new thought- by writing something. It was free. She wasn’t loud or demanding. She simply allowed herself to be real and vulnerable and the ripple effects are still reaching so far from that initial moment of impact.
So why are you still sitting there, waiting to do the thing? It’s been tugging on your heart strings for awhile- that passion of yours. You sit and wait and wonder about timing and failure and Lord knows I KNOW what that feels like. I did the thing, I’m doing the thing, my thing – and still some days I wonder about failing and what if and then suddenly…. I’m halted by the voices because here is what I know. I know that my story, my impact, my voice and words has reached the hearts of others. It has provided some healing for those I love – including myself, it has provided hope for others, it has sparked change in schools, because I decided to speak. To. Speak. For those who can’t yet, for those who want to, for those who are scared, and for future generations who won’t know this pain because this organization is CHANGING and PREVENTING abuse. It. Is. Working. And I’m not doing it alone.
You have a spark in there. You are just wondering when the right time is or if you are capable. The time is now and you are capable. That spark is there for a reason and it’s dying to become the fire within you.
Here’s your permission slip, here’s your sign – Go.
Just. Do. The. Thing.