A trio of actresses read Miller’s words before a Stanford professor read a statement on her behalf. All the while, Glamour reported, she sat silently in the back — her presence at the ceremony unknown to even the magazine putting it on.
On Monday, Miller was again recognized as a Glamour Woman of the Year. This time, she took the stage to accept the honor herself. Dressed in a yellow gown, she smiled while reciting a poem she had written.
“The only reason I am standing here is because people gave a damn about my well-being, even when I did not,” she said during the ceremony at New York City’s Lincoln Center. “They reminded me that I carry light and I deserve to be loved. Even when I forgot.”
The story of Miller’s assault is by now widely known. In the early morning hours of Jan. 18, 2015, two bicyclists noticed a man thrusting on top of a motionless, half-dressed woman lying beside a dumpster outside of a fraternity house. Turner, then a freshman with Olympic swimming ambitions, tried to run. The bicyclists chased him down.
Miller woke up in a hospital with little understanding of why she was there. Pine needles littered her hair. The recent University of California at Santa Barbara graduate learned the full account of what had happened months later, when she read about it in the news.
The speech that would turn her into, as Glamour put it, “a real-life hero to sexual assault survivors and justice-seekers everywhere,” came in June 2016, as Turner was sentenced to a sharply criticized six months in jail. During the hearing, Miller addressed her attacker directly.
“You don’t know me, but you’ve been inside me,” she said, “and that’s why we’re here today.”
As her words became a rallying cry, Miller’s name and face remained unknown. That changed in September. Ahead of the release of her memoir, “Know My Name,” the 27-year-old revealed herself for the first time.
She described going public as cathartic.
“To be able to discuss it openly is so freeing, and it’s also less scary,” she told NowThis News. “It doesn’t overshadow everything anymore.”
At Monday’s Glamour awards ceremony, the magazine’s editor in chief, Samantha Barry, said Miller had “changed the way our society sees assaults against women on college campuses.”
In her poem, Miller advocated for other sexual assault survivors, calling for an end to shame and “stupid questions” meant to shift responsibility.
“Tonight you must come away knowing that I will always, always give a damn about you,” she said, “the way you gave a damn about me.”