July 19, 2017

NCVLI Staff Spotlight: Cheryll Miller

NCVLI Staff Spotlight: Cheryll Miller

Cheryll joined NCVLI in 2015 as an Administrative Assistant. Click here to read Cheryll’s bio or read on to learn more about her in her own words.

What one thing has surprised you or have you learned about victims’ rights since starting at NCVLI?

When I came to work at NCVLI I had no knowledge of the victims’ rights field. I was amazed to learn about the thousands of agencies and individuals that are working to assist victims of crime all across the country. They are quiet crusaders doing very challenging work that is making a big difference in many lives.

What has been the most rewarding thing you have done in your personal life?

Raising two children has been the most rewarding, challenging and humbling thing I have done. I was fortunate to be able to stay home for the first ten years and to volunteer in my kids’ classrooms and support their after-school activities. Both of my kids were active in music and sports. I learned a lot about myself in the process and tried to model honesty, integrity and speaking up for what you believe in. Both are in college now with big dreams for making the world a better place.

If you could change one thing about the current victims’ rights environment, be it legal, political, public recognition, victim social/psychological services, etc., what would it be?

I wish that our justice system would prioritize funding for testing all rape kits in a timely manner and end the backlog of rape kit testing. I think we have the potential to prevent many future crimes if we can use the data to prosecute sex crimes faster. My hope is that rape victims will be more willing to report these crimes if they are treated as serious crimes where prosecution is likely.

Who or what inspires you?

I am inspired by Brenda Tracy and other survivors who are able to take their experience and use it to change laws and raise public awareness about the life-long impacts of rape and child abuse on victims and their families. By sharing her story, Brenda has been able to expand the statute of limitation laws in Oregon for rape victims. The impact of these crimes lasts a lifetime and the chance to be heard and seek justice can help a victim to become a survivor. Having more time to press charges can be especially important for child victims, who may take many years to find the courage to stand up to an abuser. It seems that every time Brenda shares her story, she gets stronger.