So here’s a heavy topic:
Freshman year is labeled as true entrance into the world as an individual. We’re all around the ripe age of 18: new experience has swallowed whole our lives and turned reality. After graduation, we’re given best wishes, vaguely told of the wonderful newness and forgettable adventures moving forward. Mix of emotions defines this point in our lives. One prominent topic is left under discussed or for-warned: rape on campus.
The word sends chills down my damn spin. Entering second semester of freshman year, two close friends of mine were sexually assaulted. These disturbing acts corrupted chaos into these girls’ lives and was internalized by all those around with pleasure of knowing them personally. It altered my entire experience (& perception of my 1st year) and is a deeply-felt heaviness in my heart always I’ll carry. The most selfless time in my life – despite the absolute horridness of the experience, it was forced maturity with insane personal growth.
Attached above is a research paper I wrote (as a freshman undergraduate) out of my exposure to this national, even international, issue. The type of thing you don’t think can happen that is until it happens to you or someone you love. To believe it’s not occurring in your community or one near you is blindly ignorant. To create awareness and open eyes to some of my own understanding on the topic of college sexual assault, I encourage clicking on links above: my research paper (written during my experiences as a freshman) and if you’re not much of a reader -it’s only 10 pages though – a really kickass documentary.
This occurs so much broader than just the Brock Turner case.
Please further investigate these topics; I cannot emphasize enough.
Since you’re well aware of my appreciation for quotes, here’s some from my friends, anonymously named.
Do you feel safe?
Victim A: “It’s scary that you have to watch over your back every single day and every single minute because you’re worried.”
Victim B: “One hundred percent no, they made it worse honestly because they didn’t do anything.”
Victim A: “Someone can come up from behind you, and you do not know what any one of us is capable of.”
Victim B: “…he jokingly called me a victim… I [even] had to go to UP myself after it happened [instead of them coming to me.]”
Do you feel justice was established in your case?
Victim A: “No, I mean I was pretty much forced to leave campus; meanwhile this kid can simply walk around here free.”
“They didn’t offer me any services here. They just told me to deal with it and help myself.”
“It’s not fair and it’s not right that we basically have to walk on glass and eggshells here because we’re all worried what will actually be done and what won’t.”
When leaving your visit with University Police, what’s the last thing said to reassure you?
Victim B: “‘Good luck.’ Oh yeah, reassured that I’ll have to protect myself. I [now] walk around with pepper spray.”
Note: I no longer attend this school which is in-part why I disclose this.
Information on the header image: Columbia University Mattress Protest in 2014-2015. Not my image.